Student Stories



Student Stories



Brianna Parr

Three years ago, I was a shy 16 year old who only knew one song on the guitar. I would have never considered playing or singing in front of people, and I I figured that guitar would be another one of those hobbies I picked up one day out of boredom and ended up dropping for the same reason. I had learned the basics in a class I took my sophomore year of high school, and at the end of the school year I figured that would be it. Then I learned that there was a guy who was giving guitar lessons after school. I decided to give it a try, and it turned out to be an incredible decision for not only my guitar playing but my confidence and overall well-being. First off, Danny Sabra is probably the best teacher I could've asked for. He is incredibly insightful and patient, and treats me as an equal. He's honestly become a mentor to me. Without him, I never would have had the courage to go up on a stage and play my own music for strangers. I mean, that's the last thing I ever saw myself doing. But I've done it a couple of times now, and I plan on doing it a whole lot more. I have learned how to feel what I am playing, and connect with music in a way that makes it so much more beautiful. I have learned how to appreciate other artists who play guitar, as well as artists and art of different forms. I have learned to never compromise what I believe for anything or anyone, but to stand strong in it and express it. I have learned so much about myself, and I continue to. Playing and making music has become a huge part of my life, and I really wouldn't trade it for anything. The feeling of finishing a song, learning a hard piece, or seeing myself improve can't be compared to anything else. I truly believe I've become a better version of myself through this.


Henry Tomsu

 Studying production at the 402 with Nate Baker has allowed me to grow as an artist. I started taking lessons with Nate without even knowing how to setup my equipment with my DAW, or find files on my computer. Not only do I know fundamental things like downloading plugins and setting up audio hardware now, but I also know much more about production. Nate has taught me important basic things like proper equalization and compression, and also more advanced things like auto-tune and recording techniques. I think my situation shows what an amazing teacher Nate is - I didn’t know anything about audio production and recording before beginning lessons at 402 Collective. Seven months later, I have an EP and a separate single released already which is because of his teaching. Nate is always receptive to my questions and willing to explain concepts to me. I’m looking forward to learning more advanced techniques and styles by continuing lessons with Nate. I plan to have a career in production after high school and college, and I am very appreciative that we found Nate to help further my knowledge in production.


Rosalina Romero

Our story is not only how our kids have grown, but also our family's musical journey together.

Our family :
Brent (Dad)
Rosalina (Mom)
Dexter (age 9)
Sylvia (age 5)
Lydia ( age 1.5)

Dexter started at the 402 taking violin lessons from Danny Sabra when he was 4.5 years old (Fall 2014) and then a couple years later he added on piano with Sara Thomsen. Dexter struggles with ADHD and occasional anxiety and low self esteem/confidence as a side effect from his ADHD. Beyond his growth in his musical talents , he has had tremendous growth in his ability to focus, complete tasks without getting immensely frustrated, be OK with making mistakes, and most of all his self confidence has grown. He is a true performer, and loves to get on stage and show a crowd what he has learned. He has also learned the value of how hard-work and practice pays off. Danny and Sara are not only his music teachers, but mentors to him as well. He feels comfortable confiding in Danny about problems he faces at school and with peers. the stability and consistency of Dexter's instructors has been key in developing his musical talents as well as aiding in his personal and emotional growth.

Sylvia started cello at the 402 about year ago with and has been through a few different instructors, which was unfortunate, but the positive is that we stuck through the valleys and are now in a peak and we have ended up with a fantastic instructor (Joye ) who I can tell is going to be a great influence in Sylvia's life. She reads Sylvia's personality well and tailors lessons accordingly. Sylvia is proud to play her cello and we love watching her learn and challenge herself.

Sylvia and Dexter - It is awesome to watch them at home practicing their instruments and asking each other questions and showing each other how to play. Sylvia has watched Dexter play for several years and shows interest in the piano as well. With that being said, its not always rainbows and roses when they practice, they also fight over who goes first or if they try and practicing concurrently someone may get annoyed at the other for playing too loudly etc ! Ah life's little annoyances are opportunities for conflict management skill building! I often wonder how their influence will play out on our younger daughter, Lydia, who is only 1.5 years old. She toddles around the music practice room while they play and loves listening to them, of course, they don't always appreciate her reaching in and trying to play too !

Our Family - Brent is a musician and plays in several local bands. He is gone often for gigs, rehearsals, and studio work. Family always comes first, but lots of coordination and support are required to make it all work. The kids see the hard work he puts in behind the scenes getting ready for big shows or new projects. They see him still practice and learn new techniques and songs. While I did not grow up playing any more instruments outside of the recorder we played in 3rd grade and choir practice for church, this entire journey for our family has inspired me to begin piano lessons with Sara Thomsen this year. I love showing my kids that learning doesn't stop once you are an adult and that learning something new can also be a vastly humbling experience. They were so excited for me to begin piano lessons and everyone in the house (Brent included) encourages me to practice and gives me lots of positive encouragement. Its not just music and art that are encouraged in our household and a part of our daily routines, but also the values of practice, hard work & dedication, a strong work ethic, creating a positive and supportive environment, and fostering a home and life filled with creativity. Some days its hard, because practicing when you are tired and have had a long day is hard, and some days are filled with massive amounts of inspirations and collaboration; both types of days are important. Being a part of the 402 has helped us create this strong foundation of music, arts as well as the supporting values that support them in our family.


Samantha Jones

Going into this, I wanted a solid foundation on how to produce and edit music. My New Years resolution for this year was to create music and record it with my brother so that we had something tangible as a project we saw through til the end. In doing so, we both didn't really understand and have a solid foundation on how to record/edit/mix/master music. Anyone can go online and learn random tips and tricks from Youtube of how to use DAW software, but with the 402, I was able to take one on one lessons on the basics. This has helped me tremendously in getting a good foundation of DAW software and ways to record, types of mics, how to position instruments when recording, etc.



Bradley started guitar in the spring of 2019 and wasn't really looking forward to it. He just turned 10 years old, is a bit shy and doesn't like to be the center of attention. At this point in his life, he would rather read or play video games with his friends. We decided to have him start up a new hobby, which was guitar, to help give him more confidence and give him something else to considerate on. He was unsure at first if he could pick up learning an instrument and he didn't like the idea of performing in front of anyone. Since he's started guitar lessons with Gabe, he has gained more confidence in himself and will play songs for friends and family. He has picked up learning the notes and playing the guitar so much faster than we all anticipated he would. We are so glad that he is loving his new talent and he is proud to show off his new skills.



My daughter has been taking lessons since January. I’m the 6 months of watching her learn to read music and to play the violin she has not only started playing for fun but wanting to perform in front of others when practicing. Her confidence has grown so much. Learning to make mistakes and recover from them with confidence makes me as a parent so proud of her!! Thank you so much to her instructor Danny Sabra.



My story is about Candace Gould who is an inspiration to me. My quest to finding a voice teacher finally landed to Candace. I searched through several websites and finally found you on Google. I read every instructor's biography and I felt a connection with Candace, maybe spiritual? That day came and we finally met. She is the instructor I was envisioning in my mind. She was punctual, compassionate and very professional and not only that she is very pretty. She also sounded very well balanced. That was our first encounter. I didn't know I was going to discover more about her. As months passed by, I started discovering other facets about Candace. She is a very dedicated person, she loves what she does and she has multiple talents. She is a tremendous leader who is not afraid to uplift other people with information, ideas and secrets she might have acquired after many many years. In today's world where people are afraid to share their knowledge or to impact or empower other people for fear of being forgotten about or no longer being depended upon, Candace is totally secured in herself. That is why I like her as an instructor and a person. She is not afraid to pour everything that she knows into her students. She has an open heart and she is not afraid to be hurt because she knows that her whole being resides in helping, serving and empowering other people. These are the leaders that we are yearning for in today's world. I want to recognize her today because society seems to recognize people who are selfish, proud and those who are unto themselves. Let us make a difference in Omaha by recognizing people who have a true heart of service. Let it start with us by recognizing and applauding these people who sacrifice their time, talent and resources just because of the joy they receive in return, that fulfillment that can never be taken away from them. I have decided to make that difference today.








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