Music Program FAQs

Welcome to the Youth Center’s after school music classes on all Los Alamitos Unified School District campuses! To learn more about the benefits of learning music, please see study results below from The National Association of Music Education.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Program:

Classes last the entire school year and are held on assigned days at each school. To view the schedule, please click here:

Students study one instrument the entire year unless they are in our Mini-Percussion class for K-2nd grade. Thanks to grant funding this year, we are loaning parents a drum pad with sticks for this class but students can also choose from a variety of percussion instruments that we bring to each class.

To view an example of a percussion class, please view this video: Mini-Percussion Class Example

Children usually select an instrument based on the way it sounds. To give your child an example, please view this video: Sounds of Musical Instruments

Each school has their own pick-up location:

  • Weaver – Pick up for Kinders is at their class and after class, drop off will either be Kids Korner (if a member) or in front of the stage. Grades 1-5th students are to meet in front of the stage and they will either be taken to Kids Korner (if a member) or to the front of the stage.
  • LAE – Pick up and drop off is in front of Kids Korner
  • Rossmoor – Students meet at the lunch benches. Parent pickup is in front of the school by the main office.
  • Lee – Pick up and drop off is in front of Kids Korner
  • McGaugh – Pick up and drop off is at the lunch benches
  • Hopkinson – Pick up and drop off is at Kids Korner

With the exception of Mini-Percussion for K-2nd graders, all classes require your child to bring an instrument to class. Rental instruments can be obtained by contacting Daniel Van Andler at (562) 596-1287,

We do not provide makeups or refunds for missed classes. You may attend another school for an extra class if you need to miss your regular class time. Please speak with your child’s music teacher in advance to make arrangements.

Please contact Daniel Van Andler at (562) 596-1287 or The Youth Center office at (562) 493-4043. Please note that in cases of emergency, another teacher may fill‑in for your child’s teacher on any given session.

Your child should bring their music book/pages, instrument and a pencil.

They will receive communications and instructions from their teacher in the Music folder we will provide to them at the beginning of class.

Up to four (4) classes can be taken to evaluate the program. Sometimes, children find they are happier learning a different instrument and we can usually switch classes. A full refund of the program fee, less the $50 administration charge, will be granted if written notice of withdrawal is received by The Youth Center office prior to the beginning of the 5th class meeting. Following the start of the 5th class, all program fees will be considered fully earned and no refunds, full or partial, will be granted.

Classes are subject to a six (6) student minimum. If it is necessary to cancel a class as a result of insufficient enrollment, students may enroll at another school. The maximum number of children in any given class may vary upon the class and is at the music director’s discretion.

If using a credit card, you can be automatically charged monthly on the 15th of each month until the full program fee is paid. If payment is not made by the 30th of the month due, a $20 late fee will be assessed.

The Youth Center provides scholarships to families in need. Please download the form here along with the necessary paperwork described in the application.

Why Should Children Learn Music?

Studies show that learning music offers developmental benefits like nothing else!

From the National Association of Music Education


Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds.

Even when performing with sheet music, student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. The skill of memorization can serve students well in education and beyond.

Learning music promotes craftsmanship, and students learn to want to create good work instead of mediocre work. This desire can be applied to all subjects of study.

Students who practice with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music.

Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Students who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement.

An enjoyable subject like music can keep kids interested and engaged in school. Student musicians are likely to stay in school to achieve in other subjects.

Music is the fabric of our society, and music can shape abilities and character. Students in band or orchestra are less likely to abuse substances over their lifetime. Musical education can greatly contribute to children’s intellectual development as well.

Students of music can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures. They also tend to have higher self-esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.

Children can develop their math and pattern-recognition skills with the help of musical education. Playing music offers repetition in a fun format.

Students who have experience with music performance or appreciation score higher on the SAT. One report indicates 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math for students in music appreciation courses.

Musicians can better detect meaningful, information-bearing elements in sounds, like the emotional meaning in a baby’s cry. Students who practice music can have better auditory attention, and pick out predictable patterns from surrounding noise.

Introducing music in the early childhood years can help foster a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination.

Students can fight stress by learning to play music. Soothing music is especially helpful in helping kids relax.

Kids who learn to play an instrument can learn a valuable lesson in discipline. They will have to set time aside to practice and rise to the challenge of learning with discipline to master playing their instrument.

Investing in creative education can prepare students for the 21st century workforce. The new economy has created more artistic careers, and these jobs may grow faster than others in the future.

Kids who study the arts can learn to think creatively. This kind of education can help them solve problems by thinking outside the box and realizing that there may be more than one right answer.

Students who study music can improve the development of spatial intelligence, which allows them to perceive the world accurately and form mental pictures. Spatial intelligence is helpful for advanced mathematics and more.

Many musical education programs require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie.

Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches kids how to take risks and deal with fear, which will help them become successful and reach their potential.

With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to develop better communication for students.


June 19, 2016 – From

A two-year study by researchers at the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the University of Southern California shows that exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception.

The study of 6-7-year-old children began in 2012, when neuroscientists started monitoring a group of 37 children from an underprivileged neighbourhood of Los Angeles. Thirteen of them received music instruction through the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles Program where they practiced up to seven hours each week.

Eleven children were enrolled in a community-based soccer programme, and another 13 children were not involved in any training programme at all.

The researchers compared the three groups by tracking the electrical activity in the brains, conducting behavioural testing and monitored changes using brain scans.

The results showed that the auditory systems of the children in the music programme had accelerated faster than the other children not engaged in music. Dr. Assal Habibi, the lead author of the study and a senior research associate at the BCI, explained that the auditory system is stimulated by music and the system is also engaged in general sound processing. This is essential to reading skills, language development and successful communication.