Popular Music

Welcome to Saddleback's Commercial Music Program! This brand new program focuses on three areas: Music Business, Music Technology and Popular Music Performance.


Take a look at our classes, concerts and faculty and please contact me if you have any questions!


Ariel Alexander, DMA


Music 117: Popular Songwriting
Write a jingle! Meet and work with other songwriters! Promote your music! Record a demo! This exciting and hands-on class explores the mechanics of music: rhythm, form, styles, melody and harmony. Instructor: Alexander

Music 118: Digital Multi-Track Music Recording
This digital multi-track recording class emphasizes music recording and CD production. The class covers recording tracks, overdubbing, mixing, microphone techniques, signal processing and digital audio editing. Instructor: Schiffelbein

Music 39: Commercial Music Ensemble
This brand-new ensemble specializes in commercial music styles including, but not limited to, classic rock, blues, folk, EDM, hip hop, rap and soul. Auditions held the first week of classes.
Instructor: Alexander

Music 120: Introduction to the Music Industry
This brand-new class offers an introduction to careers within the music industry. Students will learn introductory music business concepts through hands-on projects and real-life scenarios.
Instructor: Alexander

Music 130: Music Production
Sudents create, edit and perform music within the program Ableton Live. 
Instructor: Alexander

Music 131: Music Production II - OFFERED starting in 2015
Music 132: Intro to Music Technology- OFFERED starting in 2015




All Saddleback Music Concerts

Thursday, August 29th at 12pm

Singer-songwriter Ryan Lerman kicks off this season's noon concert series. Lerman has recorded, toured and performed with Ben Folds, Nataly Dawn, Jack Conte and Pomplamoose. A song from his newest album, Pinstripes, in the Sky, was recently featured on NBC's Parenthood.


Thursday, November 21st at 7:30pm

Saddleback's brand new Commercial Music Ensemble  performs classic rock, folk, hip hop and original compositions. Join us for this ensemble’s very first performance at Saddleback!


Sunday February 9th at 2:30pm

Don’t miss this special performance by the neo-soul group, Moonchild. Since their album release, Moonchild has opened for Stevie Wonder and Georgia Anne Muldrow, played shows up the west coast, released music videos, and received high praises from artists such as Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, 9th Wonder, and James Poyser.  They have received airplay on BBC Radio 6 with Gilles Peterson, KCRW, and on Los Angeles’ own 102.3. www.ThisisMoonchild.com


Thursday March 6th at 7:30pm

Which Saddleback student will be crowned Saddleback's own vocal star? Join us for this exciting vocal competition in which the audience chooses the winner! Don't miss out. 


Thursday May 8th at 7:30pm

Saddleback's brand new Commercial Music Ensemble performs classic rock, folk, hip hop and original compositions.



arielalexander0414_rgb_v2.jpgDr. Ariel Alexander has gained recognition as a Los Angeles saxophonist, composer, educator and entrepreneur. Originally from St Louis, she earned her B.A. at Indiana University and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Southern California. She has presented concerts throughout the US, South America, Europe and Asia and performed with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Steve Miller (Steve Miller Band), Take 6, Nancy Wilson, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Ruben Studdard, and Monica Mancini. As a studio musician, Ariel regularly records for television and film soundtracks. As an active member of the music education community, Ariel has presented at the Jazz Education Network Conference, the Technology in Music Education Conference, and the California Music Educators Conference. Her recent publications include articles in Music Educators Journal, The Woman Conductor and Jazz Education Magazine.  In addition to her experience as a performer and educator, Ariel is well-versed in Music Business and Arts Administration. She has served in leadership roles for several non-profit music education programs. In 2007, Ariel founded the mobile recording studio, Rock Star Workshop. In five years, the business recorded over 5,000 children. www.ArielAlexander.com



Mark Schiffelbein
Mark Schiffelbein’s audio engineering career has spanned a thirty-five year period and has allowed him to work in the areas of music recording, producing and editing radio commercials and musical scoring for both television and film. After graduating from the University of Southern California he worked full-time in the Orange County/Los Angeles area recording and mixing albums that cover all genres of music. He has an extensive background in designing and constructing recording and media facilities. His teaching career at Saddleback College began in 1989 and he has taught continuously in the Music and Cinema/Television/Radio departments.  Classes have included multi-track music recording, popular song writing, radio production, television production, and computer applications for audio production.



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