• About Us

    At Five Star Music & Dance Academy, our instructors specialize in music and dance instruction for children, teenagers, and adults. Modern Teaching Method (MTM) is the method we use at FSMD- all based on a well-rounded curriculum of music theory, ear training, sight-reading, technique, rhythm, expression and performance. All of our instructors are professional musicians, with extensive teaching, performing experience, and University graduates, specializing in their craft. Most importantly, they are trained to customize their teaching methods to each student's learning style, needs and talents.

     

    In our private dance studio, Ellenie Studios​, we also offer a variety of dance classes (private and group) for children, teens, and adults (ages 2.5yrs+), taught by Ellenie Galestian​ and her professional IDWT​ dance company choreographers. We also dance, act, & model for special showcases, films, television, music videos, private events and more! With our individual and collective experience in the entertainment industry, we are able to provide our academy with annual showcases and recitals. Our shows create great opportunities for our students to perform after hours of hard work and dedication in both our music & dance classes!

    Edwin Galestian

    Director & Instructor

    Edwin Galestian began his music education at the age of six, and started teaching at the age of fourteen. By his junior days at school, he was already conducting choirs and leading music programs. He continued his studies in music composition at the University of Tehran, just prior to moving to the United States in 1979, before the Iranian revolution. Edwin immediately began working at Organ Exchange, where he moved up to general manager,, and later stood as a partner of the corporation.

     

    In 1985, he founded his own music retail store and school. Since then, thousands of students have learned to play the piano and other musical instruments with Edwin's successful Modern Teaching Method. Today, he continues bringing his decades of experience to the hearts of all of those who wish to make playing music an integral part of their lives.

     

    Medick Galestian

    manager

    Medick Galestian, wife of Edwin Galestian, is the welcoming face at Five Star Music and Dance Academy. Medick assists with the registration of new students and scheduling of all the music and dance classes. She is a dedicated and caring manager, and is always making sure that all our students and parents are taken care of and happy at the academy. Medick also helps students and parents to get the proper instruments to enhance their experience at FSMD. Medick has managed our multiple music and dance schools throughout the years and is a true delight to have as part of our staff.

    Ellenie Galestian

    Dance director and Instructor at ellenie studios

    Ellenie has firmly established herself as one of today's fastest rising dance music stars, inspiring a dedicated fan base that continues to grow with every moving heartbeat.

    Having conquered the stage since the age of three, it's no surprise that this young, talented artist has already reached such great heights.

     

    A singer/dancer/choreographer extraordinaire, her shows are infused with original productions, intricate dance routines, unbridled raw energy, and an eclectic fusion of unpredictable sights and sounds. Past achievements to note include her work with prominent artists such as Pink, Taio Cruz, Kelly Rowland, David Guetta, Tiësto, Basshunter, Sean Kingston, and Jin Akanishi. She has also performed at the American Music Awards, MTV Latin Awards, as well as several Broadway shows in the heart of New York City.

    Michael Quest

    Guitar Instructor - Songwriter - Recording Artist

    Michael Quest teaches the fine instrument of Guitar. He has over 20 years experience with students of all ages working with them on a one-on-one basis. He incorporates his own guitar method which he developed in book form emphasizing the training of the ear to hear and enjoy music as it needs to be played. He has a working knowledge of tablature, musical notation and a multifaceted knowledge of popular music stemming from his 30 years of guitar playing experience.

     

    Michael holds a BS in Art Education from the University of Michigan with teaching credentials and although his degree is not directing in the field of music, it backs up his artistic knowledge base and aides his teaching environment and management. Enthusiastic, dedicated, and with a love for the great gift of guitar and music.

    Ryan Smith

    Guitar Instructor, Band COACH

    Ryan Smith, guitar instructor at FSMD! After picking up the guitar at age 11, Ryan Smith has been a working musician since the age of 16. Shortly after graduating with a BA in music, he began a touring and recording career with many different acts which took him across the country and back many times over. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2004, he has had success composing music for film and television and is currently recording his first solo record.

    Lita Neuman

    Violin Instructor

    Lita Neumann, our violin instructor was born into a musical family in Pasadena, CA. She started participating in music at a young age. She plays, performs, is a song writer, and teaches the violin. Lita sings in both English and Spanish.

     

    Lita is currently working hard at writing new songs and performing. The message in her music is that of hope, life, and love. Lita has been teaching music at "Five Star Music & Dance Academy" for over ten years. She hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams and to keep music a part of their everyday lives, especially her students. "Peace and Stars to all!"

    Gagik Badalyan

    Voice Instructor

    Gagik Badalyan was born in Armenia. He is our vocal instructor here at FSMD, teaching classes for all ages. He studied classical pop and Armenian traditional music. He has had concerts in Europe, Russia ,Egypt and in the U.S.A. His work registers as a smooth revival of the estradayin idiom. Badalyan studied voice at the prestigious Komitas Conservatory. Before moving to the US in 1999, he earned several awards and toured as a soloist with various national ensembles, throughout the Middle East, Europe and America. Since settling in Los Angeles, Badalyan has been busy concertizing and recording.

    Sade Champagne

    voice instructor

    Sade Champagne is an award winning professional musical artist, performer, inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, mentor, and Dream Coach. She is the Executive Producer, Creator, and Director of almost 150 popular charity events like Ventura County's Annual Rising Star Dance Competition, Ventura County's Vocal Superstar Competition, Grace Rallys and Love Never Fails. Her events and performances have been attended by over 40,000 people. She has been featured on many press and media outlets such as TV Guide Channel, Teen Nick, Acorn Newspaper, Ventura County Star and Q1047. Sade is currently headlining her "Power Of A Dream Tour" and mentoring students through her Superstars N Training Program here at FSMD.

    Lisa Lewolt

    Dance Instructor - Acting Coach

    Lisa began acting and dancing at the age of ten winning her first role in the hit T.V Show Malcom in The Middle. She has seen guest starring in shows such as Ned’s Declassified and the Amanda show. She has appeared in over 15 national commercials including Pepsi, Burger King, Mervyns and Lexus), twenty T.V shows such as American Dreams, Boston Public, The Brian Mcknight show; and five films. Lisa has performed half time shows for the Raiders, Lakers and 49ers. She has opened for Sean Kingston and danced with many international pop and R&B artists on tour. She won CMT’s hit TV show “Your Chance to Dance.” She has also choreographed and danced in Music Videos for some of today’s Top artists.

  • Edwin Galestian's Teaching Methods

    Edwin's Modern Teaching Method (MTM) has been taught for over 35 years.

    Teaching Philosophy

    The Modern Teaching Method at Five Star Music & Dance Academy consists of the following elements:

     

    • ANALYZATION: The study of music theory. This includes chords and scales.
    • EAR TRAINING: Teaching the student to listen and recognize the various parts of music by ear.
    • SIGHT READING: The ability to play music well without previous preparation or study.
    • IMPROVISATION: The ability to freely create individual expression within a given piece of music.
    • TRANSPOSITION: Playing the same piece of music in a different key.
    • ENSEMBLE PLAYING: 2 or more students playing multiple parts at the same time, creating a singular effect.
    • COMPOSITION: The writing of original music.
    • PLAYING MUSIC: Implementing all techniques to learn musical compositions and execute technical exercises.

    Teaching Background

    Here are some of its key benefits:

    • Play music faster with less practice time.
    • Read music notes written for piano, guitar and vocals.
    • Play any music you like by ear, even without reading notes.
    • Create your own arrangements by using "easy playing" notes and chord symbols.
    • Learn to entertain crowds at parties, or play ensemble professionally.
    • Gain self-confidence through perfecting your craft.
    • Recreate the original character of classical piano pieces written by composers like Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin.

    Benefits of playing musical instruments

    Learning to play a musical instrument offers a lot of benefits. I personally believe that if there's one thing you should learn in your lifetime, it's how to play an instrument. Here are 5 reasons why:

     

    1. Playing A Musical Instrument Makes You Smarter

    Many studies have been conducted on the effects of music to the brain. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music, or those who play an instrument, do better in school than those who don't. Recent research suggests exposure to music may benefit a child's reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain. Adults can benefit from learning to play an instrument too because it helps the mind to be alert and remain active eventually helping to sharpen the memory.

     

    2. It Teaches Discipline
    Learning to play an instrument is like learning to speak another language and it can be challenging at times. One of the qualities musicians possess is discipline. You have to be disciplined in order to master playing your instrument. You have to set time each day to practice, practice and practice some more.

     

    3. Playing A Musical Instrument Relieves Stress
    We all have days when we are so stressed out and we just want to take a break from it all. Have you ever noticed that when you hear soft, soothing music you feel more relaxed? Playing an instrument can do that and more, especially if you're the one playing. Music is one of life's simple joys; it helps calm the mind.

     

    4. Sense of Achievement
    If you're a beginner learning to play your first piece, it can be frustrating. But once you've mastered it, the satisfaction you'll feel is priceless. Never mind if it's just a simple piece, believe me you'll never forget the first piece you've mastered. You are one more step closer to achieving your goal and that is certainly something to be proud of.

     

    5. Playing A Musical Instrument is Fun
    Sure it can be a lot of hard work but there is no denying playing an instrument is fun. Once you get better at it, opportunities will arise for you to share your newly learned skill with your family and friends. Who knows, you may also consider playing professionally in the future. Playing a musical instrument opens up a lot of good possibilities that will surely enrich your life.

    Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Take Piano Lessons?

    Whether you’re young or old, a seasoned pro or just starting out, anyone can benefit from taking piano lessons. Playing the piano is the perfect outlet for expressing your creative energy. And piano lessons are not only educational; they’re also fun.

    1. Because You Love Music – It doesn’t matter if your style is classical or country, rock and roll or jazz, there is a music lover in us all. Think of the enjoyment you get from listening to your favorite songs on the radio. Now imagine how much more enjoyment you’ll receive from learning to play those same songs on your home piano. Learning a musical instrument is one of the most rewarding ways to express your love of music.
       
    2. Boost Your Brain Power – Studies have shown that learning to play music, especially the piano, can improve your IQ. Most of these studies have focused on children, but studies on adults show they can reap benefits as well. Children who take piano lessons exhibit more self-discipline and generally do better in school than their non-musical peers. For adults, researchers have measured strong changes in the brains of those who begin taking piano lessons, even after the age of 65. You’re never too old, nor too young to begin learning to play piano.
       
    3. Build Confidence – Mastering a new skill is one of the best ways to build your confidence. You won’t become a maestro with just a few piano lessons, but you will get better each week as you practice and learn. Perseverance in learning a new skill will increase your self-discipline, and in turn, build confidence in yourself and your abilities.
       
    4. Become a Star – Well, Kind Of – For most people, taking piano lessons won’t make you rich and famous. But it will give you the opportunity to perform – either on stage in a recital or at home in front of your friends and family. While you probably won’t actually become a rock star, the applause and adulation you’ll get from your friends and loved ones after a piano performance can make you feel like one.
       
    5. Because It’s Fun – And the most important reason to take piano lessons is that it’s fun. Playing music is something that will bring you countless hours of enjoyment for the rest of your life. What can be better than that?