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Our Story

In 2005, husband-and-wife team Tommy Toy and Emily Siskin-Toy launched WOW! Music Studios, the culmination of a decades-long dream to create a totally accessible music school based upon a single revolutionary concept: Every person, without exception, is naturally musical. If we weren’t, we couldn’t walk evenly (rhythm) or recognize when our parents mean business (pitch)! 

 

Tommy worked in advertising for 15 years developing marketing programs and campaigns for Fortune 500 companies before escaping the corporate world to open WOW with his college sweetheart, Emily. As a multi-instrumentalist, performer, teacher, and father, Tommy brings  unparalleled knowledge and a passion for music to the Studio each day. 

 

Before WOW, Emily spent her days writing for a variety of film, music, and sports publications in southern California, always yearning to return to her Mill Valley roots to start a business where she could merge her love of music and community.

 

When they’re not at WOW watching musicians grow, Tommy & Emily can be found playing a pretty good game of pickleball on the local courts or jamming with their respective rock bands.

Our Administration Team

Christopher Black

Studio Manager

Christopher Black was born and raised in Tucson, AZ by artistic parents that surrounded his life with music, creativity, and loving support. As he learned to walk and talk, he started to pull pots and pans out from the kitchen cabinets, and would play on them using wooden spoons. Recognizing this creative spirit in Chris, his parents got him his first drumset and he started taking lessons at the age of 7.

Chris earned his Bachelor's of Fine Art in Photography from the University of Arizona as he continued teaching drum lessons, performing and recording with many bands including Armchair Robot, The Okmoniks, and Anarchestra. Chris understands the importance of learning, playing, and loving music because he has lived it, and he is grateful to be able to share this gift with the world.

Elliott Jacobs

Studio Specialist

Elliott Jacobs is a Mill Valley native who holds a Bachelor's Degree in Audio Visual Production from San Francisco State University and an Associate’s Degree in Communication Studies from College of Marin. Elliott handles all things audio and other logistics at WOW, and when he isn’t helping run things there, he is making music, spending too much money at a restaurant, or spending time with loved ones!

Jennifer Oreste

Billing Coordinator
 

As an ardent supporter of WOW Music Studios (both of her children took lessons all the way through high school), Jennifer is thrilled to be part of the WOW admin team. With a background as a CPA and an interest in painting, Jennifer applies her skills as the Billing Coordinator and occasional contributor of WOW-inspired art.

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Our Philosophy

Mission Statement

WOW! Music Studios invites you to join our fun and supportive music community--a special collaboration of teachers, students and local residents working together to make playing music more accessible to all!

 

Our innovative, positive program inspires learning and playing for all types of students and musicians. 

 

In a world that is becoming increasingly solo, the WOW experience nurtures the human need to relate, create, and inspire together.

Core Principal

Every person, without exception, is naturally and profoundly musical.

 

Why are we all naturally musical? It starts with how we can walk evenly (rhythm) or recognize when our parents mean business (pitch)! Our teachers tap into this natural musicality with a “playing-based” approach to make lessons easy, fun, and accessible to anyone.

Top 7 Things To Look For In Music Education

  1. Teachers who are patient, kind, thoughtful, knowledgeable, passionate, inspiring

  2. A cohesive curriculum that seamlessly adapts to a student’s individual learning style

  3. Multiple disciplines available so a student can easily explore new instruments

  4. Teachers working collaboratively to learn and inspire each other and pay it forward to their students 

  5. Opportunities to share music with others inspires budding musicians: recitals, festivals, concerts, events, jam sessions

  6. Chances to play in student ensembles to give private lessons more meaning and raise the level of musicianship

  7. A supportive community of students, teachers, and parents all working together to learn, play, and share music to strengthen the community in which we live