Whoever you are, wherever you are on your musical journey,
you are welcome here at California College of Music!

about us

California College of Music is a forward-thinking college for modern popular music that offers programs in both performance (voice, guitar, bass, drums, and piano/keyboard emphases) and songwriting & music production. Our longest program is the 18-month Associate of Science in Music Performance degree program; we also offer the 12-month Certificate in Songwriting & Music Production and Certificate in Music Performance programs, the 6-month Apprentice in Music Performance program, and the 8-week Preparatory Quarter program.

California College of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

mission, vision, & purposes

Our mission is to educate musicians effectively, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to express themselves dynamically through modern popular music. Our vision is to create an inspiring, diverse, and inclusive higher education space in which students, faculty, and members of the community may gather together to study, create, perform, record, and share music.


When we study modern popular music, we research the techniques that have shaped music that has had wide appeal across contemporary populations through its inherent memetic value. Our institutional curriculum and repertoire exist in order to guide, model, and inform experiential and explorative processes without seeking to restrict or delimit the popular music space.


When we create new music, we are not only expressing ourselves through the medium of sound, we are creating unique artistic capital which has the power to transform lives both economically and emotionally. We pledge to respect all forms of intellectual property regardless of style or content, and remain non-judgmental towards the process and product of others.


When we perform popular music, we engage openly with a public listenership in an attempt to connect over shared human experience. We pledge to seek new avenues for live and recorded performances that question existing models, trouble the status quo where necessary, and connect audiences of disparate backgrounds across temporal and geographical boundaries.


The recording studio is a primary space for modern popular music, and the master recording is the definitive representation of an original work meant for mass appeal. Therefore, we seek to provide excellent studio spaces for sonic experimentation in which new musical recordings can be arranged, engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered. Through mentorship in studio craft, etiquette, and process, all our students develop recorded material intended to catalyze their musical futures.


Nietzche famously wrote “without music life would be a mistake,” and access to music and other arts is indeed intrinsic to a high quality of life. Popular music can incite happiness, enrich and sustain individual lives, and create community. Music is not only for fellow musicians and academics to dissect, but for everyone everywhere (including non-musicians) to enjoy and integrate into their lives. Therefore, distributing our music widely is essential, and we must examine the evolving modalities in which music is shared.”


Originally founded in 1999 as Pasadena International Music Academy, our institution was renamed California College of Music in 2008 and first blossomed under the leadership of legendary trombonist Wayne Henderson of The Crusaders and Grammy-winning producer Reggie Dozier, who designed our College's facilities to function as a professional-grade recording studio. In recent years, under the capable direction of our current Dean & Chief Academic Officer Chris Kapica, M.M., and our institutional Board of Directors, California College of Music has become known for its distinguished faculty of experienced music industry professionals, its focus on popular music performance and production, and the encouraging environment it provides for its students and the community at large to participate in music-making.

About 01


California College of Music is located at 42 S. Catalina Avenue in Pasadena, California, conveniently situated near the Gold Line Metro Rail and the 210, 134, and 110 freeways, providing our students with easy access to all major destinations in the Los Angeles area. Pasadena’s diversity and history of artistic vibrancy make it an ideal location for music study. With its unique blend of an urban feel with residential charm, Pasadena is a safe, fun city — perfect for aspiring young music students.

Other important institutions, arts organizations, and attractions in and around the beautiful city of Pasadena include:

Pasadena Conservatory of Music
Pasadena City College - Performing and Communication Arts
California Institute of Technology - Performing and Visual Arts
Pasadena Symphony & Pops
ArtNight Pasadena
Pasadena Museum of History
Pasadena Public Library
Pasadena Educational Foundation
Pasadena Chamber of Commerce
Armory Center For The Arts
Fulcrum Arts
Art Center College of Design
Norton Simon Museum
USC Pacific Asia Museum
Huntington Library & Gardens
Los Angeles Arboretum
Descanso Gardens
The Rose Theatre
Gamble House
Rose Bowl

Important musical and cultural attractions in the Greater Los Angeles and Hollywood areas include:

GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Hollywood Bowl
Center for the Arts Eagle Rock
The Music Center
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Opera
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Skirball Cultural Center
Staples Center
Hollywood Palladium
Avalon Hollywood
Club Nokia
UCLA Royce Hall
Guitar Center RockWalk
Amoeba Music
Capitol Records
Hotel Cafe
McCabe's Guitar Shop
Whisky A Go-Go
El Rey Theatre
The Fonda Theatre
The Wiltern
The Roxy
The Orpheum
The Viper Room
The Satellite
The Greek Theatre
The Echo & Echoplex