The WiMN’s Front and Center is a weekly column that showcases accomplished women who work in the music and audio industries. We spotlight successful female performers, manufacturers, retailers, educators, managers, publicists, and everyone else in between. Want to be featured? Learn how here

Front and Center: Hollywood Music Studios Owner, Elsa Caberte


Elsa Caberte of San Diego, Calif., is a formidable woman whose accomplishments are hard to measure.

Originally from the Philippines, Caberte runs two successful music studios in San Diego county cities National City and Chula Vista, along with her husband Andy.

She migrated to the States nearly 30 years ago and has built a legacy of students through her Studios, which offer dance, piano, guitar, voice lessons and more. The students at Hollywood Studios have been so successful, they’ve even landed on shows like American Idol and The Next.

Hollywood Studios is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and it couldn’t be possible without Elsa Caberte’s relentless spirit and support of the arts. To learn more about Hollywood Music, visit

WiMN: How did you get started in the music industry and where?

EC: I migrated to San Diego in 1985 and my first job was as a salesperson at Organ Exchange, a chain of stores that sells music organs exclusively.

WiMN: Tell us about your three studios titled Hollywood Music.

EC: I have two locations now. I consolidated the two locations in National City, and the second location is in Chula Vista. Both studios offer private and group music lessons, and National City offers both music and dance.

WiMN: How does Hollywood Music stand out from other music shops/lesson shops nearby?

EC: We are celebrating our 20th year anniversary this year. We stand out not only because we have the biggest enrollment in the area but our studio environment is very dynamic. We encourage our students to collaborate and play together. My husband is a keyboard player and he would sometimes jam with the students along with the other teachers. We also have a great relationship with the parents; it’s a common scene to see parents hanging out, chatting with my husband and myself and my staff.

WiMN: What are your primary responsibilities as the owner of Hollywood Music?

EC: I am in charge of marketing, hiring and overseeing and assessing the success of the programs we offer.

WiMN: Are you a musician? If so, what do you play?

EC: Yes, I play the piano

WiMN: Where did you study and what did you major in?

EC: I studied in Manila Philippines and I majored in Psychology.

WiMN: What are some of the biggest student success stories Hollywood Music has been a part of?

EC: One of our students, Marvin Calderon, made it to Top 28 guys in American Idol Season 12, and another one of our students Krystle Cruz was the Los Angeles finalist mentored by Nelly on Season 1 of CW Network’s The Next.

WiMN: Describe the coolest day on the job.

EC: The coolest day would be seeing a little person, a 4-year-old, tiny person walking in the studio to attend his/her lesson and seeing the commitment and the excitement in his/her eyes!

WiMN: What are some things you wish you knew when you first started your career?

EC: I wish I had invested in real estate property when we first opened our doors instead of leasing where I don’t have any control over lease expenses.

WiMN: What is the biggest difference you hope to accomplish in your community through your studios?

EC: I hope that we can reach out and get more kids involved in the arts and help raise these kids to be responsible, self confident individuals who are committed, reliable and dedicated to whatever career they choose later on.