Private lessons in music are available in Piano, Guitar,Ukulele, Bass Guitar, Violin, Cello, and Voice. All private lessons are $40 a half hour/$60 FORTY-FIVE MINUTES AND $80 an hour. For availability, call (650) 738-8648 or email Keira Robalino at


Alex along with his late wife Martha, co-founded the Spindrift School of Performing Arts back in 1994. Alex’s training and experience include a B.A. degree in Piano Performance and a M.A. in Musicology from the University of California. His education includes many years of study with European master teacher, Dusi Mura. Alex is committed to sharing his experience and knowledge with young people. He is also active as a pianist and music director throughout the Bay Area and is currently the Music Director at First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame. He also leads a jazz quartet called Nucleus.

“The arts are a metaphor for life, and as such, play a vital role in a young person’s balanced and well-rounded development.  They can do the same for adults, regardless of their age!  Music, especially, touches the emotions in a way that few other mediums can.  Studying and playing music can be an avenue for all manner of growth, healing, breakthrough, and success.  My goal is for my students to express themselves in a way that draws forth who they really are.” 








Osvaldo de Leon, SSPA Director of Music.
Piano – Intermediate/Advanced | Voice-All Levels

Osvaldo was the recipient of the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts grant in 2011 to finish his graduate studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU); The Avalos Award in 2010 after his interpretation of Latin American Music; and the Concerto Competition at SFSU in 2010; the FINANCIARTE grant in 2006 to produce, direct the opera “La Voix Humaine” by Francis Poulenc; and the Mexican National Fund for Culture and Arts grant in 2003 to study a year at the University of Texas in Austin.
In Mexico he was admired due to his capacity to approach solo repertoire as well as to perform chamber music, accompany singers and instrumentalists, coach opera, and direct choirs both amateur and professional. He has performed with the Russian Chamber Orchestra in Marin California, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Sonora, The San Francisco State University Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Nuevo Leon, the Orquesta Juvenil de Nuevo Leon. He has appeared at the Festival Ceiba in Tabasco, Mexico, Encuentro Internacional de Opera in Coahuila, the Vocal Cycle at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, the Festival Cultural Tamaulipas, Spring Festival of Radio Nuevo Leon, and the Festival Rio de Bravo in Coahuila. He has conducted with Verismo Opera in Vallejo, CA the productions of Madama Butterfly by G. Puccini, and Il Tabarro by G. Puccini. He conducted with Berkeley Chamber Opera the production of The Marriage of Figaro. He recently has been working at Spindrift School of Performing Arts as Musical Director for their musical theater productions such as A Chorus Line and Seussical the Musical.
Osvaldo finished his Bachelor´s degree in Piano Performance at Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey, México and his Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Chamber Music at San Francisco State University. His teachers have been Gerardo Antonio González, Naoya Seino, Gregory Allen and Dr. Roger Woodward. He also has studies in composition under the guidance of Jorge Torres and Georgina Derbez.

luke 2

Luke Doughty – Guitar Instructor | All levels of acoustic and electric Guitar and Bass | All levels of Ukelele | Beg/Int. Banjo and Piano

Luke has played guitar for 20 years and has been teaching music for 6 years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Philosophy from San Francisco State University.  He has studied music theory extensively, both within the university and independently.  The primary styles of music that he focuses on are gypsy jazz, early blues, classical, rock, and Irish music. Luke has also spent years playing slide guitar and working with a variety of open tunings.  He teaches both acoustic and electric guitar.  In addition to guitar, Luke also plays and teaches Ukulele, Banjo, and Piano. Luke lives in San Francisco and presently plays in several groups around the Bay Area.  He also composes music and has worked with local filmmakers to produce original scores for a variety of projects.

My favorite guitar player is the great jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, and my favorite classical composer is Johann Sebastian Bach.  Between these two figures, you can learn all that you need to be a great musician.  My teaching style tailors lessons to the interests of the individual student, rather than working through a generic book as a default method to learning the instrument.  I can teach most styles and enjoy working in concepts from music theory into lessons.









Elana Cowen | All levels of Voice

Elana is a professional singer, teacher, music director and choral conductor currently residing in San Francisco, Ca. Ms. Cowen has a Post-Graduate Certificate and Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as a Bachelor’s of Music from Chapman University with a minor in Germanic Studies.  Ms. Cowen teaches voice and has musically directed all over the Bay Area, with companies including Starbound Theatre and Missouri Street Theatre to name a few.  Currently, Ms. Cowen is conducting with the San Francisco Youth Chorus as well as being a soloist at the Episcopal Church of St. Matthew’s in San Mateo.  Ms. Cowen is also an active performer, performing with companies all over the Bay Area including Pocket Opera, Lamplighters Music Theatre, West Bay Opera and recently debuting at Phénix Opera.

Ms. Cowen specializes in classical and musical theatre, as well as emphasizing the importance of healthy singing, no matter your age!  In lessons, the focus is breathing, musicianship, technique and of course, acting and dramatic interpretation.  As a performer, emphasizing character and drama while finding that through the technique and musicality is the way to create a singing actor.  Ms. Cowen also incorporates learning through games, music theory, ear training and lots of warm-ups!  “Where words leave off, music begins.” ― Heinrich Heine

Sarah Benzinger | All levels of Voice | Beginning Piano

Soprano, Sarah Benzinger holds a CA Secondary credential to teach Music and Mathematics and loves joining her students on their unique journeys of musical discovery on the piano and in voice. She currently co-teaches classroom music at Casa di Mir Montessori school in Campbell and has maintained a full studio in voice and piano at Santa Teresa Academy of Music and Dance for the past three years. She has taught and performed in the US and abroad, working with students through Opera Tijuana in Mexico, Opera Nova in Costa Rica, and with students at Lake County high school in Leadville Colorado. Previously she sang with the Oregon Bach Collegium, Lyric Opera of San Jose, Cascadia Concert Opera, Humboldt Light Opera, Portland Summer Opera Workshop, Vivace Vancouver, Chamber Music Silicon Valley, Redwood Symphony and at the Astoria Music Festival.

An active recitalist and stage performer, in the 2019 – 2020 season Sarah is looking forward to singing the roles of Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Modesto, Musetta in La Boheme with MiOpera and singing Second Witch with Capitol Opera Sacramento in their production of Dido and Aeneas.  Recently, Sarah covered the role of Jane Bennett in the world premiere recording of Kirke Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice. Previous roles include Amore (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Euridice (Orfeo ed Euridice), and Dido (Dido and Aeneas).

Sarah was a Regional Finalist at the NW Metropolitan National Council Auditions as well as a District Winner and District Encouragement Winner in the MONC auditions.


Ami Nashimoto | all levels of Cello and Beginning/Intermediate Piano

is a prominent member of the Bay Area music scene, playing with numerous ensembles and bands including The Holloway String Quartet, Mission Baroque, All My Pretty Ones, as well as playing in numerous orchestras and pit orchestras. She studied chamber music under coaches including the Alexander String Quartet, Martina Trumpp, and Yuval Yaron; cello under Carol Rice, Geoffrey Rutkowski, Mario De Secondi, and Sandy Wilson; and played in master classes taught by such artists as the Juilliard String Quartet, Toby Appel, and David Requiro. She studied cello at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, University of California Santa Barbara, San Francisco State University for a Masters in Music, and most recently at the Musikhochschule Trossingen in Germany.

Ami has been teaching the young and young-at-heart since 2008, working with students of all levels.





Kaori Nakano DeNoia | Piano Instructor – all levels

Kaori graduated from Japan’s prestigious music school, Kyoto Horikawa Music High School, where she studied vocal performance. She earned her BA from Kobe College and graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with an MA in vocal performance, having studied with Herman Leroux and received a first place prize in the American Art Song Competition. She received preschool and teaching credentials from San Francisco State University, studied pipe organ with Wyatt Insko, and has Kodály training from Holy Names University. Kaori is passionate about teaching and has served as a choir director, pianist and organist for many organizations. These include the San Francisco Girls Chorus (20 years), Ragazzi, A.P. Giannini Middle School choir, Christ United Presbyterian Church, and her very own children’s choir Kirakiraboshi Children’s Choir in Japantown. She currently teaches over 1,000 K-5th grade students in the Millbrae School District. When she is not teaching, Kaori enjoys spending time with her family and practicing karate. She is very excited to be a part of the Spindrift family and to continue sharing the love of teaching music to talented young musicians.










Tatyana Loskutova | Music Educator | piano (all levels) | chamber ensemble | music appreciation and analysis

Tatyana Loskutova was born into a family of professional musicians. She began her music education in the age of five with her father who was a multifaceted performer, educator and composer. Tatyana’s passion for music was nurtured by an entire family tradition of music educators. At the age of 16, she was the winner of the region festival program “New Names”. In 1994, she graduated with honors from Rachmaninov College of Music (B.M. in Pedagogy and Music Education), and went to obtain her degree from St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music (M.A. Diploma in Instrumental Performance – Piano).

In the Conservatory, Ms. Tatyana studied with world renowned professors Galina Fedorova (piano solo) and Elena Shafran (chamber ensemble) Tatyana was an active participant in “Holland Music Sessions” in 2000 with Lazar Berman (Italy) and Karl-Heinz Kammerling (Germany).

Tatyana Loskutova is an active chamber musician in music recitals in the USA, Russia and Holland. She is a member of the Music Teacher Association of California and teaches chamber ensembles in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Ms. Loskutova also studied Arts Management at the St. Petersburg State Theatre Academy. Over a period of many years, she served as an arts administrator at the Vaganova Ballet Academy, Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg State Conservatory, and State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg where she initiated and managed several cultural projects.

She earned her Certificate in Visual Media Design in USA in 2016 and works as a freelance designer in the Bay Area.

Chikin Kelley | Violin Instructor-all levels

Chikin has been playing violin for over 20 years and is currently pursuing her B.A. in violin performance at San Francisco State University.  She is studying chamber music with the Alexander string quartet as well as violin with Fred Lifsitz. She has performed with the SFSU orchestra, the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony and several bands in the Bay Area. Chikin has worked with young children in numerous capacities for many years beginning at a young age.  She is patient and excited about making music fun!

Peter Meredith

Peter Meredith | Piano Instructor – all levels

Peter Meredith is a pianist, choir conductor, singer, and music educator who enjoys helping people of all ages experience the joy of making music. He is currently finishing his Master’s of Music Education at Holy Names University, where he studies vocal pedagogy and the Kodály method. He works as a director and accompanist for Ragazzi Boys Chorus in Redwood City, and a teaching artist for the SF Arts Education Project. He is the music director at College Heights Church in San Mateo, First Congregational Church of Redwood City, and Mission Bay Presbyterian Church in San Francisco. He also performs regularly as a jazz and salsa musician, leading the Golden Gate Jazz Trio and playing with several Bay Area salsa bands.