Art and Music Lessons for All Ages at Pastimes for a Lifetime

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carole rosner90BY CAROLE ROSNER

Hidden behind a front gate, across a stone path and nestled within a Zen-like garden is an arts studio swimming in sunlight and colors.

Linda Wehrli, owner of Pastimes for a Lifetime — Fine Art and Piano Studio, modeled her nine-year-old Valley Glen space after Ansel Adams’ photography studio. Within this cozy, bright workshop you’ll find walls covered in pine paneling, paint splattered on cement flooring, and lots of work in progress. Wehrli has been playing the piano since age six and teaching both piano and art for over 20 years.

Emma and Linda at the piano.

Student Emma Rosloff studies both piano and art with Wehrli. Photos courtesy of Linda Wehrli

This is not a cookie cutter, factory-style teaching environment.

“I don’t teach art by having students make a snowman with three circles here. There is geometry, color chemistry and physics of light in the way I teach,” Wehrli explained.

Students come to private art lessons within a group setting. Seven to ten students are usually in the studio at one time working on individual projects at their own pace. Budding artists can pick from a library of over 2000 images and use all type of media including watercolors, acrylic and oil paints, colored pencils or pastels.

Lisi Grinstein completing her mixed media of watercolors and oil pastels.

Lisi Grinstein completing her mixed media of watercolors and oil pastels.

“My son has been studying art with Linda Wehrli for three years, and her teaching has developed his skills tremendously. She brings out the best in her students, encouraging them to try new techniques, while at the same time, allowing them to develop in their own unique directions,” said Mary Dant, mother of student John Gleb. 15

“Linda’s approach is so personal and positive, tailored to each student if you will, that she is able to truly bring out the natural artist in a way that allows for a very free expression on the paper or canvas. Most recently my daughter also began piano lessons with Linda and is thoroughly enjoying the lessons,” said Brenda Reynolds, mother of student Peyton Reynolds, 7 1/2.

Linda Werhli's music students perform their first gig at  M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks.

Linda Werhli's music students perform their first gig at M Street Coffee in Sherman Oaks.

Piano students have their private lessons in another room of the studio. Linda teaches from instruction books she co-authored and published with her husband, Barry. She is proud to say her courses build hand-to-eye coordination, ear training and sight reading.

Linda is very active in the community and loves to show off her students’ works at various Valley venues—there are recitals at local music stores, Sherman Oaks/Studio City Rotary Club art shows in Moorpark Park, concerts at retirement homes, and even student art exhibits hung at local businesses such as Village Joe Coffee House in Valley Village. Most recently,  Matadors Community Credit Union’s Northridge branch is currently hosting a solo art show for Wehrli’s student, Jasmine Najar, who is a freshman at CSUN.

CSUN's Matadors Community Credit Union's Northridge branch is currently  hosting a solo art show for Wehrli's tudent, Jasmine Najar, featuring her Calla Lilly painting (L-R)Marnie Nemcoff, the CSUN's Matadors Community Credit Union V.P.Marketing, Jasmine  Najar, Linda Wehrli

Matadors Community Credit Union's Northridge branch is currently hosting a solo art show for Wehrli's tudent, Jasmine Najar, featuring her Calla Lilly painting (L-R)Marnie Nemcoff, the CSUN's Matadors Community Credit Union V.P.Marketing, Jasmine Najar, Linda Wehrli

Children can work with Linda starting at age four-and-a-half for art classes and eight years old for piano lessons. Linda also teaches adults and senior citizens and has helped prepare many students for arts high schools and colleges. She believes teaching art and music is “like good cooking; the students learn the recipes and then they can create. They learn good solid skills and judgment here. Talent and luck are not required.”

Pastimes for a Lifetime 13615 Burbank Blvd., Unit B, Valley Glen 91401 (by appointment only) 818.766.0614 home office with voicemail.818.989.9896 studio emergency phone www.pastimes4lifetime.com

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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