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     Global Music & Arts is happy to help you and your family and friends explore newer and less conventional approaches to both western classical music and/or western folk music and eastern music. All ages are invited to learn life enhancing skills which in fact are our birthright and not just for those who are "gifted" or "talented". Our youngest students are two and a half years old and our adult students are any and all ages.

Founder and Director Dr. Astara Marcia has 35 years of professional experience and began her global journey as a young folk and classical musician beginning her dance, voice and music lessons at home by age 3. Family friend and folklorist Pete Seeger inspired her at an early age to meet other teachers and musicians like herself so that her lifelong travels and opportunities enabled her to play and work under many well known directors. These included playing viola for Hollywood directors such as Nelson Riddle (Indiana State University) and Dave Brubeck (University of the Pacific) and at age 19 working for Hollywood stars such as Elvis and The Carpenters. Having played in symphonies from age 15 she was encouraged by her mentor and first violist for the LA Philharmonic to try out for the LA Philharmonic after completing her masters in performance on viola and in world music. However, she forgo the auditions in order to be mentored under east Indian teachers Ravi Shankar (Department mentor-California Institute of the Arts), L. Shankar, L. Subramaniam and Ali Akbar Khan (Ali Akbar Institute) and to study music and the humanities in India. Her MFA in performance on viola and World Music at Cal Arts, the Walt Disney School of the Performing Arts, was then completed.

In 1975 Dr. Marcia began teaching music to young orphans and elementary students in India and by 1981 founded her own Bangalore international school for orphans and preschool--college level students. Fulfilling a lifelong dream to assist the under privileged in third world countries, a generous donation from one of her own students enabled her to begin the school as the first lifelong trustee for the Mallya Aditi International School. Assisted by a Board of Trustees, the school was awarded two Rockefeller scholarships and is well known for its high standards in education.

In 1985 Dr. Marcia studied the Suzuki Method in Singapore, Japan and the US. In Japan she studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and completed living 25 years in India before returning to California to teach at Stanford as their consultant to campus international graduate school families. She has been a school volunteer teaching music in elementary schools and preschools and has been music director in both private and public schools in the Bay Area. Dr. Marcia also insisted upon teaching in less fortunate inner city schools in Oakland as well as directing in the more well endowed Waldorf and Carden schools located in San Jose and Los Altos. She was also director of both a charter school and a parochial school in Menlo Park. "Life is a balance," she said. "And we must always work hard to remember the 'have-nots'."

Dr. Marcia has two doctorates from Sai Holistic Center (USA/India) in Homeopathy and Naturopathy which includes a specialty in music therapy. Also Dr. Marcia currently promotes raising funds for Nepalese and Indian schools with Dr. T-Orien ( has been first violist for the Palo Alto Peninsula Pops Orchestra and is also trained in the Orff and Kodaly methods. She is currently a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has been a Paul Harris Fellow of the International Rotary Club. Dr. Marcia is also an Ambassador for the City of Palo Alto Family Resource program to assist newcomers in the area. She performs by request vocal and instrumental classical and folk music and eastern improvisational music. She was formerly first violist of the Peninsula Pops Orchestra now known as the California Pops Orchestra in Palo Alto, California.

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