La Jolla Village
    Montessori School
7427 Fay Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

Joanne O'Neil, Director Joanne O'Neil Signature


Starting Suzuki piano lessons at the age of 2 ½ years old, Christine Darling has always had a passion for music.

Miss Christine attended The Conservatory of Music at Biola University in La Mirada, CA and achieved a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance.

She continued her education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance.  While in Dallas, Miss Christine was an apprentice to Suzuki Master Teacher, Cathy Hargrave, for two years.  She also completed her training in Musikgarten Music and Movement Series with Kathy Matthia.

Christine Darling has taught private lessons and Musikgarten classes at the Community School of Music and the Arts at University of Redlands. She currently teaches Musikgarten and keyboard classes at La Jolla Village Montessori School through Darling Piano Studios Preparatory Program.

Musikgarten classes involve exploration through song, stories, listening, rhythmic instruments, and movement.  Students learn how to develop a steady rhythmic pulse as they sing and play rhythmic instruments.   Melodies of the selected songs are centered on the major or minor tonal patterns that the children learn to sing using solfege.   

The keyboard classes consist of learning how to sit at the piano, memorize the musical alphabet, spot placing notes on the piano keyboard, identify each finger number, learn to play piano pieces and conduct themselves properly at the piano and as they perform.  Students are at the keyboards two of the three days that they have music classes. The third day is dedicated to learning basic music theory, singing the songs that they will learn at the piano, and discovering new facts about musicians, composers and compositions as a group.  Each child has the opportunity to play their memorized pieces in one of the class recitals offered each semester.

Miss Christine teaches the Suzuki Method to students ages 4- adult through Darling Piano Studios, which is located in Point Loma, San Diego.  Beyond teaching, her current projects involve performing with harpist, Tasha Smith Godinez, and is the president and director of Vivace Music Institute of San Diego’s summer music camp and year round ensemble coachings.