In­spir­ing the Love of Mu­sic

Drums or voice or gui­tar, this school is great for start­ing a mu­si­cal jour­ney

RSWLiving - - Contents - BY ANN MARIE O’PHEL AN

Ev­ery day at Fort My­ers School of Mu­sic, stu­dents are strum­ming gui­tars, prac­tic­ing pi­ano scales and blow­ing into horns. Whether new stu­dents learn­ing their notes, or more ac­com­plished play­ers prac­tic­ing for an event, they’re all praised and en­cour­aged to stick with their love of mu­sic. Af­ter all, the 15 ta­lented and ex­pe­ri­enced in­struc­tors are col­lege-ed­u­cated per­form­ing mu­si­cians who well know the chal­lenges and joys of learn­ing in­stru­ments.

Since 1991, Fort My­ers School of Mu­sic, lo­cated at Jay & Kay’s Or­gan & Pi­ano on Colo­nial Boule­vard in Fort My­ers, has of­fered pri­vate lessons for pi­ano, gui­tar, drum, bass, or­gan, ukulele and vo­cals. The lessons are held Monday through Fri­day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Satur­day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.—to ac­com­mo­date the var­ied sched­ules of tra­di­tional, home­schooled and older stu­dents.

“It’s great that they of­fer so much for adults and the whole fam­ily,” says Mandy Baker of Fort My­ers. She’s a 48-year-old pi­ano player who’s con­sid­er­ing learn­ing gui­tar next.

Fort My­ers School of Mu­sic has been so suc­cess­ful that it re­cently changed its lo­ca­tion, al­though it stayed at the same ad­dress, to ac­com­mo­date even more stu­dents. The rea­son for the move was to ex­pand the num­ber of les­son rooms, known as stu­dios, from five to 11. The ad­di­tional mu­sic stu­dios al­low more si­mul­ta­ne­ous pri­vate lessons at peak “prime time” slots. The school also added ded­i­cated art rooms, and art classes have de­buted.

“Thanks to our new stu­dio, we can now of­fer more types of in­stru­ment lessons,” ex­plains owner Jay Guret­sky. Brass and reed in­stru­ment lessons will be part of the new of­fer­ings.

The rooms are all stocked with what is needed for the les­son, such as amps, drum kits, pi­anos and more. Parents can ac­com­mo­date their children in the les­son rooms, or kick back in the wait­ing room, a fam­ily-friendly place with com­fort­able chairs, children’s toys, magazines and Wi-Fi.

En­cour­ag­ing stu­dents to learn and love mu­sic is some­thing the school strives for—from of­fer­ing a wel­com­ing and ac­com­mo­dat­ing front desk, to helping stu­dents find the right teacher. And stu­dents earn tro­phies, cer­tifi­cates and award wrist­bands through Fort My­ers School of Mu­sic’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Mu­sic Lad­der Sys­tem.

Fort My­ers School of Mu­sic’s 15 ta­lented and ex­pe­ri­enced in­struc­tors are col­legee­d­u­cated per­form­ing mu­si­cians who well know the chal­lenges and joys of learn­ing in­stru­ments.

“We be­lieve that pri­vate lessons are the best way to learn to play an in­stru­ment. Our stu­dents have won lo­cal, re­gional and state com­pe­ti­tions. Many of the stu­dents have earned col­lege schol­ar­ships through­out the years,” Guret­sky says.

The school charges $30 for a half-hour pri­vate les­son. For stu­dents who want longer lessons, 45-minute and 60-minute ses­sions are avail­able. Fees are paid month to month, with no long-term com­mit­ments. There are un­lim­ited makeup lessons. A 14-day no­tice is all that is needed to stop lessons.

Children aren’t the only ones who love mu­sic—many adults take lessons at the school, as well. And, of course, the love of mu­sic often runs in the fam­ily. “We fre­quently book the en­tire fam­ily’s lessons at about the same time, saving parents [from mak­ing] trips to dif­fer­ent schools and a lot of wait­ing time,” notes Guret­sky.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the school of­fers two recitals a year, dur­ing spring and in De­cem­ber. Recitals help build con­fi­dence and are a chance for stu­dents to show off their skills. With so much to of­fer stu­dents—and, in turn, their parents—it’s lit­tle won­der why Fort My­ers School of Mu­sic is the re­cip­i­ent of many awards and hon­ors, and is al­ways highly re­viewed.

The Fort My­ers School of Mu­sic of­fers lessons for children 5 years old and up.

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