Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Myers.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I began teaching guitar when I was 16 in Summit NJ, and in 2001 began teaching ukulele as well. I was fortunate to have some excellent instructors as a young teen as well as a family that includes several musicians. After attending CalArts (BA ’94) I taught at several schools, stores, teaching associations and guilds, in addition to performing on guitar, ukulele, banjo & lap steel guitar. In 2011 I bought a house in Atwater Village and built (literally) my own teaching studio on my property. I have never paid for advertising, the reputation and notoriety of my business is based strictly on merit and word of mouth. Many of my students have gone on to professional music careers themselves. Some career musicians have sought me out in order to gain a greater understanding of their instrument or of musical genres they would like to learn about. Playing several instruments and a wide knowledge of music is only a portion of what has made me a successful instructor; the ability to clearly communicate with students and understanding their various strengths and weaknesses is just as important as an intimate knowledge of music and instrumental performance.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The greatest difficulty I have encountered in the business of music lessons has been the bureaucracy of schools and stores I’ve encountered in the past. I’ve returned to the very way I started out; independent! While there are obvious advantages to working in such places, the limitations of such places have proven to be more inhibiting than empowering. I’m not against it in the slightest, but if I choose to stay open until 10pm, or set my own rates, I prefer the freedom to make that call myself.
Please tell us about Jason Myers Music Lessons.
I specialize in instruction and performance on guitar and ukulele. In addition to a roster of roughly 40+ students, I perform and record as well. I have better reading chops than most guitarists and am well versed in classical, jazz, pop, and many other styles of music. While I’m quite proud of the success of my home based business, it is the achievements of those whom I’ve taught I find the most rewarding. This goes beyond the ones who have established musical careers, or gone on to music colleges, but also the everyday achievements. When I can turn a student on to a musical concept or a technique and they experience that joy of discovery, and the ensuing self-empowerment of their new knowledge and ability, I find these moments just as richly rewarding as my own personal musical achievements.
As an instructor, I go beyond teaching students the fundamentals of music, but bring them to the world of performance as well. We hold two recitals a year, organize a 30-40pc guitar & ukulele ensemble, run a local ukulele club that meets weekly, participate in international competitions, and engage in community performances. I know of no other independent home based music instructor who does this. In 2014 I received a certificate of congressional recognition from Congresswoman Judy Chu for our participation and awards in the Angel Cup International music competition.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over I’d probably have returned to an independent practice sooner than I did. I didn’t realize how unhappy the bureaucracy, policies, and limitations of working in an institution were making me until it was over. My first reaction was that I should have done this sooner! Also, I’d have liked to have pursued an MA in composition. Other than that, I’m quite pleased with how it’s all gone. I’m a successful musician with a reputable teaching practice. I might not be rich or famous or anything like that, but I don’t value those things as much as I value happiness and a sense of purpose in helping others become better musicians.
- $30/$60 for half/full hour lessons
- Website: www.myersmaniamusic.com
- Phone: (213)359-2331
- Email: email@example.com
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