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kids practicing melodies
Our School

Our School

Zavaleta Studios knows music is a universal language, and that people of all ages, beliefs, body types, abilities, and cultures can work together to produce beautiful, diverse musical experiences.   Our lessons are tailored to each student, and we are so excited to begin the musical journey with you! We offer classes in our Lafayette and Santa Cruz studios as well as through Zoom. 

Why Music?

Playing a music- whether it be learning a musical instrument, singing in a chorus, or tapping your foot along to a favorite song- benefits you in many ways. We know that for children, the social-emotional, literacy and cognitive-analytical benefits of music are multiple! Many studies have shown that learning to play a musical instrument increases concentration ability, reinforces a range of auditory skills and fosters additional neural connections that can last a lifetime.


Playing with percussion instruments  is great for developing motor skills, and provides an opportunity for families to do music together. For our older students, the unique opportunity to play in front of an audience can be especially transformative, fostering confidence and dedication. 

Our Philosophy

We believe that musical learning should be playful, and that music is best made by groups of people. We stress relationships, exploration, and creativity in our music making.


We offer opportunities for community and family music, and our students who are in individual lessons share their music through recitals and other community events.

You will use Music and Positive Parenthood Tools to move towards building positive, sweet, and gentle joyful learning experience. We are bilingual and offers classes in English & Spanish.

Sam with daughters
Our Philosophy

Our Teachers

Sam portrait

Sam M. Zavaleta

Musician & Founder of Zavaleta Studios

I am a percussionist, composer and teacher. I am deeply committed to making music and to sharing musical magic with children, teens and adults. I teach drums and percussion to children and adults. Many of my students work with the  Music Development Program. When I lived in Canada, many of my students worked with the Canadian equivalent, the Royal Conservatory of Music program, and a total of nine of them have won Gold Medal recognition for their performances.

As a musician, I have shared the stage with Xalapa Percussion Ensemble, Villalobos Brothers, Dan Zanes, National Dance Instititute, Calpulli Mexican Dance and Dolli Parton. I believe music to be a central part of human creativity, community, and culture. My teaching and music are informed by my love of instrumental traditions, a love that began amid traditional Mexican instruments and has since grown to include music, instruments, and sonic practices from all over the world.  I beleive it is never too early, and it is never too late to begin a musical journey! I am so excited to make music with you. 


Our Teachers

      Samuel Zavaleta  

Chelsey Hauge

PH.D. in Education & Co-Founder of Zavaleta Studios

I am Chelsey, before I tell you I love making music with my family, I should tell you that I have basically zero musical talent. However, I when I watch my children engage with sound, and when I have the opportunity to sing loudly and without reservation with them, there is an undeniable magic in the air. 


Dr. Chelsey Hauge holds a Ph.D. in Education, and her expertise lies in social emotional learning, educational equity and building calm, cooperative family relationships. Dr. Hauge Zavaleta, who has taught and researched at The University of British Columbia, Stanford University, and Mills College, works with parents and educators experiencing challenge with their children and young people, and uses a positive, relationship based approach to create calm and cooperation for all families.


Dr. Hauge Zavaleta's, mother to three children brings both deep professional expertise and compassion from her own parenting journey to bear in her work with families. Chelsey has experience working on literacy, justice, and gender issues including girlhood, body image, gender identity and bullying.


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