Staff • Educators

Meet the Passionate Minds Behind San Diego Music Studio!

Here at San Diego Music Studio, we believe that music education thrives on the dedication and expertise of our incredible team. 

Get to know our staff members!

We are confident that our passionate and dedicated staff will inspire you to reach your full musical potential.

  • David Montoya

    Manager, Repairs, Band & Private Instructor - Woodwinds

    David Montoya has been involved in the music community for the past 6 years. He specializes in teaching flute, clarinet, and saxophone to students of all ages. He has coached for various different schools including: Mission Hills High, La Costa Meadows Elementary, Aviara Oaks Middle, and Pacific Ridge School. He is currently a group and private lesson instructor for San Diego Music Studio.

    David performs regularly as a multi-woodwind player for different types of settings like musical theater, symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, and various solo instrument and choir events.

    He has been apprenticing to become an instrument repair technician for the past 3 years and has experience repairing various different woodwind and brass instruments.

  • Alix Acuna

    Instructor of Piano

    After being inspired at a young age by jazz music and technique, Alix Acuna began to study the art form of jazz interpretation and improvisation. She currently plays with the Palomar Night time Jazz Band, Palomar Symphony Orchestra, and Palomar Brass Ensemble. Alix Acuna has been studying Palomar College for her Bachelor’s degree in music education with emphasis on keyboard education. She hopes to transfer to California State University Northridge to further her educational training. Alix hopes to lead high school jazz bands and wind ensembles after attaining her bachelor’s degree and credential. Alix has been with SDMS since January 2018.

  • Mario Martinez

    Our Master Repair Technician - Repairs

    Mario Martinez, AKA “Super Mario” is our on-site master repair technician at San Diego Music Studio and has over twenty years of instrument repair experience. He is a certified member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and specializes in the care of brass, woodwind, and string instruments. Mario mentors our other repair technicians and offers top quality, lasting repairs using the best tools, supplies, and parts, all while offering fast and reliable estimates and services with a guarantee of satisfaction.

  • Connor Bagheri

    Instructor of Band

    From San Marcos, California, Connor Bagheri started playing music after joining the band program at Woodland Park Middle School. Over the course of thirteen years as a trumpet player, he’s played in concert bands, jazz bands, a few brass chamber groups, several marching ensembles, and a mariachi. Currently, he’s playing Euphonium with the San Diego Wind Ensemble, French Horn with the North County Winds, and is occasionally playing trumpet at Disneyland. He coaches brass instruments at a few schools in the cities of Encinitas and
    Carlsbad.

  • Alisa M

    Instructor of Piano

    Alisa has been influenced by music from a young age being surrounded by a very musical family. She decided to begin her own creative journey as a child with theatre and piano lessons at the San Diego Music Studio where she first found her passion for music. Throughout high school, she stayed engaged with performing arts, studying dance, cello, and piano. She has been a member of SDMS since July of 2022, working closely with all families that come through, and after her first year at UCSD, she took on the exciting position of piano instructor where she finds joy in helping her students learn the magic of music. She hopes to continue teaching at the studio alongside advancing her knowledge of both cello and piano throughout college.

  • Chelsea Strayer

    Instructor of Guitar, Band, Piano & String

    Chelsea Strayer is a Peabody Conservatory and Johns Hopkins graduate with degrees in both Double Bass Performance and Music Education. She is now currently pursuing her masters degree in Double Bass performance at Yale School of Music and intends to go on to receive another masters degree in Psychology. Chelsea plans on becoming a therapist that works with various musicians to help them develop a healthy and positive relationship with themselves and their instrument.

  • Jesse Batey

    Instructor of Guitar

    Jesse Batey is a local musician in the San Diego County area with a focus on guitar and bass. He has participated in several performing musical groups in the San Diego area. Currently a music major at the University of California San Marcos, Jesse looks to further his abilities in guitar and music production. He enjoys the art of music composition and the study of recording techniques. He seeks to bring the fundamentals of music to his students through the focused teachings of music theory and instrumental technique. His teaching style and influences do not center around one particular genre of music but rather all music as a whole. Jesse’s end goal with students is to provide them with a platform geared towards forging their own path within the music world.

  • Joshua Leonard

    Instructor of String

    Joshua Leonard has been playing violin since 2015 where he began taking private lessons, before joining a school orchestra. A couple years later he began performing with the Civic Youth Orchestra such as the annual Nutcracker performed at the California Center For the Arts in Escondido. Throughout his years Josh has learned to play other string instruments such as the viola and cello and continues playing in local performances and string quartet groups with his friends and peers.

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Manager, Repairs, Band & Private Instructor - Woodwinds

David Montoya

David Montoya has been involved in the music community for the past 6 years. He specializes in teaching flute, clarinet, and saxophone to students of all ages. He has coached for various different schools including: Mission Hills High, La Costa Meadows Elementary, Aviara Oaks Middle, and Pacific Ridge School. He is currently a group and private lesson instructor for San Diego Music Studio.
David performs regularly as a multi-woodwind player for different types of settings like musical theater, symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, and various solo instrument and choir events. He has been apprenticing to become an instrument repair technician for the past 3 years and has experience repairing various different woodwind and brass instruments.

Instructor of Piano

Alix Acuna

After being inspired at a young age by jazz music and technique, Alix Acuna began to study the art form of jazz interpretation and improvisation. She currently plays with the Palomar Night time Jazz Band, Palomar Symphony Orchestra, and Palomar Brass Ensemble. Alix Acuna has been studying Palomar College for her Bachelor’s degree in music education with emphasis on keyboard education. She hopes to transfer to California State University Northridge to further her educational training. Alix hopes to lead high school jazz bands and wind ensembles after attaining her bachelor’s degree and credential. Alix has been with SDMS since January 2018.

Our Master Repair Technician - Repairs

Mario Martinez

Mario Martinez, AKA “Super Mario” is our on-site master repair technician at San Diego Music Studio and has over twenty years of instrument repair experience. He is a certified member of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT) and specializes in the care of brass, woodwind, and string instruments. Mario mentors our other repair technicians and offers top quality, lasting repairs using the best tools, supplies, and parts, all while offering fast and reliable estimates and services with a guarantee of satisfaction.
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Instructor of Band

Connor Bagheri

From San Marcos, California, Connor Bagheri started playing music after joining the band program at Woodland Park Middle School. Over the course of thirteen years as a trumpet player, he’s played in concert bands, jazz bands, a few brass chamber groups, several marching ensembles, and a mariachi. Currently, he’s playing Euphonium with the San Diego Wind Ensemble, French Horn with the North County Winds, and is occasionally playing trumpet at Disneyland. He coaches brass instruments at a few schools in the cities of Encinitas and
Carlsbad.

Instructor of Piano

Alisa M

Alisa has been influenced by music from a young age being surrounded by a very musical family. She decided to begin her own creative journey as a child with theatre and piano lessons at the San Diego Music Studio where she first found her passion for music. Throughout high school, she stayed engaged with performing arts, studying dance, cello, and piano. She has been a member of SDMS since July of 2022, working closely with all families that come through, and after her first year at UCSD, she took on the exciting position of piano instructor where she finds joy in helping her students learn the magic of music. She hopes to continue teaching at the studio alongside advancing her knowledge of both cello and piano throughout college.

Instructor of Guitar, Band, Piano & String

Chelsea Strayer

Chelsea Strayer is a Peabody Conservatory and Johns Hopkins graduate with degrees in both Double Bass Performance and Music Education. She is now currently pursuing her masters degree in Double Bass performance at Yale School of Music and intends to go on to receive another masters degree in Psychology. Chelsea plans on becoming a therapist that works with various musicians to help them develop a healthy and positive relationship with themselves and their instrument.

Instructor of Guitar

Jesse Batey

Jesse Batey is a local musician in the San Diego County area with a focus on guitar and bass. He has participated in several performing musical groups in the San Diego area. Currently a music major at the University of California San Marcos, Jesse looks to further his abilities in guitar and music production. He enjoys the art of music composition and the study of recording techniques. He seeks to bring the fundamentals of music to his students through the focused teachings of music theory and instrumental technique. His teaching style and influences do not center around one particular genre of music but rather all music as a whole. Jesse’s end goal with students is to provide them with a platform geared towards forging their own path within the music world.

Instructor of String

Joshua Leonard

Joshua Leonard has been playing violin since 2015 where he began taking private lessons, before joining a school orchestra. A couple years later he began performing with the Civic Youth Orchestra such as the annual Nutcracker performed at the California Center For the Arts in Escondido. Throughout his years Josh has learned to play other string instruments such as the viola and cello and continues playing in local performances and string quartet groups with his friends and peers.