McLaughlin Studios Music, Dance, Theatre Arts
With over 24 years of arts education, McLaughlin Studios continues to believe that a knowledgeable and courteous teaching staff and front office staff can provide more services to our community and engage our audiences with incredible music, dance and theatre productions.
Most of our music teachers have a minimum of a university degree in music with many holding masters' degrees. Our teachers are chosen not only for their qualifications, but for their ability to relate to the students. We teach everyone from beginners to very advanced level students.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
New students are always fun and exciting. With your first lesson or class your teacher will ask a few basic questions to find out a little bit about you and what you are wanting to get out of the lessons. After we get to know eachother, we will assess your skills to see where we need to begin our journey.
Music, dance, and theatre is fun, but it is also challenging. We want you know that we will expect you to practice between your lessons so that you can progress and meet your goals.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
All of our instructors have college courses in their chosen instrument or college degrees in music. They are hired on their knowledge of music, dance and theatre, their ability to engage and teach students of all levels, and their passion and willingness to go the extra mile to tailor each lesson, class or workshop to help their students excel.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
We offer a five tiered lesson program.
Private Lessons: 30min-$120/mo, 45min-$180/mo, 60min-$240/mo
Duet Lessons: 30min-$80/mo, 45min-$120/mo, 60min-$160/mo (per student)
Group Classes: 30min- $45/mo, 45min- $55/mo, 60min-$65/mo (per student/4 or more students)
Drop-In Private Lessons: 30min-$40, 45min-$50 60min-$65
Production Workshops vary with type of production. See mtctheatre.org for more details.
Annual Registration: $30 per student/Max. $50 per family
How did you get started teaching?
In 1993, Greg and Nancie McLaughlin opened their first music studio in downtown Loomis in a 500 square foot location. They had three teachers, Greg, Nancie and Schell who taught Creative Expression, Music Exploration, Piano, Flute, Saxophone, Guitar and Bass. Greg was recognized in the Placer County area and surrounding communities as an outstanding teacher having taught at local establishments and by playing at many local venues and private events. He earned his Master's Degree in Music in 1992. Nancie was responsible for the creative expression and music exploration classes. She was also a well-recognized musician in the area performing with top local ensembles. Nancie holds a Bachelor's in Education and just received a Master's Degree in Education (2015). Schell was a well-known and very popular guitar instructor who jumped at the chance to work with the McLaughlin couple.
Word got around rapidly and within one year Greg and Nancie realized they could not accommodate all of the students in the small space. The students were so pleased with the instructors and the progress they were making, they kept coming and supporting Greg, Nancie, and Schell even in the less than desirable space. But, it was not acceptable to them in achieving their goals to bring exceptional service and knowledge to their clients, so they located a larger place just down the street and around the corner where they found themselves building a studio that included 6 studio rooms, a small office area, a greeting/waiting space, and a classroom. They were even able to add a place where they could keep music supplies and to store instruments for rentals. This was no easy move and it was a stretch financially. They were encouraged by their teachers, students and their families and those who could help, volunteered their labor. Everyone entering the studio noticed a space above the office specially made for their daughter, Melissa. She has grown up with the excitement and joy of learning music and entertainment.
The change was definitely good as the studio not only was more than double in size but the number of students increased exponentially. Greg and Nancie were able to add teachers to the company and expand the offerings to include brass, violin, percussion and voice lessons as well as youth orchestra, jazz band, and jazz improv. They also found that they were being recognized and accepted as a contributing member of the business community in the town of Loomis. They joined the Chamber of Commerce in Loomis and regularly participated in community events. Events include the Eggplant Festival, The Loomis Earth Day, The Loomis Christmas Celebration, and many others. A natural part of their involvement in the greater Placer County area included contact and interaction with the schools at all levels.
Greg started teaching at Sierra Community College in 1991 and after 15 years advanced to Head of the Music Department. He had to reduce his hours at the studio but has continued to be actively involved by remaining on the teacher staff, musical director of MTC, and emcee at studio recitals and concerts.
In 2000, once again a move was necessary and even more physical renovation and building was needed. Nancie saw a need to expand their program to include dance as well as an expanded music program. In 2008 a dance floor was installed and a stage with lighting and acoustic equipment was constructed. The teachers were now able to hold their recitals at the studio. Greg and Nancie also held teacher and family recognition days recognizing the expertise of the teachers and the value of having supportive families. Then, in 2009, a full youth theatre arts program was added to their company. The McLaughlin Theatre Company (MTC) was created as a not-for-profit project of the Sierra Performing Arts Association for “building skills and confidence for a lifetime.” Nancie said, “The MTC project was the perfect addition to our arts education facility, creating music, dance and theatre all under one roof.”
Most performances required renting space in the community which involved hauling sets and costumes and equipment back and forth.
After 12 years at their third location and several years of wanting to improve even more, Nancie surveyed their staff and clientele to help them determine what was needed to achieve that goal. It was clear to Nancie and Greg that another move was necessary.
They moved to their current location in 2012. They now have 6600 square feet that has developed into a working music, dance and theatre arts facility that exceeds everyone's expectations. Now that they have their own large 28X32 foot stage with state of the art lighting and sound systems they are able to hold all of their performances and recitals at their studio. They are looking forward to the day when they can say they are finished with construction, but are finding every step they take makes their studio one of the top arts studios in all of the Placer County and surrounding areas. As important as space is, Greg and Nancie say, “We know it is the teaching staff that makes the company” and they constantly endeavor to enlist the most talented and highly qualified individuals. Currently they have eighteen incredible teachers and have a great front office staff. The retail space is designed to have the supplies and equipment available to meet the needs of the teachers and students. Greg and Nancie said, “We feel we are achieving what we set out to do back in 1993. As long as we can continue to fulfill our pledge to provide excellence in Arts Education for all, we are happy.”
What types of students have you worked with?
Over the past 23 years, we have had the pleasure of working with a vareity of students. Some students are young beginners excited to start their music journey and discovering what they like and what they don't like. Others come to us with a specific plan to become a musician or an educator.
It is so exciting to see our students learn and grow and become who they set out to be. Many have gone on to become music educators locally and across the country. others are professional musicians nationally and abroad. And still others, opt to teach at McLaughlin Studios to help the next generation excell.
We work with music students as young as 4 and as young as 104. We have those who are high achiever and those who just want to dabble and get some experience. We have some who are special needs and others who need special attention.
Every student bring a special joy and challenge. We love them all!
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
One of the most exciting experiences we have had over the years is the event that changed one of our former students life this past year. Former student and McLaughlin Studios teacher, Joe Berry, became a member of M83! He toured the world, performed 110 shows in 32 countries! We are so proud of his accomplishments.
It just goes to show, great education, determination and a lot of hard work is greatly rewarded!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Look for a studio that has a Focus on Teaching:
Our main focus is on music education. We provide the highest quality of music instruction for children and adults.
Our instructors are highly qualified and many have university degrees and extensive performance experience. Most importantly, our instructors strive to relate their teaching to each individual student's learning style.
All Ages - Beginners to Advanced:
Our current students range from 3 years old to many students in their 60's and 70's. We take care to teach what you want to learn so music is rewarding for students of all ages and levels.
Music recitals are held three times a year. These provide students with performance experience and build confidence. Participation in music festivals, and concerts is also available.
Music is a performing art and the earlier you start performing the more comfortable you will become. Not to mention the more fun you will have.
Dance recitals are held twice a year. Our winter recital shares the stage with our music and theatre students and our spring recital is our dance showcase.
For theatre, we are performing non-stop. With mini musicals, kids producitons, jr. productions and main stage productions you can join the fun anytime of the year!
To learn more you can visit our site!
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
For music lesson, we suggest taking a look at our guide
Get the Most Out of Lessons
These 5 guidelines will help you to have a successful, rewarding experience learning an instrument. These are practical tips that we have discovered from years of teaching and our experience with teaching hundreds of students each year.
For dance classes, we are proud of our experienced and educated staff who teach a variety of classes and levels. It is important to find a teacher who is not only knowledgeable but one who shows empathy and a williness to work with all students. Not just the easy ones. We are confident in our dance teachers ability to guide and train students to become well versed in dance to allow them to grow as individuals as well as team players.
Students should ask what their teachers specialty is. Is that the focus or type of dance you are interested in?
Many students shy away from ballet. Although, we are not a ballet conservatory,ballet is the foundation of dance so we recommend that all students take at least one ballet class to strenghthen their body and dance skills.
Theatre workshops should be a training ground to build skills. Ask the theatre if they include any training in acting, dance or voice during their production workshops.
Many groups concentrate on the productions and do not focus on training the students in the varied disciplines necessary for future success in theatre. MTC focuses on training in our classes and workshops to engage the actor in every aspect of musical theatre.