Link to video of our Family Music Center band, the Treble Makers

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I wasn't always a professional musician. I began as a clerk at the Family Music Center, working for cat food. Every January I had to help count the inventory. Here I'm stalking high notes.

These pictures and captions are for the months of my calendar. Click on each picture to advance to the next month's pictures and to review products and services of Family Music Center where I used to work. (I'm retired now. Now I just go in at night to catch up on my mice.)

Kids! In my story for each month, I hide the name of the month in my story! Except this month, where I made it real easy. Email Music@Saltshaker.US and tell me where it is hidden, and I will send you a FREE PRIZE!!!! (It won't be worth much, but it will be FREE!!!)



How does your service stand out?
96 years, and we're still here, working on staying another year. My grandfather started our store in 1922; 45 years ago we merged with another store that was started in 1921. Dave and Dorothy Leach at your service; between us we can sell, rent, teach, and repair all band and orchestra instruments. We speak pequito Espanol. No mucho, pero tratamos.

What is your typical process for working with a new student?
We have beginning music books that start with a few notes which we show you how to play, and then you are able to play an easy song like "Hot Cross Buns" at your first lesson. Except on drums. We can teach drummers either on the snare drum and/or bells that schools begin with, or on a full drum set. On guitar we can either help you learn one-string-at-a-time melodies, or chords with which you can accompany your singing. On every instrument we show you how to read music, and we show you in a way that makes it easy. Singers do well to learn an instrument like guitar or keyboard to accompany themselves and to "pick out" the notes they need to sing, although we can also coach singing technique using your accompaniment CD's.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Dave Leach: Bachelor of Music Education degree from Drake University. 2 years public school band directing experience, 2 years in Christian schools before returning full time to our family music store.
Dorothy Leach: BA with music major from University of Northern Iowa, 6 years experience as a band director in public schools.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Half hour: $17. One hour: $30. No extra charge if more than one want to learn together. (We are a small store. Please be patient if other customers come in during your lesson time who we need to help briefly; we will still give you your full time.)

How did you get started teaching?
Dave Leach began teaching students when he was in high school, in his grandfather's music store. Dorothy Leach also began in high school, teaching large accordion classes. With that income she paid off her college tuition.

What types of students have you worked with?
All kinds, from 3 years old to 90. From those who practice hardly at all to those who practice an hour or two a day. From those who quit after a few lessons to those who go on to major in music in college. We appreciate them all.

Music Contents

January: Lessons!

February: Repair Shop

March: Secrets of Scales & key signatures

April: "The Lesson No One Expected" (An Amazing Story featuring the Practice Fairy!)

May: Maintenance for musical instruments

June: "The Music Wars" (An Adventure Story about Superhero Angels and the Minstrels of Darkness!)

July: Basic accessories

August: How to practice, and how MUCH to practice! (Moms and dads: This is such universal advice about how to succeed, that it will even tell you how to LOSE WEIGHT!)

September: Rental Plan, Store History

October: Dr. Screech's Family Band Method (a very basic, easy to read very beginning CARTOON method, with easy-to-understand theory basics helpful for students who have played a few years -- great for parents helping their children)

November: Join the Treble Makers! - Family Music Center Student Band! A wonderful opportunity for kids who are serious about music and who don't mind being on Youtube! Parents welcome too!

December: Music Store Ethics Statement

Next Year: Surprise!




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Got feedback? Send it, along with name or url of the article, and a little of the text on either side of where your comment belongs, so I know what you are responding to, and I'll post your response. I might even place it right smack dab in the article! (If you don't want your email posted, SAY SO!)