Darrell has owned the music school since 1989. He earned a BA in Music Education at San Francisco State University and an MA in Piano Pedagogy at San Jose State University. He has also won CreaTV’s best director for his television show Maestro Darrell’s Music Workshop. His mission is to make music affordable, fun and educational to as many young musicians as possible.
Greg FarbizioVocal Director
Greg has been with Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music from the very beginning when he became Vocal Director in 1994. He earned Bachelor of Music at San Jose State University with an emphasis on Music Education. Many of his students have gone on t much bigger things; Tracy Cruz, a recording artist, Brianna Feldman an actress in American Girl, and Thia Megia, a top ten finalist in American Idol. Greg is very much involved in his church as choir director and is very dedicated to his students
Paden Schmidt has been studying music for over a decade. As a teenager, he played in several blues, rock, and metal bands before going on to study music at San Jose State where he earned his Bachelors in Music Composition studying under the great Pablo Furman. Now, he continues to study privately and plays in and leads several ensembles which are active all over the bay area. He has been teaching for over 5 years and is deeply committed to the constant growth and improvement of his students. He enjoys reading and going to the beach on weekends.”
Aaron started working at Darrell Leffler's in his senior year of college back in the end of 2012. He graduated in 2013 from SJSU with a Bachelor's of Music in music composition. While in school, he wrote for many different classical chamber groups, but has since focused on more contemporary ensembles. He plays in a modern classical guitar quartet called Night Owl Quartet, with fellow guitar teacher Paden Schmidt, and also plays electric bass guitar in a soul/funk/rock group, Wax Hunters, also with Darrel Leffler teachers, Paden Schmidt and Helen Orzel.
Jordan grew up in his dad’s music school. Since the age of 10, he accompanied his dad to all the after school music programs, Milpitas Rainbow Singer rehearsals, and the group piano classes. He is also the primary saxophone instructor. Jordan is currently studying business and playing college baseball, and co founder of Baseball Buddies Foundation, a not for profit organization that donates used baseball equipment to impoverished children all over the world.
Talia VenancioPiano and Clarinet
Talia started teaching in 2016 but was once a child taking lessons at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music. She studied music with Darrell from the age of 10 all the way through college. She knows the philosophy of Darrell Leffler's Academy of Music and the method of teaching music theory very well. Talia graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies in Preparation for Teaching, and a B.A. in French. She will begin the Masters/Multiple Subject Teaching Credential Program in the Fall of 2017. Besides playing piano and clarinet, she loves reading, camping, crocheting, and traveling.
Guitarist Daniel Yarritu plays electric guitar, steel string and nylon string guitars. Classically trained, his music covers a wide range of styles of guitar music from early to modern music. He is also heavily influenced by American jazz and music from other cultures, making for a style that reflects the influence of the San Francisco Bay Area’s culture. Daniel has been performing and teaching throughout the Bay Area since 1995, working solo and with numerous artists ranging from singer songwriters to instrumental jazz artists. Daniel performs regularly with the James Robinson Group.
Matthew grew up in his dad’s music school. Since the age of 8, he accompanied his dad to all the after school music programs, Milpitas Rainbow Singer rehearsals, and the group piano classes. At the early age of 15, Matthew was the President of Baseball Buddies Foundation, a not for profit organization that donates used baseball equipment to impoverished children all over the world. Matthew plays classical music on the piano and Jazz on the trumpet. He was in his first band, as singer and trumpet player for Little Boy Blues, at the age of 10. He will be entering his first year in college at De Anza community college to pursue a computer animation degree.
Minh is currently the Choir Teacher at Oak Grove High School and has taught at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music since 1998. Minh has earned his Bachelor of Music at San Jose State University and teaches vocal, piano and guitar lessons. He also speaks fluent Vietnamese and is the proud father of two daughters.
Gina is a student at San Jose State University and will graduate with her BA in Child and Adolescent Development and a minor in Special Education in Spring 2019, as she strives to become a Special Education Teacher. Gina has known Darrell Leffler since she was in Kindergarten. She was in his Rainbow Singers group, then she joined his group piano class from early elementary until her last years of high school. Gina loves to play piano whenever there’s one available. While taking piano with Darrell Leffler, Gina also took voice and choir classes with Greg Farbizio. First a student and now a teacher! After Gina learned piano, she noticed that it helped her to learn other instruments: guitar, ukulele, and the soprano saxophone. Besides singing and playing various instruments, Gina loves spending time with family, being involved in her Christian group at SJSU, drawing, attending concerts of various genres. Gina hopes that her students will develop curiosity for music in addition to piano skills while in her Discovery class.