3237 S White Rd, San Jose,
CA 95148, USA
1223 S Park Victoria Dr, Milpitas,
CA 95035, USA

About Us

Our music school offers education that is both quality and fun! We believe that students who have fun learning stay interested and engaged longer. Our goal is to help your child become a lifelong musician.

Our Team

Our instructors are highly-trained and dedicated, with a mission to preserve the art of music for generations to come.

Darrell Leffler

(Director/Owner)
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 Farbizio

(Vocal 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, Brieanne Jansen 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

(Guitar & Piano Instructor)

After growing up playing in rock bands all around the Bay Area, Paden Schmidt studied music at San Jose State where he graduated with a Bachelors in Music Composition. Since then, he has dedicated himself to teaching music with creativity and enthusiasm and performing music every chance he gets. A self-described music nerd, he loves playing and teaching everything from Beethoven to Black Sabbath. And he’s especially fond of music from video games and anime soundtracks.

Aaron Bjorge

(Guitar & Piano Instructor)

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 has performed as a founding member of the Night Owl Quartet, a classical guitar quartet, and as a bass player for the soul/funk band Wax Hunters. He has since ventured out into the electronic music genres as a producer and released several songs with co-writer Paden Schmidt under the name Regal Spiegel. Always wanting to learn more, he is now annoying his roommate by learning to play the alto sax.

Jordan Leffler

(Piano/Saxophone Instructor)

Jordan is a graduate of The Haas School of Business at Berkeley. He recently ended his tenure as CEO of Baseball Buddies Foundation which he held since he was 16 years old. He now works for a Public Relations firm in San Francisco, but is still devoted to music. Jordan is a classical and Jazz pianist, plays the saxophone and the electric bass. Although he is beginning his new career, he remains loyal to his roots at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music where he learned his musical craft and continues to teach piano and saxophone.

Kevin Truong

(Guitar Instructor)

Kevin has been playing guitar since 2012. He has played different genres of songs from rock, heavy metal, classical, pop, and even instrumental. To this day he still loves music and has an even greater passion to teach it to students of all ages!

Like many of our instructors, Kevin was once a student at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music and studied under Minh Thai. He has grown up in our music school and is now sharing the joy of music to the next generation of musicians.

Matthew Leffler

(Private Piano Instructor)

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. Matthew is graduating from UC San Diego with a Math Degree with the emphasis on Computer Science.

Minh Thai

(Vocal & Piano Instructor)

Minh is currently the Choir Instructor 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.


Minh and Darrell were classmates at San Jose State University back in 1998 and have been working side by side ever since.

Gina Marchana

(Piano Instructor)

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 instructor. 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 instructors! 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.

Gina hopes that her students will develop the same interest in music as she did from Darrell and Greg.

Jose Sanchez

(Trumpet & Guitar Instructor)

Jose B. Sanchez is an active trumpet player and Baritone in the San Francisco South Bay Area with experience in classical, jazz, latin, and musical theater genres. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Degree with a concentration in Trumpet Performance from San José State University where he studied with Dr. Kathryn Adduci and John Freeman. He teaches full time at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music in Milpitas, CA and is also the music director for Mariachi Oroazul de SJSU. He is the current Principal trumpet player for the Chabot Wind Symphony in Hayward, CA and has recently joined the Cumbia/Latin music group, Sonora San Jose. As an educator, Jose teaches group piano and guitar classes for ages 6 – 18 and also works with adults in a one-on-one private lesson setting. Jose’s students have auditioned and won seats in several youth ensembles such as: San Jose Youth Symphony; California Youth Orchestra; Mission Peak Youth Symphony; and have also been placed first chairs in their school band/orchestra.
— Additional Info —
In 2017, he joined San Jose Youth Symphony Orchestra as a summer camp counselor and was invited to perform in their tour of Europe. Jose teaches at a handful of music schools in the South Bay Area but primarily at William Hopkins Jr. High School, assisting Mr. Greggory Conway. In 2018, he was hired as a long term substitute music director for Thomas Russell Middle School where he taught band, orchestra, and choir. Currently he is a vocal student of Operachi Songstress and International Artist, Dr. Juanita Ulloa. Jose is cross-training his voice in Mariachi, Classical, and Musical Theater. He was the first to compete singing mariachi at SFBAC NATS in 2020 where he earned a special mention.

Sky Nguyen

(Piano Instructor)

Like Gina, Kevin, Jordan, Matthew and Teia, Sky grew up at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music. His studies with Minh have given him such a love for music that he is now one of our most popular instructors. Sky loves to play the piano and ride his motorcycle.

Jose B. Sanchez is an active trumpet player and Baritone in the San Francisco South Bay Area with experience in classical, jazz, latin, and musical theater genres. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Degree with a concentration in Trumpet Performance from San José State University where he studied with Dr. Kathryn Adduci and John Freeman. He teaches full time at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music in Milpitas, CA and is also the music director for Mariachi Oroazul de SJSU. He is the current Principal trumpet player for the Chabot Wind Symphony in Hayward, CA and has recently joined the Cumbia/Latin music group, Sonora San Jose. As an educator, Jose teaches group piano and guitar classes for ages 6 – 18 and also works with adults in a one-on-one private lesson setting. Jose’s students have auditioned and won seats in several youth ensembles such as: San Jose Youth Symphony; California Youth Orchestra; Mission Peak Youth Symphony; and have also been placed first chairs in their school band/orchestra.

Alec Hatten

Coming Soon
Jose B. Sanchez is an active trumpet player and Baritone in the San Francisco South Bay Area with experience in classical, jazz, latin, and musical theater genres. He holds a Bachelor’s of Music Degree with a concentration in Trumpet Performance from San José State University where he studied with Dr. Kathryn Adduci and John Freeman. He teaches full time at Darrell Leffler’s Academy of Music in Milpitas, CA and is also the music director for Mariachi Oroazul de SJSU. He is the current Principal trumpet player for the Chabot Wind Symphony in Hayward, CA and has recently joined the Cumbia/Latin music group, Sonora San Jose. As an educator, Jose teaches group piano and guitar classes for ages 6 – 18 and also works with adults in a one-on-one private lesson setting. Jose’s students have auditioned and won seats in several youth ensembles such as: San Jose Youth Symphony; California Youth Orchestra; Mission Peak Youth Symphony; and have also been placed first chairs in their school band/orchestra.
1223 S. Park Victoria Milpitas,
California 95035
3237 S. White Road San Jose,
California 95148