Teachers

Dan Welby

Dan Welby
Drums & Owner

Dan moved to Los Angeles from Massachusetts in 1999 to attend Musicians Institute, where he studied percussion. After graduating from MI, Dan started teaching and building a solid student base throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. He has enjoyed a solid schedule with an average of 40 students per week for the last 12 years. Dan’s drumming career began back in 1992, where he was playing music with friends and studying with the local drum teacher. Since moving to Los Angeles Dan has been a part of several bands and projects. He has played live shows throughout the United States while on tour, has been involved in many music videos and has also been involved in many professional recording sessions with top notch producers in Hollywood. Dan is currently the drummer for: Electra, Time And The Dragon, and Colin Reid. His past bands include: Hostile Groove, Hell Hath No Fury, Time Out, Damn Hippie Freaks, and Black Moon Dog. Check Dan out on Youtube

Check out Dan on YouTube

Electra Barakos

Electra Barakos
Vocals, Piano
& Owner

Electra Barakos was born in Los Angeles California, but raised in Athens, Greece. Influenced by her father who is a professional Bass player, Electra started her music career from a very early age.

Today Electra holds a Bachelors degree in Music – Opera, but has spent most of her performance career focused on her solo original rock pop project. She has released an EP titled “Problem Child”, and a full length album titled “These Times”. She has shared the stage with Lita Ford, Berlin, Missing Persons, Great White, Jared Lee, Dilana, and was part of the 2010 Sunset Strip Music Festival along with Smashing Pumpkins, Slash, Neon Trees, and more, and the 2011 SSMF along with Motley Crue, Public Enemy, Bush and more. Her album “These Times” recorded with renowned producer Mike Plotnikoff (Papa Roach, Kelly Clarkson, Halestorm), includes the song “I Can’t Breathe”, which features Phil X of Bon Jovi, on guitar and bouzouki.

Electra is also known for being a finalist on The Voice of Greece, Season 2. Electra has been teaching voice for over 15 years and is a certified Vocal Power Instructor. In 2016, she earned the title of Director of Vocal Power Academy, Los Angeles, founded by Elisabeth Howard. She has helped her students get on television singing competitions, accepted in prestigious music schools, and get signed to major record labels. As her students have stated “Electra works MAGIC! She helps you find your voice! A voice you never thought you had!!”

Check out Electra on YouTube

Lefteris Ioannou

Lefteris Ioannou
Guitar, Bass, Ukelele & Piano

Lefteris Ioannou is a deeply impassioned composer for Film, TV and Video Games, writing from the heart and for the heart, with works released by SONY-BMG, IMPACT MUSIC and UNIVERSAL-EMI. 

Born in New York and raised in Athens-Greece, Lefteris graduated Magna Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) with a BA in Guitar Performance. His ability to compose music in multiple genres led to collaborations with a number of acclaimed Greek artists. In 2015, he released his first personal album titled 1+1=ONE, with UNIVERSAL MUSIC-EMI. 

His passion for classical music drew him to film composition, further expanding his love for cinematic creative storytelling through music. In 2019 Lefteris received an MA in Scoring for Film, TV and Video Games, with honors, from Berklee College of Music (Valencia, Spain). 

Lefteris has seventeen years of teaching experience. His approach to composition & teaching is informed by his ability to express the adventure of healing through music and the gift of building a bridge for others to give birth to their authentic self. This is a fundamental reason for why he enjoys teaching. This intention brings soulful energy and inspiration into his music and lessons.

Check out Lefteris on YouTube

Aubrey Buchanan

Aubrey Buchanan
Vocals & Piano

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Aubrey grew up with the music industry in her living room. It seemed obvious that she would eventually pursue a career within it. Aubrey was hired for her first session when she was 9 years old and from that moment on, she was hooked and never looked back. She has since gone on to sing for films and television shows such as the Grammy’s and The Ellen Show, as well as background vocals for major artists such as Justin Timberlake, Billie Eilish, Camilla Cabello, Kanye West, and Chris Stapleton. In addition to working as a session singer in Los Angeles, she currently sings with the Metropolitan Master Chorale and the Los Angeles based funk/soul/R&B band The Deep Cuts.

Aubrey attended the Musicians Institute and graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance and technique. She has been teaching voice, and piano for over a decade, and has extensive knowledge in vocal anatomy, technique, placement, breathing, and all genres/vocal styles. She is dedicated to helping all of her students reach their full potential, and has experience teaching students of all ages, and skill levels.

Check out Aubrey on YouTube

Kristelle Smith

Kristelle Smith
Vocals, Piano & Songwriting

Kristelle Smith is an international multi-instrumentalist singer/performer who has travelled across the world from Dubai to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of being a musician. She graduated from Musicians Institute in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance and Technique. Ever since her graduation she became a self-employed musician doing session work and gigging in various music venues in Hollywood and Dubai, as well as teaching.

She is an up and coming artist who writes, performs and produces all of her original music. She is passionate about songwriting, stage performance and artist development and is well-versed in multiple genres such as R’n’b, Rock, Pop, Reggae, Latin, Jazz and World Music. 

Kristelle’s experience in teaching voice and piano has been an important part of her musical journey. Sharing her knowledge and passion for music with people of all ages and backgrounds is a fulfilling experience. 

She specializes in mind – body – voice connection which will help her students create depth of emotion in their vocal performances. She is dedicated to creating a safe, nurturing environment for her students so they can build confidence while honing their skills.

Check out Kristelle on YouTube

Richard Wynne

Richard Wynne
Guitar, Vocals, Keys, Songwriting & Music Production

You wouldn’t know it from his “Top Forty” style songwriting discography,  but Richard Wynne has been touring the world as one of LA’s “top gun” guitarist and vocalists for years. Sharing the stage with groups like LMFAO, Fall Out Boy, Kehlani, and even his own band on countless tours and sessions, Richard is lucky enough to endorse multiple brands like Ernie Ball Strings, Roland, DW Drums, and Burns London Guitars (the later inducting him as their Youngest Artist yet at the ripe age of 14) from the arenas to the recording booth. One day he may be in the studio with Ariana Grande, and the next he’s playing solos behind his back at the El Rey in Los Angeles, but either way a guitar’s probably not too far.

A true “multi instrumentalist” and theory buff, his musical vocabulary knows few bounds; placing songs with artists like Rihanna and G-Eazy while composing for TV networks like Nickelodeon. Currently Richard tours and records with the internationally acclaimed band BlckBx (Pronounced black box) who’s song “MGNTK” debuted on Radio Disney prompting a 2 week long take over of the station, and is currently in full rotation on Disney, 97.9 FM, DASH Radio and more.

Still, he knows one of the most lucrative gifts he was ever given was one of knowledge by passionate teachers and mentors. Richard developed a passion for teaching early on, giving his first lessons out of the local NOVA Community College program at 16. Since then he has taught guitar at University of Maryland, George Mason University (as well as Jazz Big Band Composition/Arrangement), well as given master classes in both Guitar and Production at UCLA and Loyola Marymount. He maintains the best method for learning is one based on passion. If the students don’t want to stop playing, then you’ll never have to ask them to practice.

Check out Richard on YouTube

Nathan Douglas

Nathan Douglas
Guitar, Bass, Drums & Keys

Nathan is a multi – instrumentalist/vocalist born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Nathan’s love for music started at an early age, tuning in to what was on the radio and playing any instruments he could find. 

In elementary School, Nathan started piano lessons, in Jr. high he began drums, and in high school Nathan began playing guitar. He developed as a musician while playing in church and high School jazz band, singing in choir and jamming with friends. 

Nathan graduated from Cal. State Northridge with a Bachelors Degree in Jazz studies. After that, Nathan traveled the world on cruise ships playing drums in the stage band and performing as a guitar soloist. 

Nathan has taught guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and voice students as well as directing bands. He taught at the Claudia Roberts music studio, Pali Rockstar Camp, and the California Arts Program. 

Tom Plumb

Tom Plumb
Drums

Born and raised in Sacramento California, Tom began taking drum lessons at the age of 10. He participated in school music programs from elementary through high school played snare drum for the Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. He was awarded a music scholarship to CSU Fresno in 1999. Tom received his bachelor’s degree in business in 2003, and in 2007 moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.

With an appreciation for playing all styles of music, he has accepted gigs and session work from a large cross section of artists in Southern California. Tom is also a passionate educator and has been teaching since 2001. Early teaching experience included working with drum lines for the Concord Blue Devils B, Sacramento Freelancers, and the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. Tom began teaching private lessons in 2006 and has worked with students of all age and skill ranges. In 2013 Tom became a member of the drum faculty at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. Since joining the staff at MI he has created a fundamentals focused elective called The Rudimental Workout. The class draws from years of drum and bugle corps experience to teach drum set students valuable lessons and short cuts to developing a strong rudimental foundation.

Jason Fahn

Jason Fahn
Drums

Jason has been an active drummer over the last 18 years. His passion for drumming and music led him to attend Musicians Institute in Hollywood CA. Upon graduating, Jason has remained busy with both studio work and playing with his current band, Awake Through Sleep. Other bands he has performed with include Portrait of Gray, Clarion Concept, Music By Show, and Corporate Villains. The bands he has played in range in styles from Rock, Pop, Punk, Alternative and Metal. Teaching has been an important part of Jason’s musical journey as well. His patience and ability to make the lessons fun while keeping them focused and productive have made him a valuable asset in the music community.

 

Rikki Valentina

Rikki Valentina
Vocals

Singer songwriter Rikki Valentina was born and raised in Los Angeles, where she has been in the music scene since the age of 10. Her career started out at a local music school called Rock Nation, where she met her first vocal coach, Electra Barakos, the founder and owner of SoundCheck Music School.

Rikki has shared the stage with lots of incredible talent, was a member of the girl group “Gifted Nations” and has sung background vocals for Enrique Iglesias.

Rikki always had a strong passion for songwriting and has now been focusing on her solo career. In 2020 she released her first independent single “April Fool” which went viral on Tik Tok. 

In 2021 she released her first EP “Daddy’s Girl” and has collaborated with producers such as Simon Jay (Richard Carpenter, Avril Lavigne, David Foster, and Amy Grant) , John Ho (HBO’s Euphoria) , and Alex “Knox Harris” (Rad Horror and Terror Jr.)

Rikki is also an actress who has worked with artists such as Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Disturbed, CNCO, John Legend, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Mindless Behavior.

Rikki has been trained by vocal coaches Joy Graysen (American Idol) , Shoshana Payne Phillips  (The Supremes) , and of course Electra Barakos (The Voice “Greece”). 

A few years ago, Rikki discovered her love for teaching and is thrilled to mentor, inspire and share her knowledge and passion for singing with others.

Check out Rikki on YouTube

REVIEWS

REVIEWS FROM

RECENT CLIENTS

Adrian has learned so much, he knows how to read music now in such little time, also always has so much fun! Great music teachers.

Nancy Maradiaga Reyes

My 13 yr old has been taking drum lessons for almost a year now and has made a lot of progress under Dan's supervision.  Dan is an amazing instructor and my son actually enjoys learning new materials. They even have an annual Holiday program where all the kids showcase their talents and it was really fun.. Dan is great with kids and brings out the best in them. I highly recommend this music school and his wife gives singing lessons as well. Great team!

Grace T.

Very cool music school. My daughter takes Drum and Voice lessons there. Great teachers and great atmosphere. I highly recommend SoundCheck Music School!

Uwe Petersen

Love SoundCheck! My daughter is learning from the best teachers and doing so well under their direction and guidance. Highly recommend them for anyone who wants any kind of music lessons!

Sky B.

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