Instruments Taught: Flute (beginning through advanced), Piano (beginning through advanced), Guitar (beginning & intermediate), Saxophone (beginning & intermediate), Clarinet (beginning & intermediate), Strings and Brass (beginning & intermediate)
Hometown: Concord, CA
Years playing: 20+
Teaching Since: 2004
Musical Influences: Beethoven, Tool, Pink Floyd, and everything in between
Education:Currently studying with Joan Cifarelli at Los Medanos College and at San Francisco State University, under Linda Lukas of the San Francisco Symphony (Flute). Previously studied at the Jazzschool (Berkeley Jazz Conservatory) with Bob Karty (salsa piano), Mark Levine & Mimi Fox (guitar), and Susan Muscarella (well-known composer, founder, and director of the Jazzschool), and at Diablo Valley College with Dr. Bruce Cook.
Musical Projects:No Regrets (Variety band), Southbound (Country), The Floorshakers (Funk/Rock), West Grand Boulevard (Motown/Soul), Blues Brothers Cover Band.
Key teaching concepts:Building a strong foundation on scales and chords, reading, engaging students with music that they enjoy.
Book/Methods Used:Hanon, Mikrokosmos, Bach, beethoven and Mozart. I also like to teach my students jazz, blues, and salsa music.
Teaching Days: Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Sal Minutoli is an old friend to many of our close-knit staff members, but a new face around Music Time Academy. Sal is excited to teach students on just about any instrument, although he considers his specialties to be piano, flute and guitar.
Self-described as “the ultimate band nerd,” Sal has plenty of ammunition to back up the claim. He spent 5th grade through college playing in just about any musical ensemble the schools had to offer – jazz band, symphonic band, rally band, marching band, etc. Although he was not officially awarded “ultimate band nerd”, he was decorated with such honors as: Most Promising Musician, Marching Band Section Leader, Honor Band (Concord High School), and Best Jazz Musician (University of the Pacific Music Camp).
Living up to the potential that his grade school teachers saw in him, Sal has continued pursue music in many ways. Over the years, he has performed with various bands and ensembles ranging from country and blues bands to punk bands to “Top 40” variety bands to jazz ensembles, vocalist accompaniment (and everything in between). In addition to performance, Sal also maintained his studies of music, working with a long and impressive list of mentors and local institutions including: Linda Lukas (San Francisco Symphony) at San Francisco State University, Susan Muscarella (founder of the Berkeley Jazz Conservatory) at Jazz Conservatory (formerly Jazz School), Bruce Cook at Diablo Valley College, and currently under Joan Cifarelli at Los Medanos College.
“I like to build a strong foundation. I teach scale and chords, as they are crucial to understanding music. I like to emphasize reading as that is another important part of understanding the language of music,” says Sal. “Most importantly, I engage the student with music that they enjoy. I ask them what their favorite song is and then I teach them with it. It is fun and they learn much faster.”
On top of being a proud nerd, Sal is also a proud husband and father.