"It is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self"  

D.W. Winnicott

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BretTe Genzel Derman, MSW, PSYd FOUNDER

Brette received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, and her Masters in Social Work at Syracuse University.  Brette has been in private practice for over ten years, specializing in psychological assessment. She has worked as a clinical psychologist at the Child and Family Guidance Center for the past 18 years. She developed the Therapeutic Creative Arts Program at CFGC in 2015, and is the Coordinator of the Assessment of Sexual Knowledge program there. Brette has over 15 years of experience conducting psychological assessments and sexual abuse evaluations, as well as individual, family and group treatment.  She has extensive experience working with children and teens with complex trauma, abuse & neglect, suicidal ideation, ADHD, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, bereavement, disruptive behavior problems, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and personality disorders. In addition, she has extensive experience supervising clinicians in a variety of settings who perform individual/group therapy, and psychological testing. 

Her main passion is working to empower teenagers and helping them heal through creative expression. Brette believes the first step in engaging teens is finding a way to connect with them.  While a lot of therapeutic groups are formed around a child's difficulty or deficit, Brette believes it is important to come from a strengths-based perspective.  This is why she developed Acoustic Youth.


Carol Gelbard, LCSW              THERAPIST

Carol received her Masters in Social Work at UCLA.  She has more than 15 years of experience working with children and adolescents performing individual, family and group therapy in hospitals, schools, and private practice settings.  She began her career in clinical positions at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Van Nuys Adolescent Treatment Hospital and then as the Director of Day Treatment Services at Los Angeles Child Guidance Center serving children and adolescents.  She has extensive experience as a program director providing training and supervision to therapists in a special education setting.  In these environments, Carol has worked with children and teens with a wide range of presenting problems including depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, anxiety, mood lability, impulsivity, thought disorders, attention disorders, socialization/peer relationships, school related behavioral problems, trauma disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and bereavement.  

She easily develops rapport with teenagers and has a genuine interest in engaging teens by understanding their culture and how music plays a significant role in their development. She sees the creative process of song writing in a group therapy experience as a critical tool in helping teens to express their feelings and experiences, develop more positive social interactions and utilize more effective coping skills.


Phil Buckman, Musician  

Originally from Queens, New York, former FILTER, current FUEL /  PETTY CASH bassist, Phil Buckman arrived in Los Angeles (by way of Baltimore, MD. and Boston, MA) as a teenager, and quickly made a name for himself in the L.A. music scene as the bassist for the dynamic TRIBAL SEX CULT.  Upon the demise of T.S.C., Phil kept busy with a wide variety of projects including TEXTURE (Vital Recordings), HELICOPTER HELICOPTER (Initial Records), FINE (Flip Records) ONESIDEZERO (Maverick), THE IMPOSTERS (Interscope), KILL THE COMPLEX, THE SNOW (Northern Lights), vOLUMe, (ConCrete), and GO BETTY GO (sideonedummy), as well as contributing to various film and TV soundtracks. 

Phil also enjoys a successful acting and voiceover career with series regular roles on such television shows as Drexell’s Class (FOX), Daddy’s Girls (CBS), City of Angels (CBS), Bob Patterson (ABC), and most recently in his role as art teacher, "Henry Preston", on the FOX hit, Boston Public.  
For the past 16 years and counting, Phil’s voice has been heard by millions of people everyday on TV and radio, as the voice of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurant chains.  He has also been the voice of The Today Show’s Toyota Summer Concert Series, Yamaha motorcycles and ATV’s, the World Of Warcraft video game, Nestle Crunch, Cheez-Its, and hundreds of other commercials, video games, cartoons, as well as countless promos for CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, PIVOT, Adult Swim, The Weather Channel, MSG, and more.

He was a musical mentor for Sonic Teens in the fall of 2017, where he used his talent to assist teens in using music and song writing to work through difficult life challenges.   


John Lousteau, musician/Sound Engineer

John was born in Texas and raised in Tennessee.  For his 6th birthday, he got a Carpenters Album which was his inspiration to pursue music and songwriting.  He played various instruments from the piano, violin to the trumpet.  By age 14, he developed an interest in heavy rock and got his first drum set.   He played drums in various bands during his late teens and early 20's in the Knoxville and Charleston area while working for a small record store.   In 2005, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.  He has been working at Studio 606 (Foo Fighters Private Studio) since 2007. 

At Studio 606, he has been an engineer, mixing engineer, producer, songwriter for over 100 albums.  He is a tour band manager and still plays the drums monthly for various gigs.  He is the song engineer for the Foo Fighters and worked with them on their various albums beginning in 2006.  

If you are interested in learning more about his work, please see this link. https://www.discogs.com/artist/571684-John-Lousteau?page=

John worked as a musical mentor for Sonic Teens where he used his expertise and experience to help teens write, record and perform their own songs in 606 recording studio.   



San Miguel, Musician

In his home country of Cuba, San Miguel Perez is known as "El Tresero Moderno" (The Modern Tresero).  An exceptional musician, he is considered one of the best tres and guitar players in Cuba and has been awarded with a Cubadisco Award for Best Tresero and Best Música Tradicional Cubana.

Born in Granma, Cuba, he is also a singer, percussionist and composer, and he is highly respected for his knowledge of Cuban music.  In Cuba, he was an integral band member for Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son, (the “gentleman of son music”) as well as for Jóvenes Clásicos del Son, Soneros de Verdad, and the new generation of the now legendary "Buena Vista Social Club".  In addition, he was part of the GRAMMY nominated production 100 Sones of Edesio Alejandro.

He now resides in Los Angeles, and most recently has been writing, playing and recording with Peruvian born singer-producer Cecilia Noël and with Grammy award winning artist Colin Hay (Men at Work).

His album UN POQUITO DE AMOR EVERYDAY, will be released this spring with a lead single “Un Poquito de Amor Everyday (Everybody Needs Some Love Today)”, a Spanish/English hybrid that features Colin Hay on English vocals.

San Miguel is currently serving as a musical mentor to the Sonic Young Adult Program at the Child and Family Guidance Center. 

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Johnny Stauffer, Musician 

John Stauffer didn’t really have a choice. For most of his early years he sat in on his father’s rehearsals and it was only a matter of time before he caught the bug. After picking up his first guitar at the ripe old age of 8…he quickly became immersed in his father’s world of singer/songwriter’s like Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell. John used these artists from before his time as a foundation for his songwriting…while adding liberal doses of the Beatles and healthy splash of more contemporary acts like U2, Pearl Jam and more recently, John Mayer. His sonorous, R and B influenced vocals came later and finally narrowed his sound down to its present incarnation.

In the summer of 1993, John moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, Where he graduated with a degree in Design. His artistic aspirations soon took a backseat to his music however, as he started writing religiously and playing the local Hollywood music scene. It wasn’t long before he was a fixture at local spots like The Mint,.Genghis Cohen, Molly Malone’s, Café Largo and The Kibbutz Room. In 2007…John spread his wings and formed a pop-acoustic rock band called Sons Of Ben. The eclectic act featured a fun and diverse collection of originals and covers…mostly of top forty seventies pop…and consisted of several name musicians like Jeff Russo (Tonic) and Justin Chancellor (Tool) and actor Jeremy Renner. Shortly thereafter John...with the help of producer Jason Brahms...completed his first Album project...."Philosophy"...which has already been featured on numerous network television shows and his songs have been recorded professionally by featured artists in LA and Nashville. 

John continues to write and record on a variety of music projects, including several television commercial spots and feature film scores…while putting the finishing touches on his next album.


Celilia Noel, Musician 

Cecilia Noel is a performer, songwriter, producer, bandleader, mentor, and force of nature.  A Peruvian native who is now an LA institution with her band, The Wild Clams, Cecilia lights up every stage she touches from the evening jazz set and the late night dance party to the headline spot both as a solo artist and with her husband, singer/songwriter and legendary front man of Men at Work, Colin Hay.

Surrounding herself with top LA talent, The Wild Clams are a massive band, at some points up to 16 pieces, that reflect Cecilia’s passion, flamboyance, and the many elements that influence her music from salsa and soul to jazz, funk, and afro-cuban.

Her most recent album, Havana Rocks, is the best example of this - an ambitious genre-bending project that took Cecilia to Havana to record MTV-era hits like “Whip It” and “I Touch Myself” and eventually earned Cecilia the Cubadisco International Award 2015, the first American album to win after the embargo.  The album paired Cecilia with some of that country’s top musicians including Cubadisco Award winning tres player – San Miguel Perez.

As Cecilia was mentored in her early career by some of the greatest international band leaders like Carlo Berscia and Stan Getz, her meeting with San Miguel brought out the mentor and producer in Cecilia, leading to a collaboration as performers, songwriters, and recording artists.  Cecilia played an integral role to the recording of San Miguel’s debut album including contributing to the first single, “Un Poquito de Amor Eve


David Halicky, SoUND ENGINEER

David Halicky was involved in music from a very early age, learning piano at 6, trumpet at 8 and finally settling on drums at the age of 10. David is now an accomplished drummer and has been drumming for over 20 years.  David has years of experience playing live and toured across America with Peachcake in 2008.  He has recorded with a number of bands and enjoys writing songs.  David earned his Associates Degree in Psychology from Scottsdale Community College. David acknowledges using music as a coping skill, both on and off of the stage.

Since 2016 David has volunteered his time at the Child and Family Guidance Center, serving as a mentor and sound engineer in the Sonic Teens program. In this capacity, David has helped motivate teens to write and record inspirational songs.  With regard to his volunteer work he remarked, "My experience has been life changing and extremely positive for me and everyone involved."