Guitar Lesson

TEACHING STAFF

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ROBERT MELENDEZ

Director

California native Robert lives for music. Robert is a classically trained musician that enjoys a steady musical diet of Worship music in many styles including Funk, Soul, and Latin. From humble beginnings as a brass musician to cross-country travels as a bassist, Robert has learned the tools of the trade from some of the best in the industry. Robert blames his passion for music on his late father who sang to him every morning of his childhood. Robert, now a Grammy Member, believes that music has the ability to transform lives and worship.

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JAKE PASION-GONZALES

Guitar, Piano, Drums Teacher

I am 22 years old and a student at San Jose State University, where I am studying to get my bachelors in music. I have sang and studied voice in college and been a part of San Jose State’s choir program. I’ve actively played the drums for 2 years now. I’ve also played guitar for 6 years and have played various gigs in the Bay Area as well as the Central Valley, including on the worship team at Neighborhood Church in Visalia. I currently write music, and practice guitar and singing every day. I am passionate about teaching and sharing my talents with others.

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JACOB ZSIDO

Bass Teacher

Jacob Zsido is a member of Visalia Nazarene Church and has been playing bass for the worship team there since 2011. He began playing upright bass at the age of eleven and taught himself electric bass at the age of thirteen. Being one of the few bass players at Mt. Whitney High School, Jacob filled the bass-player need for both orchestra classes and the marching band during his time there. He is a student as CSU Fresno and feels a definite calling to teach. He loves using his music talent to glorify God, and longs to teach others to do the same.

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MANDI BERNAL

Piano, Voice Teacher

Mandi Bernal is a voice and piano teacher, but currently teaches choir full time at Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified school district. Mandi first started playing piano and singing when she was 5 years old at Visalia Music School. After seeing the movie Titanic, she was inspired to sing like Celine Dion, and took every choir class available to her. Mandi went on to study Vocal music and music education at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, and at Fresno Pacific University. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music Education, and is a credentialed teacher. She has volunteered in worship ministry at several churches including her home church, Visalia First, where she worked full-time as a Worship Arts Associate for several years. Mandi is an experienced Worship Leader and pianist, as well as a voice, piano, and choir teacher. Mandi and her husband currently live in Visalia with their cat JoJo Binks.

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STEVE WALKER

Guitar Teacher

Steve J Walker is a talented worship pastor and singer/songwriter from Tulare, California. He has been teaching for several years now and has instructed multiple students who have gone on to become respected musicians in the community. He began playing music as a saxophonist at the age of nine. At fourteen, he joined the church praise team and eventually branched out and became a multi-instrumentalist (voice, keyboards, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, saxophone, bass, and drums). To date, he has been a worship leader for over 20 years. He has performed in multiple bands spanning various genres of music; such as worship, pop, classic rock, blues, funk, country, jazz, hard rock, metal, and Latin.

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ISAAC RIVERA

Drums Teacher

Born and raised in New Mexico, Isaac Rivera attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, and taught band and elementary music out in New Mexico before moving to Visalia to continue his teaching career with Visalia Unified School District. Out in New Mexico, as well as out here in California, Isaac has played in many groups, and has recorded a few albums. He has also taught private drum lessons as well as worked with high school drumlines from multiple cities. Isaac's greatest passion is drums, extending as far out as building his own custom drums that he hopes to one day turn into a drum building business. In the meantime, his time is spent honing his drum building craft, practicing his drums daily, and gigging in various cities with his fun rock band, as well as being a full time band teacher with Visalia Unified. Isaac is extremely excited to be a part of the team, and to share his passion for music!