Meet the owner and founder, John Kolbrich, School Overview and Interview (as featured in Insight Magazine Sept 2012)
Our mission is to provide an excellent foundation in music instruction to students of all ages and levels. We help our students reach their goals by offering high quality music lessons and by providing our students with public performance opportunities through Recitals, Festivals, Concerts and Recordings.
The East Orlando School of Music provides musical instruction to students of all ages in the Greater Orlando Area. Our core efforts and focus are to provide the best educational services to our students. We provide year-round private music lesson programs that inspire students to do great in life.
We have a passion for all kinds of music ranging from Classical, Jazz, and Opera to Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop and Rock. Our students benefit from seeing our love for the art and from our personal attention to their individual needs. All of our private students receive a one-on-one customized lesson to help with both performance and theory as they progress. We help them develop a strong foundation which improves their performance in school, church, community, or a garage band! Whatever your musical goals may be, we will get you there! Our teachers are friendly and experienced professional musicians and educators, many of whom have Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate Degrees. They love what they do and are thrilled to be sharing their wealth of knowledge with anyone with a willingness to learn. Click here to meet them.
The Avalon School of Music was a dream, literally by its founder John Kolbrich. The concept of the school came to him one Sunday morning in early 2003. After having a clear vision of the school in his dream, John and his wife, Brenda, did some serious soul searching to make this a reality. John has been an active musician performing professionally for over 30 years but had always worked within the Information & Technology industry in Sales & Marketing for both small and large corporations. This dream, as it has turned out, was much larger than that 20 year career. Once the decision was made, there was never a moment of looking back!
By May 2003, John began teaching students on piano and trumpet. The months went by quickly and soon other instruments were added. Additional teachers where brought in to teach guitar, drums, sax, violin and later voice, bassoon, oboe, flute, and trombone. The school grew to 200 students being taught at the house every week! At that point, in mid-2004, a decision was made to open a brand new music center with a key focus on music education. For the students’ convenience, a retail & rental center was added to the model to service the school’s students, as well as local private teachers and musicians. With this new facility, John has shown us that dreams really can come true!
Founder John Kolbrich has had a strong passion for music since he was a young student himself. Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, John was surrounded by music from an early age. His parents, John and Paula, had a love for music and exposed and encouraged him and his older sister Erika to learn music early in life. John started taking private lessons on accordion at age seven and then picked up trumpet a few years later. At age nine, John decided he wanted to perform on stage. By high school, music was the center of John’s life. His high school band teacher, Mr. Tony Malokowsky, was a great influence and mentor to him. Mr. “Mal”, as he was known, was so dedicated to his students that when John wanted to play in the jazz band and did not have transportation, Mr. Mal would drive twenty four miles at 6:30 a.m. to pick John up. This was in an unheated VW Beetle in the Canadian winters!
John continued his studies in music through private lessons while attending DeVry University in Toronto where he studied Electronic Engineering and graduated in 1982. John studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and also with well-know trumpet teacher, Rainer Schmidt. Rainer was a big influence in John’s musical life. As John puts it, “He changed the way I thought and played trumpet forever!” Rainer was principle chair at Toronto ‘s O’Keefe Center and he also performed in Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass, one of Canada’s top big jazz bands. John adopted Rainer’s methods and has taught his principles to all of his students.
John and his family have been Avalon Park residents since 2002 after relocating from the Dr. Phillips area. “I love the family and community environment in Avalon Park, and I plan to grow old here!”. He performs regularly with his band called “Europa” playing a wide variety of European and American music. Europa has recorded four CD’s and has performed at Disney’s Epcot Center and as well as Sea World in addition to hundreds of national performances.
That question is often asked by prospective students. Our teachers make it a priority to get to know you on a personal level and to become familiar with your personal musical needs and goals. We do not treat every student the same in terms of what and how we teach.
A seven year old having their first guitar lesson will have very different needs than a fifty seven year old taking up piano for the second time after having had lessons as a child.
The main reason to choose the School as your music lesson provider is that we are sensitive to the fact that every student is an individual.
If you enroll here for lessons, we will work with you to make a plan that will fit your needs and musical preferences. At the first lesson your teacher will ask you about your favorite type of music, and set goals to help accomplish whatever musical aspirations you have for yourself or your child.
We teach all styles from classical, rock, pop and jazz to country, R & B, Latin and blues.
Our teachers have received their music education from prestigious institutions such as New York University, The Manhattan Conservatory of Music, Berklee College of Music, Full Sail University, Rollins College, UCF, and the University of Florida. Many of our instructors have gone on performance tours of the US and Europe and have over 25 years of professional performance and teaching experience. In addition to their teaching credentials, our teachers have warm personalities, are extremely friendly and strive to get to know each student and their parent on a personal level.Our Music Lessons
We welcome students from ages four to one hundred and five. Our professional and knowledgeable team of instructors is able to meet the music educational needs of students of all ages from beginners to advanced.
For piano and violin, we generally accept children starting at the age of four. Young children need to be mature enough to sit for 30 minutes, know their ABC’s and count to 10. We do teach four year olds, but they must start with a prorated trial lesson and the instructor will determine if the child is ready to begin his/her musical journey with us.
For guitar, drums, voice, and most other instruments, we recommend beginning at the age of seven. This is primarily because their fine motor skills need this extra time to develop. One of our key goals is to share our love of music and create a wonderful first experience on any instrument for every student.
We suggest learning the piano to all newcomers to music. Obtaining a music education at the East Orlando School of Music includes an approved curriculum of music theory education, the foundation of playing and reading the music for any instrument. We have found that the students who start with piano (learning both Treble and Bass Clefs along with theory and ear training) progress more smoothly through their music career. When and if they decide to switch to or add voice, guitar, drums, woodwinds or brass lessons, they will have a greater understanding of the music because they started with the piano. Most universities and colleges require knowing how to play the piano in order to graduate with a music degree. Having a basic foundation with the piano opens up an entire new world for beginner musicians!
All of our schools are furnished with upright pianos and drums sets. These are the only instruments that a student does not need to bring to their weekly lessons. All students are required to purchase or rent a quality beginner instrument to practice on at home. We would be more than happy to assist you in finding the right size/brand/price range of the instrument you or your child is interested in learning. During your first lesson the teacher will be able to recommend the best instrument for you to begin with! We do offer some basic quality and reasonably priced begining Guitars and Keyboards.
For full-size weighted keyboards, guitars, and drums, the school manager has Student Discount Cards at the front desk to receive 10% off the purchase of most instruments and accessories at Sam Ash Music Stores.
For band and orchestral instruments, our schools are affiliates and depots for the Music & Arts Rent-to-Own program. Together, we offer a great rent–to-own program for Orange County Public Schools-approved instruments. These are high quality instruments that are easy to play and in tune, which greatly enhances the student’s first experience! We rent hundreds of instruments to middle school band and orchestra students as well as our own students. Parents find the rent-to-own program convenient, economical, and flexible. If you are not sure, we would be more than happy to assist you in finding the right instrument based on your student’s level, size & needs!
Our music programs are designed for private, one-on-one instruction to maximize the learning benefit to each individual student.
Group Guitar and Others: We offer group guitar and other group lessons to friends and family requesting to learn together. Group classes are one hour in length and cost $109 a month per person.
Rock/Jazz/Country Bands: The school hosts rock, jazz, and country bands that meet weekly. These are designed for students to play songs they enjoy together and have fun! We recommend beginners to start taking private lessons before joining a band to learn the basics, and to become comfortable playing in a group. The school hosts an annual mega concert called “Avalon Rocks!” every June. Here, bands showcase what they have been working on all year and have a blast! For bands that want to get extra performance experience, various performance opportunities are available throughout the year at local events in the community. Bands meet for one hour every week and cost $109 a month per member.
Private lessons are all one-on one and therefore the length can be customized to match the student’s age and level. Lessons for beginners are 30 minutes in length. 45 & 60 minute lessons are available for students who would like more time to cover more material (and have more fun), as well as intermediate and advanced students. You can always start with 30 minutes once a week and upgrade to either 45 or 60 minutes once a week, or come in for 30 minutes twice a week (or vice versa).
Voice Lessons: All voice students that are above the age of 13 are required to take 45 or 60 minute lessons. Vocal warm-up exercises are a part of all voice lessons which usually take up to the first 15 minutes of lesson time.
Yes, we ask you to choose a day and time that works within your weekly schedule. Your lesson will normally be on the same day and time each week.
Absolutely, we encourage you to try a new instrument with a new instructor! You may take a pro-rated trial class on any instrument we teach. A 30 minute trial lesson cost $32.25 and gives you/your child the opportunity to meet with the instructor one-on-one, discuss what you would like to accomplish, and get an idea of how YOUR music lesson will progress. After that, you may decide to register and enroll in our monthly lesson program.
The school has no official make-up policy. Therefore, make-up classes are not guaranteed. With that said, if you will miss your lesson and have the ability to call the school ahead of time (ASAP), a make-up class may be an option based on the circumstances, teacher approval, and schedule availability. Absolutely no make-ups will be given for no call, no shows. Our instructors are highly trained and we respect their time and dedication to you/your child. Please offer your consideration when planned absences or emergencies arise.
For retail/merchandise items, we accept cash, check or Credit card (must have identification on hand with credit card purchases). For students who sign up for regular monthly lessons we accept only Credit Cards, Debit Cards & ACH/Direct Deposit for monthly recurring payments.
If a 3rd party (who is not present at the time of student registration) agrees to pay registration/monthly tuition costs, they must review/sign/return our 3rd party credit card authorization form along with copy of U.S. state or government issued valid identification. We do not accept Pre-Paid cards such as Green Dot, etc for any point of sale or recurring transactions whatsoever.
- 30 Minute Weekly Lessons: $129 per month (based on 4 per month)
- 45 Minute Weekly Lessons: $193.50 per month (based on 4 per month)
- 60 Minute Weekly Lessons: $249 per month (based on 4 per month)
- $35 Registration Fee (Family discount $25 each for 2nd/3rd family member)
- $10 Monthly Discount for Family Members (only offered when family is setup for monthly auto-billing)
- Tuition is based on Four Lessons Per Month (5th weeks are billed separate only when they occur)
Upon registering, you will be billed for the registration fee and for the number of lessons remaining in the month. Your credit card, debit card, or ACH/Direct Deposit will then be billed on the first day of the month thereafter.
The School does not require semester minimums for lessons. Every student here is on a month-to-month basis. If you are ready to start, you have nothing to lose as we only want students who truly want to be here and we will not commit you to a long term contract.
When there is a fifth week in the month, your account will be charged for that fifth lesson on the 1st. When there is a holiday when the school is closed, your teacher will give you the option to make-up the class (either before or after the holiday).
Our site includes an overview of our company & history, teacher biographies, school tours, student quotes, and other valuable tools and information. Any additional questions may be answered by calling the New Student Hotline at 407-567-7776
Stop by any of ourduring normal teaching hours (M-Th 2:30-8, Fr 2:30-7, Sat 9am-3pm) and speak with a director to determine when, where, and from which instructor you would like to begin learning! -OR- Call our New Student Hotline at 407-567-7776, choose the location nearest to you, and a director will be right with you to answer any further questions you may have and determine when, where, and from which instructor you would like to begin learning!
Our site includes an overview of our company & history, teacher biographies, school tours, student quotes, and other valuable tools and information. Any additional questions may be answered by calling the New Student Hotline at 407-447-7272 or filling out our Contact Form.