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Meet Justine Keyes of Keyes Music Lessons in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justine Keyes.

Justine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
While I was in college studying music, I decided to start teaching private voice lessons and piano lessons. I only had a few students at first, but just through word of mouth, it grew and grew until I had over 20 students! A few years later, I got married and then had a baby and I realized that as much as I loved teaching, I wanted to be able to teach less myself so that I could be with my baby more. A lot of my good friends were musicians also, so I decided to start my own music school and offer more than just voice and piano lessons. It started with just 3 other teachers, and now it’s expanded to 12 teachers and we currently have nearly 100 students combined. We offer private lessons in: piano, voice, guitar, bass, drums, violin, and flute. We teach all over the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area, and do lessons in the students’ homes, or at the teachers’ home studios. I still teach voice myself out of my home studio in Sylmar. I am also the Music Director and Choir Director for a private PreK-12 school in Lake View Terrace called Delphi Academy. In addition to teaching, I also sing professionally in wedding bands as a lead singer, and I do studio singing as well as professional Holiday caroling. This summer, I sang with the California Philharmonic Choir at the Disney Concert Hall.

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?
Running my music school hasn’t always been a smooth road, but I feel lucky to have really incredible teachers that work for me. It has made this job so much easier and a true joy. Helping to give kids (and adults as well!) a great music education is very important to me, and seeing the amazing products my teachers get when we have our annual recitals is just incredible! It makes it all worth it.

I’d say one of the hardest things for me personally was figuring out the right balance of my time, and juggling being a mom/music teacher/singer/business owner. I have 3 amazing kids and they are my whole world, but singing and teaching is also a very important part of my life. With the support of my wonderful husband and great friends and family, I seem to have found the perfect balance where I feel I can really have the best of both worlds and I’m very grateful for that.

Please tell us about Keyes Music Lessons.
We are a music school that offers private lessons in: piano, voice, guitar, bass, drums, violin, and flute. We teach all over the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley area, and do lessons in the students’ homes, or at the teachers’ home studios. I think what sets us apart is that all of our teachers are qualified music educators, as well as working musicians so they have a practical understanding of performing and really using their music education and skills. I am also proud of the fact that all of our teachers have an amazing ability to make the lessons both productive, as well as fun! Not only that, having a teacher come to your home for lessons is a very convenient option for busy families.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Honestly, it’s singing. I’ve been taking voice lessons since I was 7 years old and I’ve never stopped. When I was a kid, I would go to my lesson once a week, and then come home and sing for an hour in my room every single day. Singing would always take me to another world and it was something I truly enjoyed so much. I even remember my first performance when I was 7, I was so nervous that my voice teacher said I could bring my teddy bear on stage with me! And I did! Ha.

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