Tom Osuna
MM, USC Thornton School of Music

Background Information/Experience

Tom Osuna earned his B.M. and Master’s degree with Honors in Guitar Performance from the USC Thornton School of Music. He has 30 years of teaching experience as a private instructor, and over twenty years as a college faculty member, lecturer, and clinician. Tom served on the faculty of USC Thornton School of Music for 10 years writing core curriculum for degree candidates, East Los Angeles College Music Faculty for 20 years teaching classical and contemporary guitar, and Occidental College Music Faculty for 6 years teaching jazz guitar. He is an expert in the styles of jazz, classical, rock, country, folk, and contemporary music with an emphasis on authenticity. He has taught university preparation workshops for students preparing for music school acceptance qualification, all of whom have been accepted into prestigious universities. He is an active studio musician, has contributed to many film and television soundtracks, and is a live performer in a wide variety of classic and contemporary styles.

Recent/Current Career Events

Tom has been directing three children’s bands here at the South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory, with kids ranging from ages 8 to 12 years old. All three of these children’s bands participated in a benefit concert, where they were able to raise $625 for the LA Mission in 2017. Tom also works as a music director for professional touring bands.

Favorite Teaching Moments

Tom’s favorite moments in his teaching career are times when he sees his students reach their goals, whether it be them playing in a concert or getting accepted into their college of choice. He believes that talent is something that everyone possess and anyone who is determined and willing to work hard is capable of creating great music. Tom loves being able to see his students achieve something so artistic and creative in their music careers, and knowing that his teaching is making a difference in their lives brings him great joy.

Teaching Style

Tom describes his teaching style as comprehensive, thorough, and academic yet also playful and creative. He uses a combination of  traditional methods with contemporary concepts. His approach for each student is different depending on their personality and how they learn. To Tom, it is important that his students are not only learning but also having fun.


Tom is a noted expert in the guitar stylings of the 1950s, 60s, and classic rock periods.


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