Ricky Sebastian is one of the premier musicians and music educators in the New Orleans area. Born in Opelousas, Louisiana, Ricky started taking drum lessons at the age of eight and excelled due to the tutelage of two great band directors: Carl DeLeo and Carl Schexnayder. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana on a full scholarship and later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on a partial scholarship. He has gained experience in playing different styles of music such as Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Traditional New Orleans music, Carnival music, Brazilian, Reggea, Calypso, Funk, Rock, R&B, Cajun, and Zydeco. Over 18 years, Ricky built a career in New York City as an “in demand” recording and touring artist with a who’s who in the Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, Funk, and Fusion genres. Ricky taught private lessons and group classes for the infamous Drummer’s Collective and The New School for Social Research, both located in New York City. He moved back to New Orleans in 1998 and was the head percussion instructor at the University of New Orleans under the direction of Ellis Marsalis for the following six years and is currently an adjunct instructor there. In addition to teaching at Spreading the Music, he is also on the faculty of the Don Jamison Heritage School of Music, also in New Orleans. He also spearheaded The World Music Ensemble and The UNO Percussion Ensemble. He released his first CD as a leader in 2001 entitled The Spirit Within on STR Digital Records featuring the likes of Donald Harrison Jr., Bill Summers, Steve Masakowski, Randy Brecker, and Peter Martin. He has also released a drum set instruction book/CD entitled Independence on the Drum Set, published by Hal Leonard in 2005. He is an active clinician for Zildjian cymbals, LP percussion, Remo drumheads, Pearl Drums, and Pro-Mark drumsticks.
Read more about Ricky Sebastian here!
- Beginner Drumset Lessons
- Intermediate Drumset Lessons
- Advanced Drumset Lessons
- Mastering Rhythm on All Instruments and Voice
Brayden Turner was raised in New Orleans in a musical household (his step-father is guitarist and vocalist Billy Iuso). Because of his musical upbringing and education, he has been able to share the stage with the likes of George Porter Jr., Terence Blanchard, and others. He has also toured with two bands (Mosie and Lilacs) and played at numerous festivals such as The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, and South by Southwest.
While growing up in New Orleans, he attended the Heritage School of Music, The Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp, and the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) during high school. He first began taking private drum lessons from Johnny Vidacovich at age 11. Some of the other New Orleans masters he has studied under include Donald Harrison, Ricky Sebastian, Michael Pellera, Chris Severin, Kidd Jordan, and more.
Brayden received a full tuition scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance. While attending Berklee, he received a first-rate education with some of the premier masters of drumming and music in the world.
Brayden’s approach to teaching is centered around creating a strong foundation in the fundamentals of technique, reading, and groove. He places a strong emphasis on organized and effective practice which leads to the freedom to have as much fun playing as possible!
- Beginner Drums
- Intermediate Drums
- Advanced Drums
|Monday||10am - 8pm|
|Tuesday||10am - 3pm, 5pm - 8pm|
|Wednesday||10am - 4pm|
|Thursday||10am - 4pm|
|Friday||10am - 8pm|
|Saturday||10am - 8pm|
|Sunday||10am - 8pm|
Danielle Ryce is enthusiastic about encouraging a strong foundation in theory and technique to have the ability to play many genres. A Loyola University Of New Orleans graduate of ‘14, Danielle has a degree in Violin Performance and Music Industry. At Loyola, she participated in both the Loyola Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, conducted by Dr. Jean Montes. In her senior year, Danielle held the position of Concertmaster in chamber orchestra. Growing up in Slidell, she studied under Ann Taylor Casadaban and later with Rachel Jordan at Loyola. Both instructors are past members of the LPO. In addition to classical ensembles, Danielle co-leads a band called Nyce!, a pop-rock group of original music in which she sings and plays violin. You can also catch her in the Quarter or on Frenchmen Street on the weekends, playing with her band and other original groups or singing jazz.
- Beginner Violin
- Intermediate Violin
- Advanced Violin
Anthony Del Barrio
- Beginner Piano
- Intermediate Piano
- Advanced Piano
Jazz & Classical Voice
Claire Givens is a singer, band leader, and songwriter based in New Orleans. Raised in Louisiana by classically trained musician parents, Claire has participated in All-State, National, and Regional Honor Choirs since she was in elementary school. Claire studied Music Education at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. She then developed a love of jazz music after being selected as the vocalist for the Northwestern Jazz Band. After moving to the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Claire earned a degree in Vocal Music and Musical Theatre playing lead roles in Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods, Die Fledermaus, and The Old Maid and the Thief. Claire was a featured soloist in the world renowned composer Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir Fly to Paradise video, which has over a million views. Claire spends her time singing at Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal Church and leads the jazz band Claire & the Company along with the electronic contemporary project People Museum.
- Beginner Jazz Voice Lessons
- Intermediate Jazz Voice Lessons
- Advanced Jazz Voice Lessons
- Beginner Classical Voice Lessons
- Intermediate Classical Voice Lessons
- Advanced Classical Voice Lessons
Drum & Percussion Teacher
Torontonian born transplant, Aaron Walker has called New Orleans home since the summer of 2011. Aaron grew up playing a variety of instruments: oboe, piano, and tenor saxophone, but he ultimately landed on the drum set and has over 17 years playing experience.
Aaron studied Jazz Studies at York College in Toronto. While attending, he was exposed to both folkloric Ghanaian and a variety of Brazilian music such as Samba, Afoxé, Maracatu, Partido Alto, to name a few. Upon moving to the south, Aaron got his start in the New Orleans music scene playing with Soul/Funk/Jam act, Gravy, with whom he has toured and played across the United States.
Aaron plays with many local acts including singer/songwriter Jon Roniger and the Good For Nothing Band, funk/soul band Soul Project and fusion/neo-soul act Roccadile, to name a few. He also leads his own organ group, Organami. Aaron is also an enthusiastic teacher who specializes in RnB, fusion, rock, jazz and Latin styles of music on the drum set. He offers a hands-on approach based on fundamentals and good practice habits. He is passionate about his students and wants to make sure they learn the art and find their own voice and Spread the Music. You can also check out his weekly beats on his Instagram page @beatwalker07.
- Beginner Drumset/Percussion
- Intermediate Drumset/ Percussion
- Advanced Drumset/ Percussion
- Brazilian World Music
Born and raised in Orange County, Virginia, Kelby first picked up the flute at the age of eleven when she joined her middle school band. Under the tutelage of her middle and high school directors, Nicole Miller, Jeffrey Tylutki, and Lauren Visel, Kelby excelled as a flautist, and in 2009 she was selected to attend the Virginia Summer Residential Governor’s School for Visual and Performing Arts. By her senior year, Kelby became the first student from her high school to make the Virginia All State Band and Orchestra.
After high school, Kelby received the Courtney Adams Music Scholarship to attend Franklin and Marshall College to study music. While at Franklin & Marshall, Kelby performed in multiple ensembles including the F&M Chamber Singers, the F&M Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the F&M orchestra, and the college’s top instrumental ensemble the F&M Philharmonia. As a junior Kelby was awarded the prestigious Nolt Music Award, providing a $3000 grant allowing her to pursue a yearlong rigorous study in conducting, in which she conducted the difficult Symphonie Fantastique under the mentorship of her orchestra director and conducting professor Dr. Brian Norcross.
Upon graduation from Franklin & Marshall, Kelby was accepted to the 2014 Teach for America Corps, where she went on to teach high school band and general music in Humphreys County, Mississippi. Over the next two years in Mississippi, Kelby discovered a passion in teaching music to students of low-income communities. After finishing her two years in Mississippi, Kelby moved to New Orleans to teach music and take in the rich and diverse music culture, and she looks forward to continue sharing her passion of music with her students here!
- Beginner Flute
- Intermediate Flute
- Advanced Flute
Electric Bass Teacher
Evan is a professional musician who plays electric and upright bass, and teaches bass and adaptive music lessons. He received his B.A. in Psychology from UW-Milwaukee which allowed him to work for 6 years as a behavioral therapist treating patients with autism. While at UWM, Evan also studied and played jazz, and was an understudy of the legendary Bill “The Buddha” Dickens and Neal Chandek. Evan performs professionally in numerous groups both regionally and nationally, applying his skills and experience to a variety of genres including, but not limited to: jazz, blues, gypsy jazz, rock, pop, R&B, soul, neo soul, urban jazz, latin, funk, reggae, avant garde, and improv. Evan has over 4 years of experience teaching beginning to advanced students in a conservatory setting. His students have gone on to receive scholarships from Berklee School of Music and have learned the value of playing music as an enriching life long experience. He has recording credits on over a dozen albums, was awarded Bass Player of the Year by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry in 2015, and in 2013 was a featured solo performer at MKE Bass Day. He has also performed at the NAMM show as a soloist on various occasions and was voted Runner-up for Best Jazz Artist by the Shepherd Express. Evan’s relationship with music is significantly informed by improvisation. He believes it is the responsibility of a musician to become an open window through which this language can pass, and to understand music as the contribution of an articulate dialog to a greater conversation, the topic of which is betterment of self and community. (www.evanpaydon.com).
- Beginner Electric Bass
- Intermediate Electric Bass
- Advanced Electric Bass
You can find Jennie Lavine around town performing klezmer, early jazz and Brazilian choro. She is the founder of Klezmephonic, an Ann Arbor-based klezmorim. She has been a member of the Capitol City Opera Company in the Atlanta area and swing, blues, and klezmer groups throughout the U.S.
Of her teaching philosophy, she says, “I believe a foundation in classical technique is invaluable for branching off into other musical styles. I’ve taught students of all ages over the past ten years, and I like to help people find music that ignites their creativity and inspires them. I especially enjoy guiding young minds and ears.”
Her teaching is individualized to the students, their interests, their background in music and the way they learn. The beauty of one-one-one lessons, she says, is the flexibility to tailor her teaching style to be in tune with the students.
Jennie has a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University, where she had the good fortune of studying clarinet with Ted Gurch, assistant principal clarinet of the Atlanta symphony. She also studied with Richard Faria, professor of clarinet at the Ithaca College School of Music, for six years. Other influential teachers include Robin Seletsky and Seth Kibel.
- Beginner Clarinet
- Intermediate Clarinet
- Advanced Clarinet
Voice, Piano & Guitar Teacher
Ellie Crandall is a dedicated and accomplished vocalist with a high level of experience in classical and jazz performance. She holds a strong passion for all things musical, following the belief that music can change lives for the better. Ellie provides students with building techniques to develop talent and creativity within themselves engaging in one-on-one and in small group sessions.
- Beginner Voice
- Intermediate Voice
- Advance Voice
- Beginner Piano
- Intermediate Piano
- Beginner Guitar
Piano & Cello Teacher
Anuraag Pendyal, a native of Durham, NC, moved to New Orleans in October 2015 after two years of playing and teaching music in Washington, DC. He has played piano since he was five years old and cello since he was 13. Anuraag has performed both solo and in ensembles across a varied spectrum of genres and styles, including jazz, classical, hip-hop, bossa nova, and blues. Through traveling, he has been exposed to the musical perspectives of traditions from Southern Morocco to Anatolia to India, and aims to impart to his students both a technical understanding of theory and their instruments as well as an awareness of the diversity of musical experience and its interdisciplinary value. Anuraag graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 and performs frequently around New Orleans with a number of groups.
- Beginner Cello
- Intermmediate Cello
- Beginner Piano
- Intermediate Piano
- Advanced Piano
Growing up in the contrasting environments of Northstate California and West Africa, Sam Dickey first started playing guitar at age ten. He earned his Bachelor’s from Berklee College of Music and a later his Master’s from Wesleyan University. Sam’s teaching experience includes leading an ensemble at Wesleyan, master classes at Lafayette Sumer Music Workshop and Jalopy School of Music, and extensive private teaching. He has studied under Mick Goodrick, Dave Tronzo, Djelimady Tounkara, and Rick Peckham. As a performer, Sam has worked with Toumani Diabaté, Dayna Stephens, Tank and the Bangas, and Toubab Krewe.
- Intermediate Guitar Lessons
- Advanced Guitar Lessons
Violeta del Río del Castillo
Violeta started playing piano when she was 6 years old. She graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid at the age of 17 in Classical Piano Performance. Violeta was taught and mentored by the Argentinian teacher Noemí Novara, a former student of the famous Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau. With Noemí, Violeta won several national piano competitions and one international. She also worked as a piano assistant in several different conservatories around Madrid.
Since 2015 she has lived New Orleans, where she is an active performer around town and has taught in several schools, such as the University of New Orleans, The New Orleans Jazz Institute, and now at Spreading the Music!
- Beginner Piano Lessons
- Intermediate Piano Lessons
- Advanced Piano Lessons
|Available starting April 2017|
- Violin - Beginner
- Violin - Intermediate
- Mandolin - Beginner
Owner & Teacher
Candace Crawford is the owner and founder of Spreading the Music Schools and a private music teacher. She graduated with her bachelors in Music Education and Oboe Performance at the outstanding Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. She specializes in oboe/English horn, violin and piano and has an extended private music studio. Ms. Crawford has a wide range of experience in teaching large bands and orchestras, chamber music, instrument specific sectionals and group lessons, All-County and All-State preparation, conducting, instrumental repair, and reed making. Her goal is to continue to dynamically spread the music to all who will listen. Her deep passion for a high quality teaching, in-depth lessons, planned instruction, and inspiring both student and teachers continues to drive her to increase enrollment and create innovative classes. Ms. Crawford can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact her directly if you have any questions or concerns about enrollment, billing, teacher pairing, classes or events.
- Beginner Piano
- Intermediate Piano
- Beginner Violin
- Intermediate Violin
- Beginner Oboe
- Intermediate Oboe
- Advanced Oboe
- Beginner Flute
|Monday||10:30am - 2:00pm|
“If everyone started off the day singing, just think how happy they’d be”
“Part of it is getting to work one on one with these kids. Rounding out their brain and watching them grow up at the same time. I get to develop relationships with these kids as they grow and get to share with them my favorite thing ever. They don’t get that with their teachers at school. Those teachers have a little bit more on their plate. Getting close to these kiddos is fun!”
Spreading the Music Piano Teacher
“As teacher it helps to give back. I grew so much respect for my teachers. Having a dedicated teacher who is invested in their student is something that I always wanted to give back, because I received that. My teacher made me want to be a teacher and helped me see how important it is to expose kids to as much as possible.”
Spreading the Music Woodwind Teacher
“Music can affect people in a way nothing else can. You can play music to someone who doesn’t have the knowledge but it still have a positive valuable reaction. Either it be their mood, emotion or intelligence”
Spreading the Music Electric bass teacher
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I spread the music, WE spread the music, it’s what we do. It is the most intrinsically valuable, powerful and rewarding experience you can possibly offer someone. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?”
“I started playing my first instrument when I was 34. I just went for it! I couldn’t bear to hear my self say ‘I always wanted to play the guitar’ again. And it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I would never turn back”
Current Spreading the Music Student