The Avant Garde Music Company faculty brings real-world work experience to this gig: “Everyone is a working professional.”
  • The Avant Garde Music Company faculty brings real-world work experience to this gig: “Everyone is a working professional.”
  • Image by Adrian Cisneros
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“The school kind of opened as a response to a pre-existing demand,” says Avant Garde Music Company founder Antonio Grajeda, on a Skype call from Chula Vista, where they are gearing up for a grand opening on December 1. “There’s a community of up-and-coming artists looking for a space to cultivate their creativity and to learn the new technologies.”

Classes begin December 1 at Avant Garde Music Company, located near the Eastlake Post Office at 821 Kuhn Drive (suite 104).

The Avant Garde Music Company is looking to combine the elements of a traditional music school education with state-of-the-art equipment, facilities, and ideas. “Something that’s unique about our program is that we’re providing relevant work experience for the most current trends in music and multimedia — we’re helping kids with branding, with video editing, with marketing, programming, production, and design. We teach all of these kids to become effective music producers, and we work with dancers as well — creating their own product. I’m looking to further the reach of music and media education in the South Bay.”

The school will feature soundproofed classrooms and a professionally equipped recording studio, in addition to experienced faculty. “We’re a conglomerate of local musicians,” Grajeda explains. “Everyone is a working professional — that’s an important component — to provide our students with the most applicable experience possible. We will teach all of the instruments and we’ve got some of the top players in town like Omar Lopez of the Wailers, Louis Valenzuela, Fernando Gomez, and Robert Dove. Omar and Bill Caballero will be doing a Latin-jazz program for some of our advanced students.”

Grajeda sees big changes in the music industry, and the school intends to reflect that reality. “I think musicians these days function as their own small businesses. It’s been tough for musicians to figure out this new economy — how to monetize our product and learn to get good gigs. I also believe that the days of the stand-alone recording studios are numbered. The technology has gotten so cheap that the only way recording studios can survive is by partnering with education.”

Even though the school is new, Grajeda has been teaching on a smaller scale “for five years, and after three years, I had a waiting list. My old location was too small, so I decided to expand and invest into this facility. Multimedia and technology are the future and that’s what we’ll be teaching — with private lessons, group classes, workshops, and clinics.”

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