At ZOT Zin Music, we feel very fortunate to have Stephen Spataro on board.
Steve is specialized in 2 areas of music education:
- Child Music Education: He has over 20 years experience teaching children guitar, music, theory and vocals.
- Voice Teacher: Steve is a specialist in teaching kids and adults vocal performance and vocal technique.
Backing up his reputation as an accomplished and highly regarded choir director, music teacher and musician, Steve holds:
- A B.S. in Music Education from West Chester University
- A Masters Degree in Music Education from NYU (which is one of the top programs in the US, and really hard to get into).
- Three levels of certification for Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly.
These credentials explain why Steve is considered one of L.A.’s top voice instructors and why he is one of L.A.s highest in-demand music teachers for children.
Click HERE to read what Steve’s students are saying about their lessons.
The Start of Steve’s Musical Journey.
Steve grew up in Pennsylvania outside the capital of Harrisburg, where he began singing and performing in school and church functions at age 6. He always knew he wanted to be a singer, musician and teacher.
All through his young years, he was active in music and theater.
He played the violin, trumpet, guitar, and sang, and was already writing music at a young age.
As a kid, Steve played in the band, orchestra, and choir.
Later on: he was involved in several local music and theater groups all through high school.
Everyone knew of his passion for music and he became a favorite local performer.
However: his most significant performances as a kid, were those late nights at the piano in the basement of his home, where his parents and siblings would be kept awake through the midnight hours while he was creating at the piano.
Steve’s Music Studies and Training.
Steve went on to study music and theater at a local college where he took leads in several musicals. This included the role of Jesus in the rock opera, “Jesus Christ Super Star.”
Again, performing in all the local venues, Steve was already coaching and teaching others in music.
From the local scene in Pa, he went on to earn a Degree in Music Education from West Chester University in West Chester Pa, outside of Philadelphia. It was there that Stephen’s voice teacher, Emil Marco a former New York City Opera performer, introduced him to Corneilus Reid, one of New York’s premier voice teachers. While in West Chester, Steve excelled in his craft.
He continued his studies in New York with Corneilus Reid, and continued to hone his craft as an educator.
Being one who believes in continued growth, Steve spent every spare moment in New York City studying.
He completed a summer theater certification at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theater School.
Soon after, he began an advance study of music, voice and teaching at NYU and earned a Masters degree in Music Education. It was here that he focused his studies on two specific areas: learning the theory and the mechanics of the singing voice. With additional studies at University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, Villanova, Vandercook College of Music in Chicago and of course, New York City, he gained an expansive knowledge of the best methods for teaching music.
His very thorough study of the methods and teachings of Corneilus Reid equipped him to go on to master the science of the voice. Meanwhile: Steve also earned three levels of training in Orff and Kodaly (the best methodologies for teaching music).
Steve’s Teaching Background in A Nutshell.
While at West Chester, Steve performed with the Philadelphia Opera Theater.
He also performed with various rock bands and played several musical performances at the college and in local clubs as a singer-songwriter. In addition: he performed as a paid tenor soloist for Paoli’s largest Episcopal Church.
Fresh out of college, Steve taught music, performed locally and was the music director for several churches in West Chester.
When new musical opportunities came up in his hometown that were to good to miss out on, he moved back to his home town and began teaching, writing music and performing.
In bringing his skills to a middle school in Carlisle Pa, he put their choir on the map.
His second year the choir grew from 48 students to 151 and competed in the Northwest Choral Festival.
They placed 2nd over all, and several of their pieces had been arranged by Stephen.
The choir was invited to perform for many events including the National Literacy Conference in 1987.
Steve remained at Carlisle for several years maintaining this quality of excellence in the program.
He also continued to be a local favorite performing in theater, local clubs, weddings, both as a hired gun and with several original rock music projects.
It was his work with many local singers that brought him a new level of notoriety.
Through his passion for teaching and for the voice, he was able to help many singers who were frustrated and stuck in their vocal progress.
He developed a reputation for being the “go to guy” for voice.
Many of his young students went on to study music and perform in college and beyond.
But this was just the beginning.
Steve was offered the position of Elementary Music Specialist at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey Pa.
He also took on the post of Department Coordinator for the Drama Department.
Steve’s love for teaching was a perfect fit.
The elementary music program that Steve developed at Milton Hershey, became the model for several college programs.
He mentored many student teachers and developed many young musicians who today are having great professional careers producing, recording and performing music.
The Milton Hershey choir performed for many important events including a conference of United States Senators, where they performed several pieces composed by Steve.
He continued to write music for children and adults including a full musical about the life of Milton Hershey, the chocolate king of Hershey’s Chocolate called, “Sweet Dreams.”
After teaching in various music schools in New York for several years, Steve moved to Los Angeles to take a position with P.S. Arts: a non–profit organization that places arts education teachers in the public schools.
As a noted master teacher, he went on to teach at the UCLA Lab School for several years.
Steve currently teaches at a private school in Encino where he teaches general music, chorus, musical theater and guitar.
Passionate about helping his students to find and explore the music inside themselves: Steve continues to inspire young students through song writing, singing and improvisation: .
The Strong Musician Behind The Music Teacher.
While his first love is teaching music, Steve’s interests in music span far beyond the classroom walls.
He was the arranger and vocal coach for an all- girl band called, Firework.
Steve also vocal coached clients for Bruce Sterling of AEI Entertainment Development Firm, and famous clients of the Plaza Studios.
He has many original songs and choral pieces ready for publication and has been the guest conductor and arranger for several choral groups including the Freedom Singers.
Stephen’s passion for music and his life-long journey to continually perfect his teaching, keep him constantly growing.
He has plans to complete an album of original contemporary rock music this summer and begin working on two film projects.
If you have visited England lately and played some of their older online video games, you may have heard his voice singing the theme for the Transformers game. And if you check his Facebook, most of his friends are former students.
When he is not teaching, he is creating.
As Einstein said: ”I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.”