Hi, I'm Selena, and I’ve been teaching piano since 2008. I'm the founder and director of Cultivate Music Studio, a course creator and trainer of teachers all over the world, an author of piano method books for students with disabilities, and a speaker at conferences and on podcasts for music teachers. I teach full-time in the Bay Area in my bustling studio of 50+ students, and almost all of them have disabilities or special needs. I'm also currently working on a Master's degree in Music Education with an Autism Concentration at Berklee College of Music.
In 2013, while finishing my Psychology and Music degree, I got a crash course in the field of special education - with a twist. I joined a brand new, nonprofit inclusion school in Silicon Valley as the program coordinator and music specialist.
There, I developed a music curriculum for students age 5-14, all with different diagnoses, all in the same room at the same time. I also taught private piano lessons to the students throughout the school day.
I observed that many of my students, although considered to have disabilities and sometimes labeled as “severe” or “low-functioning", were musically gifted and truly enjoyed music. I was surprised to find that most of them, especially those with autism, had perfect pitch.
Though their musical potential wasn't always obvious, I could see it once I knew where to look. I realized that teaching one-on-one piano lessons to neurodivergent students was my favorite part of my job.
In 2015, I left the school, and Cultivate Music Studio was born!
Over the last 6 years, we've served hundreds of students locally and around the world, in person and online. We've cheered for each other at semiannual recitals, laughed together at thousands of lessons, and smashed through dozens of musical and non-musical goals.
In 2021, we moved into a big, beautiful new location in the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose, California. We've grown to a team of 6 teachers and now offer private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, bass, ukelele, music production; group lessons for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and 5-6 year olds; and summer camps for children up to age 10.