Our Team
My name is Warren Mendes and I'm the Director of Musical Minds. I began
offering after school music programs back in 2001, after spending a couple of
years at Rhodes Music Corporation. At Rhodes I worked to promote the
highly acclaimed teaching methodology of the legendary Harold Rhodes,
developer of the famous Fender Rhodes piano. Before that, I was a recording
artist, a session musician and a songwriter. I was lucky enough to have several
of my compositions recorded by successful artists, and I was able to work
with many "big name" artists, but I was always frustrated by the state of the
music industry. Growing up in the United Kingdom and the West Indies, and
being exposed to so much incredible music as a youth, I developed a huge
passion for all things musical. I studied law at university (my pragmatic side
made that decision), but my understudies were always music courses. As
soon as I graduated I promptly sought out a career in music. My friends and I
soon secured a record deal, and away we went!
By the time I became involved with music education, my passion for being in
the mainstream of the music industry had significantly mellowed, and I believe
that in the realm of teaching I had found my knish. I love working with kids
and showing the years. I'm a strong advocate of music and art as two key
formative building blocks of childhood development. I believe that for kids,
music is one of the keys to self confidence, self esteem, creative thinking
(essential for problem solving in subjects like math and science), and even
social awareness. I have seen all kinds of kids in our program - gifted and
talented kids, slow learners, kids with behavioural issues, autism, ADD, ADHD,
shy kids, happy kids, you name it. They all love music, and they all enjoy
learning to play music and they get so much joy learning to
make music.
From the very first class that I started in West Los Angeles I could see the
vision of bringing a high quality program to schools everywhere. Slowly I
assembled my team, and together we have grown steadily, so that our
program can now be found in schools up and down the West Coast, from as
far north as Seattle all the way down to San Diego.     
David Carruthers is one of those unique individuals who employs
both sides of his brain equally. He has an extensive background in
business and finance, having been a Chartered Accountant in
Canada (the equivalent of a CPA in the United States), and he's held
the post of chief financial player with numerous jazz outfits and big
band orchestras in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, and
before that in Toronto, Canada. David is a lovable guy whose heart
is completely in this program, and he brings that good Canadian
sensibility to Musical Minds. He's well liked by kids, parents and school
officials alike, and he wears many hats in the organization, so his true
job can best be described as our operations manager (or maybe the
heart of the program).