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Meet Alana Miles of Los Angeles School of Music in Los Feliz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alana Miles.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was a recent graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music, and my husband was still a student there. I was also pregnant with our first child. It had always been my dream to have a music studio, so I started one called Alana’s Music Studio. We had more inquiries for lessons than I could take on, so we decided to expand and add additional teachers, thus beginning the Los Angeles School of Music.

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I began piano lessons at the age of six- I was naturally drawn to a toy piano and my grandmother noticed, so she told my father to put me in lessons! I still remember the first two pieces I learned: Itty Bitty Kitty and Yankee Doodle. I was enamored with the piano and practiced those pieces over and over. I have fond memories of my dad playing Mozart in the living room and taking me to live classical music concerts in Austin, TX as well.

As I grew older I joined the school band and took up the clarinet. I thought it was so exciting to be able to say I could play more than one instrument! I loved music so much that I entered the University of Texas at Austin as a music student. I then moved to California to obtain my Master of Music degree at Cal-State Fullerton, and then enrolled at USC to study with a world-renown clarinet teacher, Yehuda Gilad.

During my time as a student, I met so many wonderfully talented musicians, whom I collaborated with and also had the good fortune to hear in concert. Los Angeles is an amazing hub for classical music, and the new music scene is thriving. I find it exciting every time I think about it! I believe in my colleagues and peers in the city so much that I wanted to be able to help them find students, and I wanted the people of Los Angeles to be able to find them. There are so many musicians and teachers in this city, but I am very selective about how I invite to become a teacher. It’s so important to study with a great teacher from the beginning.

With rent in LA skyrocketing, I wanted to forgo an actual facility and have lessons take place in the student’s home or the teacher’s home studio. Also, no one likes to drive far in LA, so I make sure to match students and teachers who are near each other. We also have greater scheduling flexibility since we don’t have to worry about double-booking a music studio practice room.

The biggest reason that I started our school is because I believe in the importance of music education. I believe it helps build character, integrity, work ethic, and persistence. It also helps ones’ sense of self as he or she reaches musical goals. I wanted to help fill the void left by funding cuts to arts programs in schools. I also know how enjoyable playing an instrument is, so I wanted to share that with our community.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s never easy being a working mother of two small children and juggling several different jobs as a freelance musician, while starting a business! I had to learn everything about starting a business from square one: paperwork, taxes, W9s, business laws. I am still learning. Also, I had never known anyone with a music studio so there was and still is some trial and error. I really had to go out on a limb and put myself out there, in spite of the fear of failure. As a small business owner, I’m really a jack of all trades. I am our record-keeper, marketer, event planner, and liaison between teachers and students!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Los Angeles School of Music – what should we know?
We specialize in providing quality, affordable private music lessons. I believe what sets us apart from other studios is that our teachers are selectively screened for experience in teaching and graduate degrees in music. They are also all active performers in the community, singing and performing with organizations like the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Pacific Opera Project. Our teachers are incredibly talented, kind, and personable.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Persistence, courage, and passion.

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