About Us

About: At Thibodeaux School of Music, we offer a top quality music education with top quality music teachers. We specialize in private music lessons and offer innovative and inspirational classes for all ages. And yes, that includes adults. Each teacher caters their lesson plan to each individual student so you know that you are getting the attention you need.  Whether you want to become the next New Orleans jammer, top of your class in your high school band or just feel confident in your own music making at home, we have something for everyone!

We know you will love learning with us, so come check it out and spread the music!  Give us a call today or shoot us an email to get started!

Private Lessons. We offer both 30 minute and hour long private music lessons. Instruments offered are piano, guitar, voice, drumset/percussion, trumpet, trombone, tuba, viola, violin, cello, bass, clarinet, flute, oboe/English horn, composition and theory for all ages. New students are paired with one of our experience music teachers and taught individualized lessons that are catered to the students’ needs. It is recommended that students under the age of 9 have half hour lessons so that they get the most out of their musical endeavors. As the student advances, they can move to hour long lessons with a more detailed and extended curriculum.

Cancellations & Make-ups: Once you are registered with us and you have signed up for a regular weekly lesson time, all communication as it pertains to lateness, cancellation or make-up lessons is between you and your teacher. You will be given your new teachers direct email and phone so that you can contact them immediately about changes in schedules. You must notify your teacher 48 hours in advance if you think you need to cancel your lesson.

At Thibodeaux School of Music, we offer a top-quality musical education experience. We have something for everyone, of any age! For our youngest music aficionados (ages 0-6) we have the award-winning Kindermusik program. For ages 6 and up (adults welcome too!), we offer private lessons on ALL instruments. We know you will love learning music with us, so come check it out! We offer a free trial lesson or class to all new students.


Candace 1Candace Crawford is the manager Thibodeaux School of Music, owner of Spreading the Music Schools and teacher. She graduated with her bachelors in Music Education and Oboe Performance at the outstanding Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.  She specializes in oboe/English horn, violin and piano and has an extended private music studio. Ms. Crawford has a wide range of experience in teaching large bands and orchestras, chamber music, instrument specific sectionals and group lessons, All-County and All-State preparation, conducting, instrumental repair and reed making. Her goal is to continue to dynamically spread the music to all who will listen. Her deep passion for a high quality teaching, in-depth lessons, planned instruction, and inspiring both student and teachers continues to drive her to increase enrollment and create innovative classes.  Ms. Crawford can be contact best by email at thibodeauxschool@gmail.com. Please contact her directly if you have any questions or concerns about enrollment, billing, teacher pairing, classes or events.
Paul has had a passion for music since he was child. Formal studies began for him in the Jazz program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). He received a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Studies from the Unviversity of New Orleans. While studying at UNO, he was immersed in a rich musical culture that can only be found in New Orleans. Paul feels fortunate to have established himself into a variety of musical communities playing Traditional Jazz, Modern Jazz, Avant Garde/Free Jazz, Brass Band, Cuban, Carribbean, Brazillian, Funk, Indie-Rock, Folk/Singer-Songwriter, as well as accompanying many theatrical shows at Gallier Hall and Le Petite Theatre. Paul made his debut in the recording studio with UNO professor and jazz giant Ed Petersen. Teaching experience began while still in college as a private drum teacher at NOCCA. Since then he has taught jazz drumset at KIPP Believe College Prep, marching drumline at St. Bernard Middle School, general music classes at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), and private drum/piano lessons at Andy Hymel’s School of Music. In September of 2011, Paul had the honor of teaching drum students in Sendai who had been affected by the 2011 tsunami while on a Japanese tour with Satoru Ohashi. He holds the chair as percussion judge for middle school district honor band in St. Tammany Parish. Paul is excited to support the future of New Orleans culture with music!
To set up lessons with Paul, call him today! 504.470.5185


SAM CRAFT (strings)
Sam Craft began studying violin as an elementary school student and continued instruction at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.  Sam graduated from Loyola University, where he received a degree in Violin Performance in 2009.  In addition to being an avid performer in classical contexts, Sam stays busy performing with rock bands, backing artists in the recording studio, and playing traditional jazz with numerous ensembles.  Sam is one half of the internationally-touring indie-pop duo Alexis & the Samurai as well as the Louisiana French 7-piece Sweet Crude.  Some other artists Sam has collaborated with include Irma Thomas, Cowboy Mouth, The Cowsills, GIVERS, Marianne Faithfull, Edwin McCain, and more.
To set up lessons with Sam, call or email him today! 504.427.9375 or samcraft86@gmail.com


Trey Boudreaux is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana.  He grew up heavily involved with band programs, local orchestras, and gigging bands with friends.  In addition to double bass and electric bass, Trey has performed/received training on the flute, oboe, and drums.
Boudreaux moved to Baton Rouge in 2006 to attend Louisiana State University.  There, he studied with double bass virtuoso Yung-chiao Wei and Jazz Faculty member Brian Shaw.  During his 4 years at LSU, he played gigs around the Southeast in a variety of musical persuasions, including: Jazz, classical, rock, funk, acoustic / folk, hip hop;  he also taught various private students on double bass and electric bass.
After graduating in Literature from LSU, Boudreaux moved to New Orleans to pursue performance.  An active member of the New Orleans music scene since May 2010, he has also performed across the continental United States in music clubs, radio and television studios, concert halls, and private homes.
Trey is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans, and is thrilled to join the Thibodeaux School of Music Team!
To set up lessons with Trey, call or email him today! 337 258 0198 or trey.boudreaux@gmail.com


  Josh Starkman, a Miami native, moved to New Orleans in the summer of 2010 to begin his masters degree in Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. During his time at UNO he studied under Steve Masakowski, Brian Seeger and Hank Mackie. Also during his time at UNO he had the chance to conduct master classes in the cities of Medellin and Manizales, Colombia. He finished his degree in May of 2012 and currently plays frequently around New Orleans. Other teaching experiences include summer camps at Florida State University and Broward Arts Camp as well as various private students.
To set up lessons with Josh, email him today! JoshStarkmanGuitar@gmail.com

JENNA MCSWAIN (piano, voice)

Pianist, vocalist, and composer Jenna McSwain began forging her own path as a musician from her childhood when she led her sisters, four of them in all, to perfor spirituals throughout the low country of South Carolina. By the time she was attending high school at Charleston County School of the Arts, she was playing piano and singing professionally in esteemed Charleston music venues. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado, making jazz piano her focus while also studying classical piano, voice and Portuguese, the language of her Azorean anscestors and of the Brazilian music she loved. McSwain has opened concerts for Patti Austin, Ramsey Lewis and the New York Voices, and has performed with Houston Person, Marian McPartland, Paul McKee, and Wendell Brunious, to name a few. She shares her zeal for music as an educator, and has served as adjunct faculty at the University of South Carolina and Northwest College. McSwain celebrated the debut of her first album, Wax and Wane: Songs Without Seasons in October of 2013. Her group, the Celestial Bodies, performs actively in the New Orleans music scene.

To set up lessons with Jenna, email her today! lessonswithjennamcswain@gmail.com


VIVI DEL CASTILLO (piano, voice)

To set up lessons with Vivi, email her today! vivivanriver@gmail.com
ALEX MASSA (brass)

To set up lessons with Alex, email him today! massa_123@hotmail.com
MORGAN STEWART (woodwinds)
 Morgan Stewart is an active musician and educator living in the New Orleans area. Originally from New York City, she moved to Philadelphia after graduating from LaGuardia High School for Music and Performing Arts, to pursue a degree in music education at Temple University. Immediately upon receiving her Bachelor of Music, she accepted a position to serve as a Woodwind Specialist itinerant teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, where she was responsible for teaching instrumental music to young beginner players and working with advanced woodwind students at the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP).
In addition to her teaching career, Morgan has performed with the Philadelphia Wind Symphony, the Lower Merion Concert Band, the Plazma Quintet, and other groups. She also collaborated outside of the classical genre with Grammy nominated producer and composer Khari Mateen on his album Wait for Sunrise.
Morgan has participated in clarinet masterclasses with Anthony McGil, Mariam Adam, and Paul Demers. Her principal teachers have included Renee Rosen, Victor Goines, Dr. Stephanie Thompson, John Reeks, and Lawrence Wagner. Currently she is pursuing a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from Loyola University New Orleans.
To set up lessons with Morgan, email her today!  morganstewartmusic@gmail.com
headshotRickRick is one of the premier musicians and music educators in the New Orleans area. Born in Opelousas, Louisiana, Ricky started taking drum lessons at the age of eight and excelled due to the tutelage of two great band directors: Carl DeLeo and Carl Schexnayder. Ricky spent years as the section leader for the drum line in every school he attended into college. He also started piano studies at the age of 16. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana on a full scholarship and later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston on a partial scholarship. Ricky returned to New Orleans in 1976 and started working professionally with all the great musicians in every musical genre that the city had to offer. In the next six years, he gained experience playing different styles of music such as Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Traditional New Orleans music, Carnival music, Brazilian, Reggea, Calypso, Funk, Rock, R&B, Cajun, and Zydeco. Ricky moved to New York City in 1983 as most of his musical idols lived there. Over the following 18 years, Ricky built a career as an in demand recording and touring artist with a who’s who in the Jazz, Latin, Brazilian, Funk, and Fusion genres. He moved back to New Orleans in 1998 and was the head percussion instructor at the University of New Orleans under the direction of Ellis Marsalis for the following six years and is currently an adjunct instructor there. He is also on the faculty of the Don Jamison Heritage School of Music, and the Thibodeaux School of Music, both in New Orleans. He released his first CD as a leader in 2001 entitled “The Spirit Within” on STR Digital Records featuring the likes of Donald Harrison Jr., Bill Summers, Steve Masakowski, Randy Brecker, and Peter Martin. He has also released a drum set instruction book/CD entitled “Independence on the Drum Set”, published by Hal Leonard in 2005. He is an active clinician for Zildjian cymbals, LP percussion, Remo drumheads, Pearl Drums, and Pro-Mark drumsticks. Ricky has also taught private lessons and group classes (many of which he implemented and created the course material) for the infamous “Drummer’s Collective”, and “The New School for Social Research”, both located in New York City. At UNO, Ricky spearheaded “The World Music Ensemble” and “The UNO Percussion Ensemble”. In both classes, Ricky composes some of the music that each ensemble performs at the end of the semester.
To set up lessons with Rick, call or email him today! 225-810-6504 or ricky@rickysebastian.c0m 
KRISTEN TAFFARO (music therapy)
Kristen Taffaro is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and Temple University with degrees in Music Therapy.  As a certified Music Therapist (MT-BC), she has 5 years of clinical experience working with many different populations.  Two years ago, she began to teach beginning piano lessons, and therefore truly realized her love of working with children.  From there she continued to teach voice and piano lessons, and also became licensed as a Kindermusik Educator.
Her love of early music education has flourished at the Thibodeaux School of Music, ultimately leading her to teach general music for Kindergarten and First Grade at the International School of Louisiana.