Rancho Canyon MusicLessons and stuffContact Info

Rancho Canyon Music's Teachers

Craig Ferguson

Craig Ferguson - Owner of Rancho Canyon Music, Guitar Instructor

Greetings! My name is Craig Ferguson, and I bought this store in June 2000 after having worked since April 1998 for its previous owners, known then as The Music Room at Strings Etc. They sold Pianos, rented Band Instruments, and had 5 teachers. We now have a staff of 14 incredible and dedicated music instructors and more than 300 students. The history of our store pre-dates even the city of R.S.M. itself, and through the years we have grown up right along with our community. Great teachers, motivated and enthusiastic students, and supportive music families have been the key!

In addition to having played Guitar since age 6, I also play Bass Guitar, Mandolin, Bajo Sexto and Guitarron. I have been a professional musician since age 14, I've played in lots of bands, recorded on more CDs and Records than I can name, and have had the good fortune of touring all over the place! Although I can still be found performing live in Southen California and beyond (or just jamming on Friday nights at the Trabuco Canyon General Store), my passion nowadays is geared towards helping aspiring musicians acheive their personal goals, and giving players certain opportunities or insights that young players in my day didn't have. Our "Rockcital" program - where students are brought together in bands and then perform in an amazing rock show - is an example of getting students actively involved in playing with other musicians!

I'm a native Californian, with past home-bases in Los Gatos,CA; Seattle, WA; and Austin,TX. My wife and I, and our two dogs (see below on this page) have lived in the Robinson Ranch neighborhood for nearly 10 years, so I see lots of our students and their families out and about around town.

Thanks for taking a look at Rancho Canyon Music. We Thank You for supporting locally owned small businesses!

If you have a question, if there's something we're doing right or something we could do better, or something we can help you with, please contact me via phone or email (just click right under my picture over there...). I hope to hear from you soon!

Craig's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Mike Esfahani

Mike Esfahani - Piano

www.MikeEsfahani.com

As a piano instructor for over 15 years, Mike Esfahani's experience ensures success for students of all ages, levels, and musical interests. He is capable of inspiring new students with a combination of classical, rock, and pop techniques, making piano fun and encouraging students to practice on their own. With transfer students, Mike assesses their strengths and weaknesses and addresses them directly so that the student feels re-motivated and inspired. In adult students, Mike develops specific lesson plans and practice regimens to fit their busy lifestyles and schedules. He is proud to have had several students audition for and receive acceptance to prestigious music schools.

Mike began his music studies at an early age immersing himself in piano, theory, and composition. He has held positions as President and later Vice President of the Music Club at Irvine Valley College where he was one of only two students awarded the Tonya Reed Gardner Memorial Endowed Scholarship. A graduate of California State University, Fullerton, Mike holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Magna Cum Laude, as well as a Master of Arts in Music. At Fullerton, Mike was honored with several awards including second prize finisher in the 2007 Music Associates competition, the Musicology Award for Excellence in Research 2010, and has been inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Musical Honor Society—a distinction reserved by invitation only to graduates at the top of their class. Beyond teaching piano privately, Mike has also lectured courses in music history and theory at his alma mater.

Mike began teaching at Rancho Canyon Music in June of 2003. He very quickly developed a reputation as one of Orange County's premier piano teachers and enjoys a schedule of committed and inspired students. When he’s not dedicating his time to music and education, Mike enjoys the many diversions his local community offers. On weekends, you can usually find him hiking one of Orange County’s local trails or surfing the waves in San Clemente or Newport Beach.

Mike has been teaching at Rancho Canyon Music since 2003

Mike's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Lori Kibbe

Lori Kibbe (a.k.a. Lori Lindley - congrats Lori!) - Voice

Lori has been teaching for 15 years and is currently a Level 3 Certified Speech Level Singing Instructor under Seth Riggs, the world renowned singing coach for Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Natalie Cole and over 100 other grammy winning artists.

Lori toured worldwide as a member of the Citrus Singers, trained under Ben Bollinger of the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theatre. As a music performance major she performed in such shows as 42nd Street, Brigadoon, Evita and A Chorus Line before pursuing her love for teaching. Lori is experienced in theatre, live band settings and in the recording studio.

Lori is a dynamic teacher and is dedicated to inspire her students to reach for musical excellence by developing their musical skills, broadening their knowledge, and strengthening their commitment. Her passion is to see each of her students use their unique gifts in their preferred style of singing.

Lori's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Downs Thompson

Downs Thompson - Violin, Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo and Viola

Violin/viola/mandolin/guitar/banjo instructor Downs Thompson has pursued a lifelong career performing and teaching a variety of musical styles ranging from classical and jazz to celtic and bluegrass. A graduate with a degree in music from Bucknell University, he studied classical violin with Galamian student Ray Page of the Allard Quartet and while in college performed with the Harrisburg Symphony and as concertmaster of the Bucknell University Orchestra. After college he continued studies with teacher and author Yong Ku Ahn of the Peabody Conservatory.

For the past 35 years he has worked professionally throughout Europe and the United States performing live concerts, recording and television. Among the artists he has performed with are Grammy Award winners Charlie Daniels, Shelby Lynn, Charlie McCoy and Albert Lee as well as fusion guitarist Larry Coryell and top Nashville session guitarist Brent Mason. For the past 20 years he has toured nationally with multiplatinum recording artist Clay Walker and appeared with Clay on Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and Lopez Tonight.

Aside from performing, Downs has developed a genuine passion for teaching. “I find that teaching and performing are mutually enriching and now it’s hard to imagine doing one without doing the other. Teaching really forces you to analyze and critically focus on your own playing which is a really good thing, while performance forces you to just go for it and apply it. I enjoy working with students of all ages and backgrounds and seeing what inspires them musically.

While I feel it’s really important to have a solid classically grounded technique, music should be enjoyable and there are a huge variety of styles to choose from. What I aim to do is structure my instruction to meet student’s goals, whether that’s playing in an orchestra, fiddling, playing a guitar solo, or electric violin with a rock band.”

Downs joined the Rancho Canyon Music staff in 2005.

Downs' standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Corey Townley

Corey Townley - Drums and Percussion

Corey has offered private drum and percussion instruction for nearly 10 years in South Orange County. Whether you are playing in school or in a band it is his goal to help you excel. Here are some examples of what you will learn: drumset (rock, jazz, blues, latin, double bass, etc...), how to jam with a bass player, correct technique, rudiments, songs, drumline, note reading/writing and stick tricks. Corey works with students age 6 and above and is one of the most popular drum instructors in the area...just ask his students and their parents!

Corey is a certified CUSD volunteer and coaches the percussionists at Bernice Ayer middle school in San Clemente. He also is employed by the Saddleback Valley School District and coaches the percussionists at La Paz Middle School in Mission Viejo.

Corey has been teaching at Rancho Canyon Music since 2003.

Corey's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Danny Nasol

Danny Nasol - Piano

Danny Nasol has been a piano teacher for 15 years. Music has been a major part of his life growing up, with the influence of his mother, who was a composer and had a major in piano. Danny started playing piano when he was 5. He eventually studied at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and acquired more of his artistry and techniques with Erna Gulabyan. Playing the piano was not his only passion in music but he also enjoys composing. He has composed music from popular music to classical piano genres. Danny has entered his classical pieces in MTAC's Composers Today in the last 10 years and has won every year. He does not just teach theory to his students but encourages them to compose their own piano music. Danny specializes in assisting his students to develop song writing and strong piano technique. He teaches beginners to advance with all styles, from classical to jazz and popular music. He also enjoys oil painting, being a nurse and playing music with his family.

Danny joined Rancho Canyon Music's staff in 2004.

Danny's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Henry Alexander

Henry Alexander - Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Piccolo, Alto, Soprano, Tenor, and Baritone Saxophones

Henry Alexander is an amazing instructor, performer and musical artist. He has more than 20 years of experience in the performing arts, both as a live performer and as a sought-after studio session player. Henry has now spent more than a decade as a private music instructor, giving young musicians insights and disciplines that only a mentor of his caliber can provide.

Henry specializes in all Woodwind instruments, including but not limited to Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Flute, Piccolo, Alto, Soprano, Tenor, and Baritone Saxophones. His students quickly and confidently grasp important musical concepts including theory, harmony, song arranging and musicianship, and they have fun doing it!

As an accomplished musician, Henry performs and records – and as a result, also teaches - diverse styles of music such as Classical, Jazz, Contemporary/Smooth Jazz, R&B, Blues, Funk, Pop, Rock, Latin, Hip Hop, Fusion and Ethnic music.

As a talented and gifted saxophonist, Henry has performed in such places as House of Blues, B.B. King’s, The Coach House, Galaxy Theatre, Juice Joint in San Diego, Sheraton Hotels , Shilo Hill Top, and far too many Jazz Festivals to list!

Rancho Canyon Music and Henry’s relationship goes back many years, and we are pleased to have added this outstanding musician and instructor to our staff!

Henry's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Sean Billings

Sean Billings - Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Bugle, etc...

Sean Billings has a vast amount of professional experience, both as an instructor and as a performing musician. Sean currently plays with the Grammy Award Winnng Brian Setzer Orchestra. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist and an AllCity Recordings Artist.

Sean's students will see great improvement in their Tone, Range, Flexibility, Music Theory & Harmony, all necessary elements to be a successful Performer.

Sean also focuses special attention on Audition Preperation so you can get the "gig" that you really want!

Sean joined Rancho Canyon Music's staff in 2007.

Sean's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.



Tyler Page

Tyler Page - Guitar

Tyler has quickly become one of the most popular guitar teachers in the area! Tyler started his Guitar career as a student at Rancho Canyon Music, at the age of 12. By 15, he was teaching other kids in his neighborhood who wanted to learn how to play, while increasing his own skills. In 2008 we offered Tyler the opportunity to co-teach our Summer Guitar Camp, and he was an incredible success, as most of the students wanted to continue taking private lessons with him. He continues to teach the Summer program and now has a busy private schedule as well, focusing on the basics of playing as well as teaching young shredders the secrets to advanced lead guitar playing.

Tyler has been teaching at Rancho Canyon Music since 2006.

Tyler's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


David Wright

David Wright - Guitar, Bass Guitar

David has been teaching in Southern California for over 20 years. Since his studies at Fullerton College and U.C. Irvine, he has spent his time teaching Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Composition, as well as performing as a solo artist and in various rock and jazz ensembles. His acoustic guitar CD, "Americana", on Casierra Records has won critical acclaim. He now keeps a busy schedule teaching, performing, composing (with Kevin Tullius of the L.A. Jazz Quartet and Trio Lesento) and doing occasional film work (in the soon to be released "The Clean and the Narrow"). David has recently collaborated with Frank Sibley on the companion CD to the instruction book, "Jazz Guitar Solos".

David joined the Rancho Canyon Music staff in 2003.

David's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.


Rachel Panchal

Rachel Panchal - Voice

Rachel is a professional singer whose credits include: “The Simpsons”, abc’s “The Middle,” Fox Television’s “Glee”, and more.

Rachel obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Music Degree with a Vocal Emphasis at Chapman University where, she took intensive courses in vocal pedagogy (the art of teaching singing lessons), music theory, ear training, and music history, as well as numerous performance classes and ensemble classes.

After Chapman, Rachel pursued her passions to be a professional singer, recording artist, and songwriter. Since graduating she has worked on several TV shows and has worked with several industry professionals such as Judy Stakee (A-list Warner Chappell Music Publisher), Shelly Peiken (Platinum Songwriter-“What A Girl Wants”), Jeff Bova (Grammy Award Winning Producer- Celine Dion, Katy Perry etc.), and more.

Rachel has released two EP’s, a solo EP called “Top of the World,” and a duet, self-titled EP, “Lord & Lady.” Lord & Lady’s debut single, "A Little Longer", won First Prize for Best Group/Duo in the International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA) as well as Best Song of the Month on the online music magazine SongwriterUniverse. More recently, the song earned them Semi-Finalist recognition in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC). Lord & Lady’s music has also had feature spotlights on such platforms as Noisetrade and Wix.com. You can listen to their latest Youtube cover and more: here.

Rachel uses her industry and performance knowledge in combination with her vocal and music knowledge in her lessons. She really enjoys spurring on the creativity and skill of others, and absolutely adores watching people grow in their knowledge and skill in music. Her goal is to help her students find their voice and confidence using musical styles they love. She wants to see her students be the absolute best performer, singer, and musician they can be!

Rachel joined Rancho Canyon Music' s family in August 2010.


Rachel's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.



Paul Cruz - Bass Guitar, Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Ukulele, Rock School Guru

Paul started playing music at the age of 16 with a bass given to him by his father. Later on that year (2003) he joined the Rancho Canyon Music front desk staff and eventually became the front desk manager. After four years of working in the shop Paul started teaching outside the store, then at the school during Guitar Summer Camp. He quickly started getting requests to teach at RCM, and he’s been teaching here ever since!

Paul has played in original bands and has played venues including the Coach House, Chain Reaction, and the Whiskey A Go-Go, among many others! Paul has recently taken a break from playing in bands to focus on his students but still attends various “Jam Nights” around town and can be found on Sundays playing at Hope Crossing Church in San Juan Capistrano!

His dad is Bobby Cruz, a well known local professional musician, who has previously played and recorded with the Righteous Brothers, and currently plays at Saddleback Church in the "Overdrive" Tent.

Paul's standard tuition rate is $35 per lesson - 1 lesson each week for 30 minutes.
Please call us at (949) 589-7688 for availability and more specific tuition questions.

Also Teaching at Rancho Canyon Music:

Katherine Buck - Piano - since 2003




All tuition rates are subject to change without notice.

Rancho Canyon Music