Vivace Music Institute

of San Diego     


Our faculty are actively involved in the San Diego community both musically and otherwise; through musical performance and charitable volunteering.


VMI faculty are experienced musicians who perform professionally as soloist, chamber musicians and orchestral musicians.



Our directors

Christine Darling

Director and Piano Instruction
Starting Suzuki piano lesson at the age of 2 1/2 years old, Christine Darling has always had a passion for music.  Mrs. Darling attended Biola University in La Mirada, CA and achieved a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance.  She continued her education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance.  While in Dallas, Mrs. Darling was an apprentice to Suzuki Master Teacher, Cathy Hargrave, for two years.

Christine Darling has taught private lessons and Musikgarten classes at the Community School of Music and the Arts at University of Redlands for the past five years.  She currently teaches Musikgarten and keyboard classes at La Jolla Village Montessori School as well as her private students in San Diego.  Mrs. Darling is a member of the Music Teacher's Association of California (MTAC), Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and Suzuki Music Association of California-San Diego Branch (SMAC-SDB)

Tasha Smith Godinez

Director and Harp Instruction

Starting Suzuki violin lessons at age 3 and harp lessons at age 8, Tasha Smith Godinez has spent her lifetime as a musician.  Mrs. Smith Godinez attended San Diego State University where she attained a Bachelor of Music degree in Harp Performance.  she continued her performance education at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in Paris, France where she studied with world renowned harpist Isabelle Perrin, and received a diploma in Harp Performance.  Upon returning to San Diego, Tasha returned to San Diego State University where she obtained a Master of Music degree in Harp Performance.

Tasha Smith Godinez is the director and harp isntructor of the San Diego Harp Academy.  As a performer, she has graced the stages internationally both as a soloist and chamber musician.  Some of her most recent accomplishments include being a guests artist at the Mexican International Harp Festival and Competition, premiering new music both in the United States and Mexico, and recording her first solo CD which was released in October 2014.

Janese Killian

Music and Movement

Beginning music training at the age of six, dance training at seven, and yoga at sixteen, Janese has a life-long love for music and movement.  She has 44 years of yoga experience, and has taught yoga, relaxation and meditation to children and adults all over the world, including Chicago, Hong Kong, Dubai, England and San Diego.  Herself a pianist and beginning harpist, Janese has participated in Suzuki music training with her two sons, and harp lessons with her teenage son for ten years.

Janese earned an abd PHD in cultural anthropology, which included study of the traditional music cultures of Asia, the Middle East and South America.  In Indonesia she studied and performed in a gamelan orchestra, masked dance and martial arts.  She has also studied opera and voice, and performed with the New York American Ballet Theater.

Janese has earned a 500 hour E-RYT with the Himalayan Institute as a yoga teacher, and certification as a yoga therapist with the American Viniyoga Institute.  She has specialized training in yoga for young people, and yoga for stress management.  Taking a practical approach to teaching movement, Janese focuses on developing self-confidence and mindful resilience in young musicians.  She teaches awareness of breath and posture tailored for each instrument, and gives individual attention to her students to balance and prevent physical strain, and develop focus and strength that will last a lifetime.

Christina Sumprer

College Intern

Christina Sumprer is 18 years old and currently a freshman at the University of Puget Sound where she is studying to earn a major in history as well as a minor in music performance.  She began learning to play the harp at age 10 under the instruction of Tasha Smith Godinez.  She is currently under the direction of Patricia Wooster, the harp instructor at the University of Puget Sound as well as Pacific Lutheran University.  

Christina was the principal harpist for the East County Youth Symphony for five years, and also played the viola with the ECYS and the Valhalla High School String Orchestra for four years.  In August of 2013, Christina performed in Austria with the Summer Harp Institute's Summer Tour and Concert Harp Ensemble, and placed first in the Southern California Mozart Youth Festival for Harp in her age category.


All our faculty hold or are in the proccess of acquiring degrees in music performance and music education.

our Faculty

Tasha and Christine met in 2012.  They quickly realized that not only did they have their musical ability and passion for teaching in common, but also shared a similar dream for inspiring young musicians.  In 2014 they realized their dream by founding Vivace Music Institute of San Diego and directing the first VMI Summer Camp.  In 2014 Tasha and Christine also formed their piano and harp ensemble, Pacifica Duo.