Bender Conservatory of Music

Teaching Philosophy

We love music and we love teaching. We have been teaching exclusively private music lessons full time for nine years. We teach with a Foundational approach. We use a curriculum that works and we do not skip ahead. We teach the rudiments; we make sure our students master each foundational concept before progressing to the next. Our students do very well, and usually go to the top of their class, not only in music, but in all subject areas, because the concepts we teach not only make your child a great musician, but apply to all areas of education.

We teach a new concept / technique each week, and we focus like a laser to refine that concept or technique so your child masters that specific skill. After one year, your child has mastered forty-eight concepts, including both physical technical ability on the instrument, as well as foundations of music theory. After four years of lessons in our studio, your son/daughter will be an accomplished player on the instrument, with sight-reading skill and proper technique.

Faculty - Johnny Bender

Thirty-seven years of performance experience; I am a full-time private music instructor and performer. I have been in the performing arts for thirty seven years, and have conducted ensembles and productions for twenty-two years.

In 2001, I received favorable reviews from The Washington Post and The Reston Times, and was nominated for Best Music Director by the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors Society for my music direction of 1776, by Sherman Edwards, produced by the Reston Community Players in Reston, Virginia. In 2004, I was the Tenor Section Lead for the Master Chorale of South Florida under Maestro Joe Michael Schibe, for their performance of Beethoven's 9th with Cleveland Orchestra under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst.

Master of Music, Choral Conducting, Central Michigan University, Mt Pleasant, MI 2011

Bachelor of Arts, Music Major, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 2000

High School Diploma, The Bullis School, Potomac, Maryland. Freshman and Senior Music Award Recipient

As an undergraduate at Cornell, I took conducting lessons with Mark Scatterday (Eastman School of Music, Conducting and Ensembles, Chair) and Scott Tucker (Washington Choral Arts Society, Artistic Director), and studied Music Theory with Annette Richards, Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize Nominee Roberto Sierra, James Webster, and Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer the late Steven Stucky. I took Electronic Music and composition with David Borden.

At Central Michigan University School of Music, I studied Choral Conducting with Nina-Nash Robertson, and took Instrumental Conducting from José-Luis Maúrtua. I have also had a brief but influential stint studying Choral Conducting with Graeme Langager at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

All Styles. All Genres.

I am a classically trained musician. I am experienced in all styles, including classical, jazz, popular music, and musicals. I conduct both choral and orchestral music, and adult and children's ensembles.

When your child takes music lessons in my studio, you can take comfort in knowing your child is on a progressive track and in time will learn to master his/her instrument. Music is a cumulative study, so I don't skip ahead; your child learns the next the concept or technique necessary to follow the correct learning curve for the instrument. I am very good at explaining complex musical concepts so your child understands, and I am experienced at pin-pointing exactly what is wrong and knowing exactly what adjustments to make to practice and performance problems.


Faculty - Luna Bender

Teaches Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, Drums, and Clarinet.

Luna has been teaching private music instruction for seven years. Luna has been playing piano since the age of eleven. Luna is skilled on many instruments, and is an exceptional music instructor. Luna is currently the drummer (and vocals) in the 80s / 90s Pop / rock band Three Phase Power.

Diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Kaplain Higher Education Institute through Murdoch University, Singapore, 2012