Located in a charming Craftsman on Fremont Avenue in South Pasadena, Green Brooms Music Academy offers music lessons for all ages with professionally trained instructors. Open since 2013, the academy provides instruction to more than 200 students on a weekly basis in singing, as well as a variety of instruments including the piano, cello, drums, guitar and ukulele. Green Brooms Music Academy offers mostly private lessons, although it does provide group classes as well. Students are of all ages, ranging from children to senior citizens.
“We have a lot of beginners, intermediate and advanced students, as well as people who took lessons when they were younger,” said Manuel Lozano, owner of Green Brooms Music Academy. “Maybe they didn’t like their teacher or they didn’t stick with it, but they’re ready to give it another try. We had a four-year-old that started playing the drums and his skills were unbelievable — he was quite the performer. Some kids are ready at the age of four, others are ready when they’re seven or eight. Our goal here is to inspire students so that they enjoy the entire process of music education. If along the way they become successful or decide that they want to take this on as a future career, that’s beautiful, but it’s not what we’re about.”
Previously, Lozano founded Green Brooms Music School in Santa Monica with his former business partner, Gyllian, who has since taken ownership of that thriving location. Combining her experience as a musician with Lozano’s business background, the duo created an extremely successful music school before expanding to South Pasadena.
“I had a vision of a beautiful music school in a neighborhood that was a combination of business and residential,” said Lozano. “I chose South Pasadena because art and music are such an integral part of the community. We had a teacher that was living out here and I fell in love with the city. There just happened to be a space available and we started out with three rooms here—now we have the entire building. We find that a lot of students come here because they feel comfortable. There’s no judgment, only love and support here.”
The academy also holds two recitals every year, which are optional for students to participate in. They have one in the spring and another in winter. Performances take place at the Masonic Lodge and are overseen by Alex Domingo, the recital director. More than half of the students perform in the recitals, which feature solo performances and duets, as well as collaborations between students and teachers.
“For anyone who is interested in learning to sing or play an instrument, give us a call or come by,” said Lozano. “We like to have that personal touch where we’re able to have a conversation with the student about his or her goals and experience. With voice lessons for example, there are certain instructors that are more suited to teach different genres of music such as classical or pop. Or maybe a student has a preference for a male of female instructor. We also want to know what the student’s favorite songs are and what they’re interested in learning to play. Doing this sets up the process for success both ways: the instructor does a great job at inspiring and educating, and the student gets really motivated and learns a lot in the process.”
One thing that Lozano frequently hears from students is that they love the relationship with their teachers and enjoy the fact that their teachers find ways to customize the curriculum to teach them the language of music and music theory. Students also enjoy working with songs they like and are inspired by, in addition to being introduced to new music.
“Most of our teachers have been here since we opened,” said Lozano. “They’re all professional musicians—some work in film and television, others are session musicians or singer-songwriters. One of our instructors is a professional violinist who works for the Fresno Philharmonic. We have the best voice instructors in Los Angeles, which is the hardest instructor to find. They teach everyone from beginners to advanced students and are all highly educated in vocal anatomy and technique. The teachers are really the strength of our business.”
When hiring new instructors, Green Brooms Music Academy puts applicants through a rigorous process that includes phone interviews, online screening, in-person interviews and a test lesson with the academy’s administrator.
Green Brooms Music Academy is also involved with the local community and loves giving back to others. They donate music lessons to countless silent auctions and events at schools and other charitable organizations within a five-mile radius, and twice a year they partner with the South Pasadena Educational Foundation (SPEF) to offer music lessons for $10, which they then donate to SPEF. They’ve also participated in the Arts Crawls by hosting concerts and perform Christmas carols at the city’s tree lighting ceremony.
“As a professional actor, I have a passion for the arts and education,” said Lozano. “I have a six-year-old who takes piano and voice lessons, and it’s wonderful to be able to share that experience with other families. We have an amazing staff that supports this program and takes care of the students, as well as the teachers. It’s been really beautiful watching this place grow. I love it when a student comes in for the very first time to take an introductory lesson and walks out with a smile. Seeing them happy and excited to come back is the most rewarding part of it all.”
Green Brooms Music Academy is located at 803 Fremont Ave. in South Pasadena. It is open Monday – Thursday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Sunday. For more information, call (626) 808-4031 or visit greenbrooms.com.
Green Brooms Music Academy Business Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 7.26.19. Support Local Business.