Villa Musica is a great place for music lessons for anyone, of all interests, and all ages. The administrative staff is extremely organized, and always friendly. The facility is clean and comfortable, and the staff are excellent. All teachers are knowledgable, patient, and full of talent. And the Board is a very involved group of people who are also practical, strategically-minded and organized. I am very happy to be involved with such a wonderful organization.
Villa Musica has done an incredible job bringing the community together for the love of music. During this pandemic, they have been able to bring joy to children and seniors alike.
Villa Musica's mission is simple and profound: to transform lives through music, by giving access to quality music education to everyone, regardless of age, ability or socioeconomic status. I have been involved with Villa Musica as a performer, volunteer, and board member, for almost all of its existence, and I love watching the organization grow responsibly, while reaching an ever-growing audience ranging from young children in underserved communities to aging populations with dementia and Alzheimer's through its many, diverse, and heartful outreach programs. My own music education at a young age has benefitted me in a million ways in my life, and I am so excited to see this amazing organization making it possible for those who would otherwise have limited or no access to any kind of musical experience.
Villa Musica is thriving and growing, offering more and more outreach programs in an increasing number of schools and neighborhoods each year, reaching out to kids in afterschool programs, but also to other communities like the elderly and military families. Its recent music and memory project with Alzheimer's and dementia patients is one of the many noteworthy contributions of the organization to the community. VM is growing responsibly and sustainably, under capable leadership of its ED and the board. VM is creating beautiful music around the community, and San Diego is lucky to have this organization.
At Villa Musica, lives are transformed through music. I have seen little ones at Logan Heights Library learn to play the violin and the guitar and perform for an audience of supportive community members. I have heard a Community Chorus made up of members ranging from singers with a music degree to singers singing in an ensemble for the very first time sing with commitment and joy. I witnessed a program that allows Alzheimer’s patients to map their life through their musical experiences. I have had the pleasure of conducting our community summer Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. I have seen kids perform in their own rock band or in a guitar ensemble. And this is just a start. Villa Musica is indeed “Transforming Lives Through Music.” The transformative nature of a quality music education is within the reach of all, young, old and in between at Villa Musica as Villa Musica provides financial assistance to those who need it in order to take music lessons. Villa Musica is indeed a great non-profit!
I love Villa Musica. I have been a member of the community chorus for more than 6 years now and still enjoy my weekly singing break. What a fun group! Unpretentious and accessible to everyone. Fiona, chorus director and founder of Villa Musica is a lot of fun and energy. Their music education program reaches out to local schools, underserved communities, retirees and adults serving more than a 1000 people with top notch faculty selected for their quality as musicians and educators. The give free lessons and lend instrument to families eligible in underserved areas. The main location is really convenient for anyone working in the UTC/Sorrento Valley area. Villa Musica has become a significant landmark in the San Diego Music Education Community. Check them out!
I've played with the Villa Musica Summer Orchestra (VMSO) for several years now as a violinist. VMSO has been a great opportunity to connect with other local musicians that want to work together on large orchestral works at a high level, while also providing a fantastic, fun performance for the San Diego community at no cost.
VMSO is but one of many services and programs backed by Villa Musica, and none of these things would be possible without the support, resources, and passion of the people behind the organization. Continuing programs like VMSO requires a large amount of coordination and contribution, from finding the right venues, to acquiring parts to music that's engaging both for the musicians to play and for the audience to listen to. They definitely deserve more support for the efforts put into making these programs happen.
Villa Musica truly embodies its mission of inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to explore the joy and lifelong value of music through education, performance and community engagement. I discovered Villa Musica in 2012 when I participated in a chamber music play-in hosted at its wonderful building in Sorrento Valley. Their summer orchestra program is one of the highlights of my year, when I get to play fun music with a very talented group. There are always musicians in its halls: students young and old taking lessons, faculty teaching or practicing, and swarms of toddlers during summer music camp. Villa Musica's Access Initiative leverages their faculty and expertise in music education to bring programs to underserved communities throughout San Diego. As a member of the Board of Directors, I see firsthand the strength of Villa Musica's cohesive vision, and the dedication of its faculty, staff, and board members in making it come to fruition. Villa Musica is a great non profit!!!
The best part about my position as Director of First Impressions at Villa Musica is seeing all of our students come in for their lessons and group classes every day. My day is filled by notes traveling down the hallway to the desk as students work on their repertoire with their teachers. It's delightful to hear our students progress each week during their lessons and hear about their triumphs over difficult pieces of music from their parents and teachers. I love sitting in on classes out in the community, and watching the children work on holding their violins upright, finding the E string, and working on their "pepp-er-oni pi-zza" rhythms. I am also a student here as well, and have found that my studies are very fulfilling and enriching. I am happy to walk in the front doors every day, and I know that I try to make everyone feel welcome here in our home of music.
My daughter has been taking music lessons at the Villa for several years and we have always been happy with out time there. Her instructors have been wonderful and the staff is friendly, efficient, and professional. But it is the environment at the Villa that is really special. My daughter enjoys her lessons and I enjoy listening to the amazing sounds floating down the hall as all the various lessons and classes are underway. There is so much joy in that noise, even the scratchy notes are making music. It is a wonderful place.
I have been working for Villa Musica for just a little over a year now and I can't speak highly enough of what we do here! I love seeing all the students come in, eager for their lessons and group classes with amazing teaching artists. I also love seeing all of the work they do in the community, because when they say that they are giving the gift of quality music instruction to everyone who seeks it, they really mean it. I am blown away by the high quality instruction that everyone gets, regardless of age or background. They have really built a community around music and performance and it is quite beautiful. If you are looking for a place to learn music in a warm, comforting environment that will still push you to be the best musician you can be, look no further than Villa Musica, you will not be disappointed.
I volunteer at Villa musica and the organization does such a great job teaching and inspiring kids in the music world.
I have been taking part in community chorus for about 4years now and have seen the wonderful work that this organization is doing. I love the fact that they provide musical instrument training for underserved youth in low income areas. I have recently started volunteering with the musical biographies initiative that was started by the director of Villa Musica. It is designed to work with individuals with memory deficits and their care partners and I see the joy in the eyes of the participants as they paint, add photos and incorporate music into books that they assemble of their life story. Such a worthy endeavor! I am proud to be part of this organization both as a participant and volunteer!
I am in awe of all the wonderful work Fiona Chatwin and Villa Musica do to bring music to our communities. With budget cuts and elimination of music programs in schools, their work is much needed. Lastly, as a member of the Community Chorus, I experience first hand what great teachers Fiona and Mark (Polesky) are.
I have been a member of several choirs, and I am very glad I have joined Villa Música. This is a relaxed, fun and friendly experience. The Director instructs in a straightforward manner and every question is answered with enthusiasm. Although performances are scheduled, there seems to be no anxiety about competing with other choirs, or having high expectations of perfection. I think it's important that that everyone hears their section separately to know how the music is supposed to sound, that is musical pieces are taken apart so if you are a soprano or an alto you know exactly how to sing it .
Lots of learning and lots of fun. Sincerely JGS
I teach for Villa Musica's community Outreach and Enrichment programs!
Before Villa Musica, my program was called "The San Diego After-School Strings Program". When the previous manager of the program died, Villa Music took over, kept it going, and even expanded it year after year with more instruments provided, more hours, and another campus served
I'm most proud of our work with Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Angels Catholic schools in Sherman Heights. Students there have up to two hours a week of after-school violin instruction. Some go as far as joining San Diego Youth Symphony!
I've been working for Villa Musica for two years now and absolutely love it. They treat their staff and clients extremely well. As a teacher, it's great to have the infrastructure to support all the admin work involved with scheduling lessons and payments. They also do amazing work in the community, providing access to music to several hundred students!
We learned about Villa Musica by chance through a flier in Malcom X public library. I asked my 6 years old daughter if she wants to try violin classes. From the very first class my daughter fell in love with violin thanks to their teacher; Ms. Shayla is very engaging and patient. She pays attention to every kid in the class. One can see right the way that she knows how to work with children. After we completed the spring course we signed up for one week of summer camp where my daughter worked with different teachers and learned different techniques and skills. She especially enjoyed fiddle playing! Every morning she looked forward to playing her violin with her new friends. Usually shy, she came out of her shell during the the camp. The teachers and the admin staff in Villa Musica are very warm, engaging and skillful to work with children. My daughter now tells me that once a week class is not enough for her... I thank Villa Musica to helping us to foster love for music.
4 years ago I signed my husband up for an adult rock band class thinking he needed a hobby outside of work. After 1 class he decided it was not the right fit-I happily took his spot (though I didn't have an instrument but always wanted to create music in a group setting). I found my niche on keyboards and have been studying hard ever since. It has been a transformative experience that has challenged and expanded my music ability and imagination. I've meet many of the music instructors as the rest of my family decided to take music classes at Villa Musica (guitar, clarinet and voice). It's an amazing group of talented musicians who are patient, motivating and fun to work with.
I have a 5 year old boy who just started at the Villa Musica. We both love this place! It's amazing how fast the kids learn about music!
I have sung with many different choir groups in the past but Villa Musica is by far the best experience I've ever encountered. There is an aura of professionalism in the teaching by Fiona.
She brings up one's spirits and has such enthusiasm and high spirits which passes onto the choir members. Also witnessing the children's lessons is inspiring that someone would dedicate themselves to passing the love of music to us all.
COMMUNITY ! This is what Villa Musica is all about. A community of teachers and students, getting together in their wonderful location of Sorrento Valley, where notes become music, rehearsals after hearsals, lessons after lessons. A community for harmonies, because their venue becomes base-camp for all bands, choirs, and ensembles of musicians who enjoy learning and performing together, when the notes from one become the melody from all. A community for the community, with a dynamic enrichment program, providing highly educated music teachers and state of the art methods to the local school music programs. A community that reaches out to underserved areas, hospital patients and elderly, because making music is therapeutic and provides life-long emotional support, unconditionally. Villa Musica is what your ideal non-profit should be, creating useful, positive, far- and broad-reaching momentum in our society. Villa Musica is with no-doubt a great non-profit.
I love Villa Musica! I've taken individual classes, and participated in their community ensemble. The teachers are amazing, and it's such a fun, positive environment! I constantly recommend their individual classes, as well as their groups for children.
Villa Musica has provided an incredible opportunity for our son to explore his interest in music. He loves learning to play guitar, and attend the end-of-quarter concerts put on by all the students. His guitar teacher, Dr. Jude, is incredible - he's so talented, and so patient with kids. His knowledge of how to effectively teach guitar (even to young children) is amazing. We are so glad we found Villa Musica and are grateful for the gift of music that they have brought our son and our family. Thank you!
My two sons attend this fabulous school for their second year. We relocated to SD from another country and both of my children were not native English speakers. Not only their teachers, Isaac (drums) and Steve (guitar) found a way to teach them through the language barrier, but they did it exceptionally well, engaging the children and making them feel confident and willing to continue their studies and flourish (both attended a musical school before, but the technique and the language were completely different). They love to come to school, progress rapidly and we feel that Villa Musica is becoming our second family. Thank you!
My 4 year old is taking violin lessons here and seems to really look forward to them. The environment is warm, kid friendly (they have toys in the waiting area!), and her instructor is highly seasoned and experienced with young children. We're so grateful to have found Villa Musica!
I have been teaching guitar at Villa Musica since 2007. I also run the Classical Guitar Ensemble, Rock Band program for kids and have a flourishing studio of excited and engaged students. I think the thing I like about Villa Musica the most is the sense of community that it strives to create; not only for the students but for the people who work there too.
Villa Musica pays me as an employee (not as a contractor) and because I am full-time, they pay health insurance too. I have taught guitar for over 20 years and this kind of respectful employment environment is a first for me. I create my own schedule, and teach my own style and the admin team deal with the billing and recruitment for me.
I am encouraged to propose classes/camps that I want to teach and am surrounded by 25 other incredibly diverse teaching artists whose opinions and ideas provide a great forum for discussion on all things musical.
I have known Villa Musica since its Executive Director Fiona Chatwin started the non-profit music education non-profit 11 years ago. It has filled a gap in San Diego’s music community by providing scholarships children and families to help with the cost of music education in a beautiful, safe facility with best in class music faculty. Also unique is Villa Musica’s community partnerships outreach and enrichment programs. The outreach program brings Villa Musica music faculty into local schools to teach classes. Villa Musica also provides musical instruments for the students (many at-risk) to those students who cannot afford one. Villa Musica is working with 250 students at the Logan Heights Library, Malcom X Library, Ronald McDonald House and Carson Elementary in addition to other institutions. Villa Musica’s enrichment program serves more than 600 students in the San Diego community, including Kate Sessions Elementary, Albert Einstein Academy, Urban Discovery Academy and several others. The community ensembles bring together musicians of all ages and ability to share the joy of making music. From beginner groups for strings or guitar, to youth rock bands, to more advanced ensembles for flutists, guitarists, vocalists, and the summer community orchestra, which performed Holst’s The Planets in September 2017 for a diverse audience of more than 500 people at St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown San Diego to standing ovation. I am proud to serve Villa Musica and marvel at the wonderful impact the organization and its teachers have on the youths and adults who participate in the Villa Musica programs.
Now in its 11th year, Villa Musica is a community music school that provides opportunities for personal growth and development through music education to people of all ages in the greater San Diego area. My life has been enriched by my love of music and playing the cello and there's nothing I enjoy more than giving back, either through financial contributions or volunteering my time to help other people discover the joy of making music themselves. At a recent Villa Musica fundraiser I purchased some of my favorite musical notes which composer Jude Wermeir fashioned into a new piece that was performed live at the end of the day. What fun to be a part of the creative process! I'm also supporting Villa Musica's scholarship fund, which enables kids from families who couldn't otherwise afford music lessons, to learn an instrument. Villa Music has outreach programs in San Diego's poorer neighborhoods where kids can get free instruments and free music lessons, which the scholarship program helps to subsidize. Lastly, I love volunteering my time to organize chamber music gatherings for adult amateur players, which Villa Musica has hosted. Many of my most lasting friendships have come through such musical contacts, and it's wonderful to have a local venue that can accommodate such musical gatherings in the community.
Review from #MyGivingStory
Villa Musica is a wonderful Community based non-profit organization providing music lessons and instruments to the underserved communities of San Diego (children, teens, adults and seniors). They also provide lessons at their beautiful and safe music center with highly trained and professional music staff, as well as at local schools throughout the city. Villa Musica offer scholarships and instruments for music students in need of support believing that no one should be denied the opportunity to pursue their musical passion.
My hair's gray and I've never had natural musical ability but Villa Musica has always been a place of welcome and learning for me. I've tripped over kids a small fraction of my age, so it's a wonderful mix. And Fiona Chatwin is smart, talented and untiring. What remarkable gifts she brings to our community. I hope everyone knows about Villa Musica.
I have been playing in the flute choir for several years and love the opportunity to play with a group of delightful like-minded women. So much fun to have an outlet for playing and sharing music with no pressure! VM is unique in that it makes music accessible to absolutely Everyone! The scholarships, outreach programs, and free instruments make it possible for all people to have music be part of their lives.
Villa Musica is a community of music lovers of all ages and backgrounds. I love being a part of the flute ensemble and simultaneously contributing to music lessons for children whose only exposure to music is through Villa Musica. The impact is immediate and profound. It's so easy and so fun and so very important to ensure that all people have access to the joys and benefits of music.
Villa Music is an AMAZING, nonprofit community music center. It provides all aspects of musical experience and education to the public. Its offerings are phenomenal, the teachers are enthusiastic and very qualified, and they cross all economic borders to provide the arts to varied communities.
As a member of their Adult Chorus, I appreciate the opportunity to participate in a hobby I love, and Fiona Chatwin, besides being the owner of Villa Musica, is our conductor. She is wonderful. No matter what level proficiency a member has in music, a great choral experience is available to all.
I applaud Villa Musica for providing a MUCH needed center in the community- a chance to give the arts to both children and adults.
There are few places where adults can enhance and embrace their musical side, yet Villa Musica offers multiple opportunities for all skill levels. Being a voice student and choir member has been a great opportunity for me to learn and contribute, enjoying the music as well as the people I have the privilege of working with. Thanks to Fiona and all the staff at Villa Musica for opening up so many fun musical opportunities!
I joined Villa Musica's community chorus this season and am just delighted with each session. The music selections are lovely and just challenging enough to make the practice interesting. The choir director and pianist are accomplished, accommodating and full of fun and laughter. I look forward to each week's rehearsal. In addition I admire the organization for giving back to their community in so many ways.
Villa Musica is a wonderful asset to the San Diego community. I have attended many terrific concerts by Villa Musica faculty and students in the past couple of years. I recently joined the community chorus. I am not a trained musician but Fiona Chatwin (Choir Director)welcomes all levels and fosters a strong sense of community. It's a challenge for me, but I am learning a lot. The choir members are very patient and encouraging, and Fiona Chatwin and Mark Polesky (pianist) are the BEST! Go Villa Musica.
Villa Musica is a precious resource for music education in San Diego. As a senior, I have had the opportunity to further my own development in singing by taking voice lessons and joining the community chorus. You don’t have to audition to enjoy the adventures in music that Villa Musica offers!
I have been a member of Villa Musica's Community Chorus for over four years. They have wonderful programs for children and for adults that are constantly evolving in the interests they serve. You only need to love music and want to participate--no auditions required. I feel very fortunate to have Villa Musica in San Diego.
I love being a member of Villa Musica's Community Chorus. Fiona Chatwin, Executive Director of Villa Musica who also leads the Chorus, has provided a welcoming and caring community for all who wish to share in the joy of learning and performing wonderful music. I hope to be a member for many years to come.
In today's world it is very difficult to find a healthy balance between work and family while engaging in creatively fulfilling personal activities. Villa Musica is unique in that it provides opportunities for creative expression at many levels of time and energy commitment in a nonjudgemental and supportive environment. Participating in the Villa Musica Community Chorus allows me to experience the joy and emotional release of song and singing despite my all-too-busy work and professional demands. I think of it as a much less expensive and much more effective version of talk (in this case, "song") therapy that allows me to sing the blues rather than have to deal with it.
Many, many thanks to Villa Musica's Executive Director and Community Chorus director, Fiona Chatwin and to Orchestra Conductor, Aran Akhavan for making last evening's concert an incredibly wonderful experience. As a member of the Chorus, it was absolutely exhilarating to have the opportunity to practice with and to perform with the fine musicians in this special Orchestra. Together, Aran and Fiona blended their signature conducting skills into a truly integrated performance.
The opportunities that are available at Villa Musica for singers and instrumental musicians, from beginners to accomplished performers, are vast and varied and continue to expand. The faculty and their depth and breadth of experience and commitment are stellar. It's a warm and comfortable environment. Come join us!
I've sung in Villa Musica's choirs off and on since 2007. Fiona is passionate and committed to bringing the joy of music through community performing groups and educational classes. She reaches adults as well as children which makes her program truly unique and special. It is a pleasure to work with her.
I have been a faculty member of Villa Musica for over 4 years and love the environment created! Villa Musica is a welcoming musical community that offers not only music education, private lessons, community music, but also music therapy for those with alternative needs. We offer music from age 0-99, so there are no limits to the beauty we can create as a musical community! I light up every time I walk in to teach an early childhood music class and see the bright eyed faces of the infants and toddlers. Get this! We also have a board full of musicians that are pretty amazing both as musicians and as board members! Villa Musica is a very welcoming and beautiful place to work :-)
I am on the brass faculty at Villa Musica. I love working here! It's a warm environment and very safe for all the students. The cheerful front desk and enthusiastic leadership from its executive director help to make this a great atmosphere. Faculty are happy, making students happy, most importantly fosterly musical growth.
Villa Musica is a unique institution offering high quality music instruction in a community setting. It has been an important part of our life since our daughter started group violin classes at the age of 5. I think we owe Villa Musica the fact that our daughter is persisting in her studies of music for almost 3 years. The experience of being part of a vibrant community where she sees familiar faces year after year helps her persist even when the going gets tough.
Villa Musica's outreach activities in the less well to do areas of town are laudable to say the least. Exposing children from disadvantaged backgrounds is priceless.
Singing with other musicians on a stage in front of an audience. No matter when in life you get a chance to be vulnerable like that, it is a life-changing moment. Everyone should get this opportunity, and that's where Villa Musica comes in. Its mission is to make music education available to everyone, big, small, old, young, talented or not-so-much. The talent attracted to this school is inspiring in itself, students, faculty, staff and board members alike, everyone willing to make a noise , and then a better noise. I have loved my time with Villa Musica, as student, volunteer and board member, and am proud of its stature within the San Diego community.
My 8 year old son has been taking piano lessons for several months at Villa Musica. He really likes his teacher and enjoys going to lessons each week. The staff and teachers we have encountered are friendly and professional. As a busy mom, I appreciate the family friendly environment--comfy couches, a kitchenette, tables for doing homework, and toys to keep the little ones occupied while older siblings are in lessons.
Villa Musica continues to be a wonderful learning experience for my 9 year old son. He has been taking guitar lessons for over a year. Jude makes learning guitar a fun experience and he really knows how to teach young children the joys of being a musician.
Villa Musica is a wonderful place for people who love music. The atmosphere is friendly and inviting, and the teachers are enthusiastic and excellent.
We have two sons, 8 and 5, who are taking music lesson at Villa Musica. My 8 year old has made guitar playing his primary activity. He is even part of a rockband now. It brings him so much joy and I really think that love was instilled by his instructor at Villa Musica, Jude. Our 5 year old is learning such great discipline and love for music through his recorder classes. Thank you Villa Musica!
As an adult returning to musical education after a long absence, I have found a welcoming, professional, family-centered organization in Villa Musica. The opportunities to learn, perform, attend in-house and guest performer concerts and immerse myself in music are many. I have been associated with Villa Musica for 5 years and look forward to a long association.
I love my piano teacher Miss. Julie and my Junior Glee teacher Miss. Jill. And my used to be violin teacher, Miss Cami. Dr. Jude is my favorite teacher of all because he is so funny. I have lots of "music friends" at Villa Musica. It's my music home.
Villa Musica is a unique organization that serves the entire community to promote quality music education for all ages and all economic segments. For the kids in schools lacking music education, Villa Musica provides support for their programs.
I've been a voice student for five years and have advanced tremendously. It is a wonderful community jewel and I recommend it to anyone for their support and to be a member of the Villa Musica family.
My association with Villa Musica began several years ago when my six-year-old son began taking violin lessons there. I have since become a board member. VM is wonderful, happy place. Our son has taken both individual and group classes and has made incredible strides in his playing. The teachers are very experienced and managed to maintain high standards while keeping things fun. The director is deeply committed to the idea of community music center and has worked tirelessly to make her vision a reality. VM serves everyone from retirees to small children, from serious students who intend to make music their career to music lovers who simply want to be among others who share their passion. There is no place quite like it!
The staff at Villa Musica is outstanding as evidenced by the results they achieve when viewed at a recital. The instructors are patient, encouraging, and creative in their teaching methods. They find what method of learning works best for the student and utilize that.
Their community outreach programs are both extensive and very well received and they results they achieve are dramatic..
Villa Musica is a community music school dedicated to quality music education for all who seek it regarding of their ability to pay. Their artist/teachers are exceptional and dedicate themselves to their craft and the education of emerging musicians both children or adults alike.