Bringing Musical Instruction to Boyle Heights


Extera Public Schools, which operates public charter schools on three campuses in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles, will present a unique “After School” music program for 60 students ages 5-7 (kindergarten through 2nd grade) for five consecutive weeks.

The new program, entitled ColorSoundation, is a revolutionary teaching methodology by which to teach very young children the fundamentals of music through the integration and interplay of color. Beginning this week, the ColorSoundation After School program will be offered to these students four days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays) from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Shiho Yamamoto, Conservatory of Performing Arts founder, with Swara Amare, ColorSoundation’s 1,000th student.

Shiho Yamamoto, Conservatory of Performing Arts founder, with Swara Amare, ColorSoundation’s 1,000th student.

Shiho Yamamoto, a Los Angeles-based musician originally from Japan and the founder of the West Los Angeles-based Conservatory of Performing Arts – a school that specializes in offering progressive academic music lessons to a diverse range of young students living in Southern California — is the creator of ColorSoundation. She will be teaching these “After School” classes herself on Mondays and Thursdays, while a colleague from her school will be teaching on Tuesdays and Fridays.

She developed ColorSoundation in 2005 as a process for young children that blends a combination of singing, playing and ear training, along with the illustrated activities of seven colorful, original animated characters, and the integration of color-coded stickers and instructional booklets.

During April, the school achieved another landmark milestone by welcoming its 1,000th ColorSoundation student, Swara Amare, age 4, of Westwood. Swara attends the Montessori Discovery Garden preschool in Westwood, where she loves her music classes. Her parents, Mayura, a graphic designer, and Paresh, an architect, wanted her to further explore her musical foundation by enrolling her into the ColorSoundation program.

Swara represents the 1,000th student to study this program worldwide; ColorSoundation is offered in select schools across the U.S. and throughout Asia.

Says Yamamoto, “We are thrilled to have been invited by the Extera Public Schools to present our ColorSoundation program to their After School program students. Children reach a greater understanding of music by focusing first on the development of the ‘ear’ and singing voice, and then by concentrating on rhythm and musical notation.

“Our ColorSoundation process offers lessons which are broken into small steps, and interactive games, so as to not overwhelm children with too much information at once. These lessons allow students to absorb and grasp the fundamentals of music through voice, handbells and basic percussion instruments, in efforts to ultimately interest them in choosing an instrument to play when they get older.”

The Conservatory of Performing Arts is located at 2372 Veteran Ave. in Los Angeles and can be reached at (310) 470-6006. A second location is 24205 Narbonne Ave., # 101, in Lomita. The number there is (310) 534-0777. For more information, visit



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