Youth Arts Academy

Youth Arts Academy provides a variety of opportunities for youth to learn music, from private lessons to rock bands.

YAA provides private music lessons, youth rock and jazz bands, community outreach, performance training, school and summer break camps, and more. We provides young students access to a myriad of quality programs designed to stimulate their GROWTH, CREATIVITY, and SELF-EXPRESSION through the arts. Our hope is that they leave this space a better artist with heightened creativity and self-expression

Operating as usual

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 05/01/2024

Have you heard of Vampires??? Well now get ready for VAMPLIFIERS!!! This is The Illiterate Vamplifier Club: Daniel, Wonhyeong, Sam, Odin, and Niranjana! This band is one of the most creative groups we've had at YAA! They have written their own original songs, re-arranged classics, and more! We never know what TIVC will come up with next! Make sure you are there to see their performance at Commotion THIS SUNDAY! Get your tickets now!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/29/2024

We are so excited to introduce you to the eighth band that will be performing at Commotion: Sound Wave! Libby, Julien, Ryan, and Nate are going to totally rock the Music Box Stage this Sunday!!! They have been working hard on their punk rock songs! Don't miss the opportunity to see their big performance! Buy your tickets today!!!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/27/2024

Check out the awesome rock stars in Carbon: Daniel, Ted, and Chris! This band has some incredible stage presence! They own the stage and aren't afraid to show off their skills! Don't miss their incredible performance at Commotion, which is just EIGHT DAYS AWAY! Get your tickets now!!!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/26/2024

Meet The Crazy Nightmare: Yoni, Liem, Mayson, and Arjun! The Crazy Nightmare has our youngest Rock Band Member! Their drummer, Liem, is just seven years old!!! Don't miss their rad covers of Imagine Dragons or their incredible original songs at Commotion!! Get your tickets TODAY!!!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/25/2024

Meet the members of Spyder-Head: Isabella, Brett, Colton, Brayden, and Sebastian! Spyder-Head is our most experienced band, many of the members have been in the Rock Band Program since 2016! This Commotion is bittersweet, as it will be the last for four of the band members, who are graduating seniors and moving on to even bigger things!!! We are so proud of this band! Come see their YAA swan song on May 5th at Music Box! Get your tickets TODAY!!!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/24/2024

Introducing The Six! Ally, Sasha, Amber, Siddharth, Michael, and Ayelet make up the largest band in our program! These rock stars are working together to create an awesome pop-rock sound that is so impressive for their ages!!!! Check them out at Commotion in just ELEVEN DAYS!!! Secure your tickets now!!!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/23/2024

Introducing the members of Painkillers: Bryan, Glenn, and Mitch. This band is crushing the punk rock vibe!! Check them out at Commotion on May 5th! Get your tickets TODAY!!!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/22/2024

Meet the members of Brightside: Karmila, Izzy, Neesha, and Joely! This band is a powerhouse band of strong women!! Absolutely crushing the scene! Come hear them perform at Commotion! Get your tickets today!!!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/21/2024

We are just TWO WEEKS away from COMMOTION!!!! It's time to meet the bands that will be playing at Commotion! Every day, for the next week, we will introduce you to the members of each of our incredible bands! Check out the bands here, and get your tickets today to see the show!!!

These photos are from their most recent performance at the Swim-a-Thon!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 04/15/2024

We are ecstatic to announce the prizes for our Fundraising Competition at Commotion! The three individuals who raise the most money for Commotion will win either an Ibanez Electric Bass, A Peavy Raptor Custom Electric Guitar, or a Luna Acoustic Guitar all generously donated by Dan Moore! First place will have their choice of the three instruments, second place will have their choice between the remaining two, and third place will receive the final instrument!

There are SO many ways to raise money! Selling tickets to Commotion, donations to the Rock Star's fundraising page, donations with the Rock Star's name in the comments, and selling raffle tickets at the event!

Winners MUST be present to win. Donations will be counted at 1pm on Sunday, May 5th, 2024. Donations will only count if they are properly credited to the student. No Cash Value.


We are SO excited to announce that our Musical Theatre Summer Camp will be doing a production of Roald Dahl's W***y Wonka Kids this summer! Campers will learn how to audition for a show, experience callbacks, go through rehearsals, create costumes, props, and sets, and finally put on a production in this two-week summer camp! Don't miss out on the fun this summer! Register TODAY!

ROALD DAHL'S W***Y WONKA KIDS is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI/


Julia’s Winter Recitals!

Fundraiser Event for Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito 01/17/2024

Treat yourself to some Panda Express this Friday, and support Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito in the process! You can help support us nation wide, just by ordering Panda Express online. Go to, create your order, and apply code 919004 in the Fundraiser Code box during online checkout. 28% of sales will be donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito! Thank you for all your support!

Fundraiser Event for Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito Raise money for Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 12/13/2023

We had a wonderful week of recitals last week! Tuesday night celebrated the accomplishments of Instructor Scott's Students, Wednesday we heard the musical stylings of Instructor Julia's Students, and Thursday we cheered on Instructor Wil's and Instructor Alex's students! Thank you to everyone who attended, performed, and brought snacks! It was wonderful to see all that our students accomplished this fall season, we cannot wait to hear where they will go from here!


Alex and Wil’s Students Fall Recital


Julia Whelpton’s Students’ Fall Recital

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 12/05/2023

Who can believe it's already December! We are recognizing the final four Musicians of the Month for 2023, starting off with Neil, one of Wil Lopez's guitar students! Get to know Neil a little bit here!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 11/28/2023

It's the last Monday in November, so you know what that means! It's time for our final Musician of the Month Monday! Today we are featuring Aegan, one of Alex Pockrus' piano students! Get to know Aegan a little bit here!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 11/21/2023

Our bands had a fantastic time performing at the Encinitas Street Fair yesterday!!! Seven of our nine rock bands were represented at the performance. Despite some technical difficulties, the show went on, and what a show it was! Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our Rock Band kids! Check out our page to see the full performance!

BIG thank you to Bach to Rock for bringing their PA last minute, and to Highland Band for letting us use your drum set! The Community really came together at the Community Stage yesterday!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 11/20/2023

We may be closed today, but that won't stop us from featuring one of our incredible students for Musician of the Month Monday! Today we are featuring Saskia, one of Wil Lopez's clarinet students! Get to know Saskia a little bit here!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 11/14/2023

Happy Musician of the Month Monday! Today we are featuring Lexy, one of Scott Sayre's piano students. Get to know Lexy a little bit here!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 11/09/2023

Musicians Wanted! Our Rock Bands are still looking for a few more musicians to fill out their sound! 🎸🥁🎤🎹

Our Rock Band program is an awesome way to make new friends, learn to collaborate, gain experience performing, and just have fun! Prorated Rates and Financial Assistance available to those who qualify! Check out some of the open slots on our Rock Band and see if any of them work for you!

Click here for more information:

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 11/06/2023

It's the first Monday in November, so you know what that means! We are featuring our first Musician of the Month for November: Daniel! Daniel is learning Bass with Ms. Julia. He is also in our Rock Band Program, and a member of our Student Advisory Board! Get to know Daniel a little bit here!


Meet Wil Lopez, one of our phenomenal instructors here at Youth Arts Academy AND our Program Assistant! Wil has been an instructor at YAA since 2018, and the Program Assistant since 2021.

Wil discovered his passion for music in middle school band at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. Picking up the clarinet as his first instrument and baritone saxophone in high school, he performed at multiple festivals, musical productions, and in the Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra in his junior and senior year. Attending Mesa College and San Diego State University, Wil continued his education in music.

At age 13, Wil discovered a passion for the electric guitar and rock music and that passion led him to perform on stages all over the Southwest United States, writing, recording and releasing his own music, recording with multiple bands of multiple genres. Several of those groups were nominated for San Diego Music Awards.

Wil is ecstatic to share his passion for music with the youth served at the Youth Arts Academy and is thrilled to push the program forward.


Join us for our recitals, celebrating what our students have learned this fall semester! The week of December 5th, 6th, and 7th. Bring a winter themed snack to share!

Photos from Youth Arts Academy's post 10/30/2023

Happy Musician of the Month Monday! Our fourth Musician of the Month for October is Ishan, a drum student taking lessons from Alex Pockrus! Get to know a little bit about Ishan here!


Meet Julia Whelpton, another one of our amazing instructors here at Youth Arts Academy! Julia has been with YAA since 2014!

Also known as “That Blonde Bassist,” Ms. Julia Whelpton has been a working musician and music educator for over a decade. Julia has been involved in many avenues within the music industry, including writing, creating and filming subjects related to music. She has also been fortunate enough to tour and perform regularly all over the country, playing bass and violin. Julia teaches mostly stringed instruments such as: violin, viola, cello, bass (double and guitar), acoustic/electric guitar, and ukulele, along with voice and piano. She is also a rock band instructor and has taught other small music ensembles throughout the years.

Some of her accomplishments include creating a violin methodology series, sponsored by The Teaching Company, where she wrote and filmed 24 videos on how to play the violin. Julia has also had the pleasure of performing regularly with the San Diego Music Award nominee, Roni Lee, as well as the LA based band: The Infinite Sadness Tribute to the Smashing Pumpkins. Most recently, she starred in a few music videos for other musicians and bands, and loves to play as studio session player.

Julia graduated with a B. A. Music Studies with an emphasis in Violin at Cal Poly Humboldt, formerly Humboldt State University.

Book a lesson with Julia today!


Youth Arts Academy is dedicated to changing the world, by providing access to programs that stimulate the youth's growth, creativity, and self-expression through the arts.

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Videos (show all)

Julia’s Winter Recitals!
Alex and Wil’s Students Fall Recital
Julia Whelpton’s Students’ Fall Recital
YAA Bands at the San Diego County Fair
Chicken Joe performing at the San Diego County Fair!
Ion one week, join us for our Music Lab on Recording and Production! Students will get to take a tour of the newly re-va...
Happy April! We hope you all had a wonderful spring break! This Monday we are introducing you to Scott Sayre’s student, ...
We had a technology glitch that put off our ability to post this, but we couldn’t let March end without introducing you ...
We had a blast recording some songs with one of our student-led Rock Bands: Chicken Joe, this Sunday! As part of our Roc...
Happy Monday! This week we are introducing you to Eric, Scott Sayre’s Musician of the Month! #musicianofthemonth #youtha...
RSD Swim-a-Thon
It’s the first Monday of March, so it’s time for a new group of Musicians of the Month!!!! This week we are introducing ...




3800-A Mykonos Lane
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