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Meet Cristina Luca and Michelle Barrios of Marina Music Together

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristina Luca and Michelle Barrios.

Cristina and Michelle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We met in college studying music at Loyola Marymount University. Our friendship and passion for music led us to become colleagues only a few short years after graduating. In 2012, Cristina became involved with South Bay Music Together as a teacher, and shortly after brought Michelle on board.

In 2014, we had an opportunity to expand our reach with Music Together on the Westside by becoming owners of Marina Music Together, along with our colleague (and sister location owner) Leslie Johnson. Leslie passed the torch this summer in order to focus on South Bay Music Together, and since then, we have run the business together. As young female entrepreneurs, we are proud of the success we’ve had in growing our business and feel lucky to love what we do: bringing the joy of music to families on the Westside.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been mostly smooth, but early on, we had fewer families than we had hoped. For the past few years, it’s been a labor of love to grow our center. We sometimes have difficulty finding the best ways to reach young families in a city as spread out as Los Angeles. Fortunately, our current families have been incredibly supportive of us, and continue to recommend us to others. It’s funny to think we’ve found the most success through word of mouth, even in this social media dominant age.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Marina Music Together story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a branch of Music Together, LLC. which started in Princeton, NJ. Fun fact: there are over 3,000 Music Together locations around the world!

Music Together® is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers (ages 0-5) and the adults who love them. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement.

What we are most proud of is our Music Together philosophy. Our classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning. What sets Music Together apart from similar programs is that we truly let kids be kids. We don’t expect the children to sit still for the entirety of a class. We know this isn’t always easy for them. Even though they may wonder, our research shows they are still absorbing everything they hear and see. The most important thing that we try and teach the adults in class is that they are role models. We always say, “no matter what you think of your ‘musical abilities’, if you’re singing, dancing, being silly and having fun, your child will want to do the same, and will want to make music a part of their lives forever.”

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
We definitely feel lucky to have strong female mentors, especially Leslie Johnson, that have helped us along the way. Though, we feel much of our success has come from hard work, and a lifelong journey dedicated to the musical growth and working with children. If we would equate anything to luck, it would be finding the Music Together program.


  • New families are welcome to try a FREE demo class any time!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Music Together

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