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Live Ensembles Program

Live Ensemble Details

Location: Musically Minded Academy @ St. Peter’s Church, downstairs. 6013 Lawton Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618.

Ages: 5+ Older family members

Tuition is offered at Sliding Scale Down to $0, thanks to funding from the California Arts Council.

About the Program

Instrumentalists, join us for our Live Ensembles! These classes are mixed in age, level, and instrumentation. Choose between Jazz and Classical music. Each class is co-taught by two instructors and supported by multiple teaching assistants. This team collectively plays most instruments and can help customize the level and participation of each student. Most classes are 2 hours to build skills, work on repertoire, and prepare for performances. There are built-in break times to eat and socialize. Musically Minded has a philosophy of “People first, Music Second” and believes music thrives in healthy communities. Join and experience a safe space for students to learn while building social connections, a family-like atmosphere, and a welcoming, supportive community for each participant where parents, grandparents, guardians, etc., are welcome to participate and build a healthy community where students feel like they belong.

Newbie Notes: Th: 5:30-6:00 pm, $125/month with sliding scale down to $0

This is a fun class where kids can discover their instrumental interests and start to learn to play instruments of their choosing. This class has multiple teachers and TAs that cover instructions on many instruments. Students get to explore guitar, piano, percussion, strings, bells, chimes, boomwhackers, drums, and more. They can choose to stay at one station and focus on one instrument or move from station to station to get exposure to many.

Instructors: Ondine Young (piano, vocals, strings), Rob Finucane (piano, percussion), Anna Orias (piano, percussion, vocals), with TA’s Liam Young-Skeen (strings, guitar, percussion), and Aiden Lewis (guitar, strings)

New Notes Ensemble flyers with pictures of students playing strings, percussion and guitar.

New Notes: Th: 6 – 7:30 pm; Sat: 11 am – 1 pm. $215/month with a sliding scale down to $0. Attend one class/week or both.

This ensemble plays classical and current repertoire. Unlike most classical training, students are guided through improvisation sections in each performance piece. All levels and ages are welcome, and parts are customized for each instrumentalist. 

Instructors: Ondine Young, Piano/Strings/Percussion. Rob Finucane, Piano, Percussion

Teaching Assistants: Talia and Liam Young-Skeen, Aiden Lewis

Basics, Blues, and Beyond: Fr: 5:30-7:30 pm; Sat: 11 am-1 pm. $215/month with a sliding scale down to $0. Attend one class/week or both.

This class is rooted in the basics of jazz and blues with additional exploration of other genres. This is an excellent experience for both newbies and those experienced in ensemble playing. Parts are customized for each instrumentalist to fit their range and level, and music-reading skills are desired but not required.

Instructors: Ben Green, Winds/Brass. Rob Finucane, Piano, Percussion

Teaching Assistants: Talia Young-Skeen, Aiden Lewis, Rocco Stilphen, and Brandon Wong

Our Teachers

Our instructional staff is carefully chosen to include individuals who are knowledgeable and experienced, but also kind, grounded, and dedicated to serving the community.

Rob Finucane - Piano

Ondine is a violin/violist, musical director/conductor, and educator who works with many organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. She earned a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California in choral conducting and early music performance. Read more

Robert Finucane is a multi-talented musician, audio engineer, and producer based in Oakland, California. He has been making a living from his passion for music since 2013 and has a strong background in keyboard performance, songwriting, and piano teaching. Read more

A saxophonist/composer, Ben has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Composition from UC Davis. He has written for ensembles from Jazz quintets to string quartets, contemporary ensembles, and hip-hop beats. Read more

Financial Aid/ Accessibility

Limited financial aid is available for these classes. We are especially interested in increasing opportunities for underserved youth. Please contact us and let us know your circumstances and how much you can afford for the monthly installments. We will do what we can to accommodate your needs.

Our current location does not have ADA access. Construction is starting soon to remedy that. In the meantime, please let us know if you would like to see our facility and see if we may accommodate your needs with special plans in the meantime.