Two years ago, I was sitting in my house, pondering the nature of the private music teacher industry. It seemed almost strange--an entire community of people, all dedicated to teaching (mostly) children to play musical instruments, one-on-one. There really isn't anything else like it, really. After all, most parents don't usually hire a personal athletic coach to train their elementary-aged child. And when was the last time you heard of private video game lessons, or private tutelage on how to carry out household chores? Sure, academic tutoring exists, but that's to help kids in school, which they have to do, right? Music is a hobby, a choice, a love.
I was also intrigued by the particulars we teachers live with here in the Santa Clarita Valley. We music teachers work with really busy kids.
Santa Clarita is a unique town. We are exploding with children, and we have exceptional, award-winning schools. Our athletic heritage is amazing and prolific--we almost yawn now when we hear of another student going to a major sports university or going pro. And we routinely send students to the top academic colleges and universities in America. Add to that the religious commitment of many in our valley. Our churches and synagogues have created a tight-knit web of kids who fill their week with faith-based activities. Homeschooling is booming here, with numerous co-ops and charter schools giving the necessary umbrella for parents to provide their kids with a customized education.
We Santa Clarita parents are, simply put, insanely busy. My wife and I are the parents of three kids. We homeschool, kind of do the sports thing, are getting ready to audition for orchestra, and our kids are definitely involved in our church youth group. We've done the art lessons, the gymnastics, the ballet classes. I've been the parent driving my kids to and fro through the valley, watching valuable time slip away as I sit through three turns of the light at Valencia and Soledad.
So, two years ago I asked myself the simple question, "How can we serve the stressed out parents of Santa Clarita?" The answer: "In-home music lessons." This wasn't new, of course. But more than ever, traveling teachers had become a need for our valley.
SCV has had traveling teachers for many years now, but not nearly enough to fill the need. Anna (my wife) and I decided to bring on music teachers who could drive to student homes. These teachers were great musicians, plus they showed a deep desire to teach. They had teaching experience, but wanted more students. They were young, which translated into energy, drive, and passion. But it also meant they weren't established. They didn't have a home or storefront from which to teach. Traveling was the perfect fit, and it relieved untold amounts of pressure on student families who didn't have time to add one more trip to their week.
We started under our own 'Bendorf Piano Studio', but recently created Allemande Music Academy in order to offer lessons beyond piano. So here's to a wonderful future of Santa Clarita students becoming excellent at playing music--in the comfort of their own homes!