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Lessons at Zavaleta Studios

At Zavaleta Studios, students who take private lessons tend to have a particular focus, such as the marimba or the drumset, classical percussion or jazz ryhthyms. Sam Zavaleta has over two decades of experience as a professional world percussionist, and teaches world music, jazz, classical, and Latin percussion. He specializes in the marimba, percussive drums from all over the world, and contemporary percussion. Our lessons are tailored to each student, and we are so excited to begin the musical journey with you! 

Individual Lessons

Many students who come to Zavaleta Studios have an idea of what it is they would like to learn musically. For these students, we create a custom class based on their skills, experience, and goals. Sometimes these students begin with basic exercises and rythyms, and then we build confidence through repetition, creative exploration, and collaborative playing. At PSR, students play rock, pop, jazz, and Latin, to name a few. We are excited to build a custom curriculum for you to reach your musical goals. 


While not mandatory, we encourage all of our students to participate in our community recitals. Playing in a recital, in front of an audience, helps students to develop musicianship, as well as confidence and pride in their music. Recitals provide students and families with a way to mark progress, and also are an opportunity for families to get to know each other. 

Music Development Program

At Zavaleta Studios, we encourage our students to prepare for and participate in the musical training offered through the Music Development Program (California) and/or Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada). This program began in Canada as the Royal Conservatory of Music, and has expanded to California under the name Music Development Program. The RCM is Canada's oldest and largest independent arts education organization, and students in these programs are often serious musicians who hope to acheive a high level of competence. Students spend a significant amount of their time working on classical traditions. By doing so, percussion students receive a solid music foundation and are fluent in theory, practice, and performance. We have worked with many RCM/MDP students, and our students consistently are ranked very highly as compared to their peers. Many of our students have won gold medals, the highest RCM/MDP recognition, during their time studying music with Zavaleta Studios.  

Recitals & Performances

At Zavaleta Studios, we beleive it is important for students to practice performing their music in front of their community. We offer regular recitals and community music making opportunities that allow our students to engage in intergenerational music performance. These opportunities give students a chance to see what their peers are doing, and they also provide students with measurable performance goals. Our students do a wonderful job of sharing their music with their peers and families, and as we come together to celebrate their music a wonderful community is built. 


We very much look forward to welcoming your student and family into our performance space, and to working wih you so that you are ready to perform. Sometimes performance in a recital or open-mic causes anxiety for students, and when this is the case, we work with students so that they feel comfortable and supported in reaching their musical goals. 


Recitals, open-mics, and other performances are an opportunity for us to share our music, practice performing, and come together as a musical community to have lots of fun. We can't wait to see you perform with us soon! 



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