Today we’d like to introduce you to Dylann Asa Stubblefield.
Dylann, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up near Los Angeles in a family of musicians and artists. I had access to many instruments growing up, so I tried to play them all – everything from flute and guitar to saxophone and drums. After suffering a major car accident, hospitalization, and many surgeries in high school, I turned to homeschooling and developed an intense passion with studying and composing music. I began to teach guitar, flute, and piano at my stepfather’s music store and from there, also developed a great love of teaching young minds. After moving all around California and Idaho for a few years and having two children, I moved back to Wrightwood, a small mountain town behind the peak of Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains. In this time, I decided to finish my higher education degree in Jazz Bass Performance at Riverside City College, while also teaching at a local music and arts program called Keyboard Art School of Music. Also during this time, I started to host the Jazz Jam in Riverside. It was a great place for young students in high school and college of all skill levels to play and connect with one another. Little did I know, after teaching at Keyboard Art for three years, the owners decided it was time for their retirement and a move up north to be closer to family. They asked me to take over the school for them, as it was their baby and did not want the town to lose such a precious resource. I agreed, and in April 2020, I became the owner of Keyboard Art.
Since then, I have devoted every ounce of my energy and time into keeping it a thriving, creative community, as it was when it was left to me. The pandemic hit right as I transitioned into my leadership role of the school, so it was a challenge to be entirely new to owning a business, as well as have to transition every lesson and class online. We suffered a major drop in attendance due to the often frustrating nature of online education. I, along with my partner, Kris Sveen, worked hard to develop an online Summer Program and launch several new online classes to broaden the offerings of Keyboard Art. We now offer instruction not only in music, but in dance, filmmaking, acting, graphic design, pottery & ceramics, photography, production & beats, songwriting, and voiceover for animation. This has been received with great excitement from the local community, in addition to students from all over California and the rest of the country. We are glad that through online learning, we can broaden our reach and share our love of music, creativity, and the arts with so many students.
Has it been a smooth road?
When I transitioned into the leadership role at Keyboard Art School of Music, COVID-19 hit. The learning curve of being thrown into online education was steep. Like all of us, most families and students were not prepared for this transition, so our enrollment numbers plummeted. The nature of online education can be frustrating, from technical difficulties to poor internet connections, it was very difficult for our students and teachers to keep connecting and learning together in a meaningful way. The ones who struggled the most were our very young and elderly demographic. During the summer, my partner, Kris Sveen and I worked relentlessly on our computers around the clock weekdays and weekends to create video tutorials, pre-recorded lessons, and recorded tracks for our students, as well as reference videos for our parents and teachers. We worked hard to get everyone on board and excited about online learning and all of its positive possibilities, so much so that our regular Summer Session attendance grew by 30%.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Keyboard Art School of Music – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Keyboard Art School of Music is a small music and arts program, based in the small mountain town of Wrightwood, but available to any student, young or old, anywhere in the country with an internet connection. We provide access to high-quality teachers in all of the visual, performing, and movement arts – everything from guitar lessons to jiu-jitsu classes. We are proud to partner with other small local businesses, charter schools, homeschool programs, and music stores in bringing awesome performances, instrument rentals, a lending library program, and unique classes to our community.
We are passionate about granting equal access to high-quality music and arts education to all students, no matter what race, age, ethnicity, gender, or ability. This summer, we launched a Community Program that provides free or discounted lessons and classes to low-income families. We also developed online classes and content that suits all levels of learning abilities. We are grateful to be able to work with so many amazing teachers with incredible resumes from all around Los Angeles. We are also excited about our current studio remodeling project that will make our space more multi-purpose to serve all branches of the arts and give our teachers more resources and equipment for teaching online.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love that Los Angeles has such a great community of talented musicians that support and encourage one another. I am grateful to places like the Blue Whale in Little Tokyo and Sam First by LAX that give jazz musicians an incredible outlet to perform and produce their projects. These friends and colleagues are a tremendous inspiration because even though all of the in-person performance opportunities were ripped away from them, they still keep pushing and finding ways to share their music, art, and creativity. I am grateful to help carry that torch throughout the city and help the music and education of our wonderful young minds stay alive and thriving.
- We charge $36 per private lesson.
- We charge $240 for our 16-week semester classes.
- We provide a Music Library Subscription for $5 per month.
- Address: 1473 Betty St. Wrightwood, CA 92397
- Website: https://www.keyboardart.com/
- Phone: 760-684-1236
- Email: email@example.com
Photos by Dylann Asa, Kris Sveen, and Zachariah Budd