History of Oak Valley Music Academy
OVMA began mid 2008. Willi Rose, a local piano teacher, drove from one house to another and the number of clients grew so much that there just wasn't enough time in the day! The word “studio” kept coming to mind and so she began to explore the possibilities. The husband of one of her students just started a new business of helping people develop business plans. That's how the “studio” germ developed into a full-fledged multi-studio business plan. When the idea was presented to Greg Shultz who owns Oak Valley Piano (and his three children are Willi's students as well) he suggested moving the studio directly next door and become his neighbor on Dunlap in Yucaipa. Since then, the studio has moved to a location across from the Yucaipa High School on Yucaipa Blvd.
The idea grew until it happened. Finding instructors was not difficult. They seemed to just appear when they were needed! Each one has his/her own story of how they came to be part of Oak Valley Music Academy.
Willi Rose is the founder and President of Oak Valley Music Academy which was formed in July 2008.
Beginning piano at age 5 and voice at age 8, she began teaching piano during her high school years while she was completing the Sherwood Music School Piano Course. She was “courted” by Azusa College (before it became Azusa Pacific University) and she was the first student pianist to tour with the concert choir. She was chosen by the vocal teachers to be their accompanist and coach for the vocal students. That meant a knowledge of the Italian, German and English pronunciation. Her degrees are in piano and music theory. Higher degrees include a teaching credential, masters in choral conducting and record production.
From college Willi earned her teaching credential and taught instrumental music in the local schools. She was also the music director for St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights while continuing study on the organ and voice.
She took a sidestep from piano for about 25 years and went into radio broadcasting. She was a personality in both music and news, working in both Central and Southern California. Clear Channel was her radio home in Central California where she worked on six stations doing morning drive news and talk and afternoon traffic and a live separate news program…all simultaneously. In Southern California, she was instrumental as chairman of the committee that put together the new Emergency Alert System for Riverside/San Bernardino Counties.
Willi came back to music in 2003. Since then she formulated and created the Oak Valley Music Academy.
Over the years, Willi has written and produced several musical storybooks for children. Two were written specifically for professional ball clubs: Lake Elsinore Storm and the Louisville Redbirds. They are audio and book form and the titles include "Ajuna," "Ajuna and the Invisible Seeds," "Nigel and the Rhino," "The Adventures of Hamlet," "The Adventures of Billy Bird," and "Lucky Mo. Click here for the stories.
Mission Statement: My piano students learn, not only the fundamentals of proper hand placement, rhythm and note reading, but also the three primary chords in all major and minor keys and all the major and minor scales. Sightreading and music theory is strongly important for each student to be able to take a piece of music and read it correctly without ever having seen or having heard the song before. Plus, if the beat is not correct, you can't dance!
My voice students learn how to sing properly through many different exercises put together to strengthen certain parts of the voice. Breathing exercises and enunciation exercise take a huge part of the lesson. I don't teach popular music because I feel a student should learn music that is specifically written for the voice. Once they learn the proper way to sing, through breathing, enunciation, use of the tongue and placement of the voice, they'll be able to sing anything. I do use Italian as a fundamental exercise (Vaccai) and exercises with "Building Beautiful Voices," by Paul Nesheim (who just happens to be one of my former students!).
Member of the Music Teachers Association California, Redlands Chapter, and ASCAP publisher.
Julie has been with the Academy since 2009 after her husband, Ian, encouraged her to use her talent with young children. She home-schools her four children and saw the potential of working with Little Mozart classes.
Julie spent 11 years in piano instruction from the time she was six years old. Music has been an important part of her life before and after her marriage to Ian Smith. She took part in both High School and College Choirs.
Julie has spent her time with the Academy increasing her piano techniques and not, only teaches Little Mozarts, Early Piano but is very capable of teaching older students through all levels of instruction.
Patrick has been teaching saxophone, flute, banjo, guitar, voice, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and trumpet at the Academy since its inception in 2008. He repairs woodwind instruments on the side. He has been teaching and performing music professionally for over 25 years.
He started at age four with accordion lessons and continued with various styles of keyboard study. His musical experience expanded when he learned to play saxophone and strings (violin and cello) in various school music programs such as district honor bands, the Tournament of Roses Honor Band and many jazz/rock, concert/symphonic and marching ensembles. After high school, Patrick continued his musical career as a performer in the U.S. Marine Corps where he played flute and clarinet.
Ian Smith has been a guitar and vocal instructor for the Academy since 2008 when the school began. He teaches the chord method and has produced many fine guitarists and singers.
He picked up his first guitar after seeing the movie La Bamba in 1988. After only six months of study, he was asked to play for his church youth group and he’s been playing and singing ever since.
Twenty-four years later, he plays regularly for the church’s main services and teaches the School of Rock.
In addition to being self-taught in guitar, Ian is also trained vocally.
He’s married to Julie Smith and they have 4 children. Ian lived with his family in Yucaipa since 2001 and moved to the Banning area in 2011.
Roxanne Cardona is a singer, keyboardist, and composer. At the age of eight, Roxanne taught herself how to play the piano, and sharpened her music skills through performing in both instrumental and vocal ensembles throughout her education and career. Roxanne has received numerous musical awards and academic scholarships for her compositions and performances. Roxanne holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from California State University Fullerton, where she received classical vocal training as well as a formal education music history, literature, theory and techniques.
Currently, Roxanne is working on a few collaborative endeavors such as contributing original music for a non-profit production company, Koushou Productions, writing musical scores for audiobooks written by author Tonya Adolfson. and performing as a lead singer in a rock band, Compass Call. Roxanne performance experience also includes solo gigs for special events and opera or musical theatre productions. One of the highlights in her musical career was performing at the Riviera Cultural Center in Ensenada Mexico, as the Second Lady/Sprite in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Roxanne continues to pursue her endeavors as an independent music artist by creating vocal, piano, and electronic-influenced works. She is currently working on The Channels Project- five “Celestial Soul” musical pieces, inspired by channeling the spirit within. Her plans in the near future include performing a concert of these original works, as well as performing the music of various genres and composers she has studied over the years.
Along with performing and composing, Roxanne also teaches individual instruction of piano and voice lessons. “It is important for me to express myself through music. One of my artistic goals as a well-rounded musician is to stay open-minded to various forms of music and art.”
Shannon Maxwell has been an actress, singer, writer and performer all her life! Growing up in a musical and performance-driven family, she has been surrounded by the arts since day one. Shannon is trained in theatre (honorary Thespian from the Thespian Society, Class of 1999).
She's done film, voice over, musical theatre, improvisation/comedy, singing, dance and modeling. She has worked as a professional actress for: The Renaissance Faire, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (The Edwood Players) and Knotts Scary Farm. Currently, aside from teaching, Shannon is recording music, directing and performing in shows and fundraisers and takes care of her family.
Shannon Maxwell has trained under Delia Surratt. famous European Opera Singer and Performer and female instructor for The Boys Choir for the Pope in Rome. She has performed in productions such as "Fame," "A Rockin Tale of Snow White," "Alice in Wonderland," and Scrooge in "A Suessified Christmas Carol" and Detective in "Clue the Musical." (just to name a few) Directing, Producing and Performing is in her genetic make-up! Classes offered by Shannon Maxwell are: Acting, Comedy Improv, Audition Prep and Little Mozarts.
Sarah Smith has been in several dance classes, shows, and chorus lines within the last 16 years. She has done choreography for many musicals around the Inland Empire; consisting of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, and Alice in Wonderland. She has worked along side with teachers at Gorman Learning Center and has done workshops for Bellajon Theatricals. She is very excited to start working with Oak Valley Academy and can't wait to start teaching students
Call today to have one of our experienced instructors help you achieve your musical goals. We also do Instrumental Repair.