About Us

Where Music Begins, Academy of Music, LLC  
Mailing Address:  4307 Valley Avenue, Suite 1,  Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone:  888.896.2066            e-mail:  info@wheremusicbegins.com

Copyright 2011 Where Music Begins, LLC
All rights reserved

Cathy Hirata ~ Owner/Director
Cathy has been involved in music for over 40 years.  Her background includes formal voice and
piano with the founding members of Opera San Jose -- New York Metropolitan Opera Singer Irene
Dalis and former Oberlin College Professor David Rohrbaugh and she has performed with the
San Jose Symphony and San Jose Opera. A scholarship recipient and graduate of San Jose State
University, she received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance, a secondary teaching
credential in music education and is currently enrolled at the University of California Davis Mind
Institute certification program in  autism studies.  Ms. Hirata has one of the largest studios that
provides adapted music lessons to students with special needs in the Bay Area. In addition to
being a Senior Associate Simply Music Teacher, she is a Certified Signing Smart and Licensed
Kindermusik Educator, and the former Co-Representative for the Greater Bay Area Chapter of the
California Partnership of Kindermusik Educator’s.  She is a published author and lecturer and has
been recognized by Kindermusik International as a Maestro for her work with children with special
Lindy Hirata ~ Signing Smart, Kindermusik, Simply Music, ASL
Lindy is the Director of American Sign Language programs for Where Music Begins. She is a
graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Certified in both Signing Smart and American
Sign Language and an Accredited Simply Music Teacher with several years' experience teaching
developmentally-appropriate music and sign language classes to children in the Tri-Valley area.  
Her ample teaching skills, affinity for young children, and ease with parents are in high demand.
Parents and children alike immediately respond to her warmth and kindness, and Lindy is quickly
becoming one of the most requested Kindermusik teachers in the East Bay. Miss Lindy teaches
with two academies: Where Music Begins and Kindermusik with Miss Lindsay & Friends.  
 We are
fortunate to have her join the team in San Diego where she will be offering her classes in Point
and Sorrento starting in June.
Maria Lozano - Voice
Maria never had a music lesson before her senior year in college, but she always loved to sing and
has fond memories of her father listening to the opera on KPBS from his home in Ensenada,
Mexico, every Sunday, his only day off during the week.

After high school in Ensenada, she moved to Mexico City where she joined the Mexican Navy and
sang with the Navy chorus for three years.

At her father’s urging, Maria studied engineering for three years at Baja California University before
she told him that “music, not engineering, is my thing” and began taking a 9-hr. round-trip bus ride
every day to study voice at San Diego State University. After 1 ½ years, she received her B.A.
degree in music, studying with Mary MacKenzie.

She subsequently moved to San Diego and is studying for a graduate degree in music, continuing
her studies with renowned voice teacher Mary MacKenzie. Noted opera singer Carol Nesbitt hailed
her “incredible voice as a gift” while conducting a master class in which Maria was a participant.

Jessica Tejada - Violin, Viola, Guitar, Mariachi
About Us

Where Music Begins is a privately owned music academy providing outstanding music education to students of all ages and abilities.
 We believe that everyone is naturally musical and that children learn best in environments that nuture all aspects of their
development while  encouraging development in the cognitive, emotional, perceptual, social, language and physical areas of
everyone.  We are committted to the understanding of how each student learns enabling us to mold our programs to the needs and
"learning ability" of each student.  Our focus is on the process not the performance allowing children and adults to experience the
joy and magic of making music while fostering each student's individual musicality, creativity and imagination while providing a well
rounded music education, and exposing students to a variety of music styles, composition, accompaniment and jazz.  

Our teachers are highly qualified university educated individuals with extensive experience in teaching and performance.  Simply
Music and Signing Smart Educators are certified in the programs they teach.  All of our teachers regularly participate in continuing
education programs to improve their skills.
About Us
Where Music Begins, Academy of Music
Bringing Music Into the Lives of All Children