It has probably been three years since I have been wanting to interview Washington Academy of Music for the blog, and I finally made it happen. I have walked by the building on Elm Street hundreds of times, yet never walked in until last week. After a couple of e-mails, Nora Bellows (the owner) and I set a date and a time to meet. Read interview with Nora below!
When was The Washington Academy of Music started?
The Academy opened in the spring of 2009. Previously I had been teaching out of my home in Washington and at a music studios in Kirkwood and Chesterfield. It had long been a dream to open up a studio in downtown Washington to offer quality music education to the area. Six months after opening we grew enough to divide the one large studio space into three private studios and a waiting room; the Academy has been growing ever since.
What does The Washington Academy of Music offer
Students have a variety of choices at the Academy. We currently offer instruction in piano, violin and voice. This fall we will also offer Harp and Kindermusik. I am very excited about these additional opportunities. There is an experienced Harpist moving here from New York state. When she was visiting downtown Washington, she came in to speak to me about offering lessons at the Academy. She loved the studio setting and atmosphere and I will love hearing the harp! The Kindermusik classes will offer a musical experience to younger children ranging from 18 months to 5 years. The classes are “parent/caregiver and child” and promote a love of music, foster language skills and build confidence.
Is it just for children?
We offer private lessons to students ranging in age from 5 to 105. We have adult students taking voice, violin and piano. The majority of our students are school aged; however, we love the adult students that come in and always manage to make us smile. Students can begin taking piano or violin at 5 and voice at 8. The Kindermusik classes will be offered to children 18 months to 5 years.
Where can people hear your students perform?
Our students perform in a formal recital during the winter that is open to the public. For the past several years we have enjoyed the acoustics and grand piano in Immanuel Lutheran’s Sanctuary. We will be playing for residents at area nursing homes later this month and we will be in Washington’s 175th Parade. We encourage our students to share the joy of music and their talents with the community. Past performances have also included the Farmers’ Market, the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and the Art Walks. Upcoming performances will be posted on our Facebook page.
Why did you pick downtown Washington?
My location was never up for debate! When I moved to Missouri from Bangor Maine nine years ago, I fell in love with the beauty of downtown Washington. I had taught violin at a studio that was located in downtown Bangor, also a river town, and the feel of downtown Washington reminded me of my previous home. I love hearing the chime of Borgia’s clock outside my window, walking a matter of steps to get a fresh cup of coffee, and gazing down the hill to see the moving water. I consider myself very lucky to be able to teach music in such a setting.
More information on the classes and teachers at Washington Academy of Music can be found at www.washingtonacademyofmusic.com
Washington Academy of Music • firstname.lastname@example.org • (636)-432-2903 • 104 Elm St. Washington, MO