Teaching students the 5 areas of a solid musical education: Sight reading, Theory, Memorization, Music History, and Performance.

Musical Excellence

Providing students a platform to improve on instrumental skills required for a solid musical foundation.


Equipping students with tools to gain confidence and experience performing in the arts.


The staff at VCMA is comprised of men and women who are not only passionate about music, but about fully embracing the purpose and mission of VCMA and using it to make an impact in the lives of their students.



    Tara Kays was born and raised in Ventura County and grew up having music as a big part of her life. She started taking violin and piano lessons when she was seven years old. Tara graduated college with a BA in Music from Westmont College in 2010 and continued her education in grad school at Azusa Pacific University and received a Masters in Education with a Teaching Credential in Music Teaching K-12 in 2012. She has traveled to Europe for orchestral performances and choral performances and was a fiddler in a bluegrass band for many years. In classical violin, she completed the Suzuki Classical method. Tara currently lives in Camarillo with her husband Jeremy, her son Zeke and her dog Penny.



    Elisha Odell was born in Hawaii where she was immersed in Hawaiian culture. She learned that music was a way to express herself, tell stories, and share life with the people around her. Music has always been in her family and everyday life, and Elisha began singing in choirs when she was in first grade. Soon, she was inspired to do more than sing, and began taking flute lessons, playing jazz, classical, and marching band through high school and college. She has also played the trumpet, piano, guitar, and French horn. Her passion for music led to the ukulele, which she was been loving ever since she first picked one up. Elisha also feels called to teach and minister to youth of all ages. She is a firm believer that music is an excellent way to not only exercise the brain and learn to express yourself, but that it will be something students will love doing for the rest of their lives. 

  • Kathleen Mckinley


    Kathleen McKinley grew up in Camarillo where she was always involved in music, studying piano, flute and voice.  She received her BA in piano performance from California Lutheran University.  After graduation she worked as a student/faculty accompanist at CLU while continuing to take graduate courses in music education.  

    Kathleen worked for 32 years for the Conejo Valley Union School District at Westlake High School in Thousand Oaks.  She served as accompanist and assistant choral director for the school's seven award winning choirs.  She has performed extensively throughout the United States with the Westlake choirs.  The highlight of her time there was traveling to Australia to perform on the Sydney Opera House stage.  

    Kathleen was also on staff as Director of Choral Ministries at the Camarillo Evangelical Free Church (now known as Chapel City Church) for over 30 years.  She was church accompanist, service pianist and director of the adult, youth and children's choirs.  

    Kathleen has enjoyed teaching piano lessons for 30+ years and loves sharing her passion for music with students of all ages.  

  • James Wolff


    James Wolff grew up in Ventura listening and playing music for as long as he can remember. He started out playing drums for the first 11 years of his life. At age 11 he picked up the guitar and fell in love with the instrument. 

    James’s dad was a big influence on his music. He taught James basic chords and scales on the guitar. From then on, James taught himself how to play like his favorite guitarists. Besides guitar and drums he enjoys playing piano, bass, singing and a few other instruments. 

    James plays in a classic rock band with his dad called the JamesBrozBand. They play gigs around Ventura County. He also enjoys writing and recording his own music and is currently working on finishing his album. 

    James is a Youth Leader and on the worship team at Reality Ventura and has been playing at different churches and on worship teams for the last 13 years. 

VCMA Board members

(FROM L to R) Ed Carlstone, Jeff Rodriguez, and Heidi Deweese-Kays

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