Music Lesson Programs

Mat Donaldson set out to create an encouraging and exciting lesson program when he opened his own shop, Drum World, in 1990. He opened the store, located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the idea that selling drums would be a small part of what he offered his customers. With that, he recalled taking music...
Mary Ortigara has always had a deep passion for education and was even an English major at Xavier College. After graduation in the late 1950s, she began working in her brother’s music store providing accordion lessons. She soon expanded the lesson program within the store to include other...
Mario Ortigara joined his brother’s music store just two years after it opened. Since 1949, Mario worked alongside his brother Ben who started the store to teach and sell accordions. By 1959, their sister, Mary, joined the team and years later both of Ben’s sons, Mike and Dan, came on board. The...
Linda (Wert) Young asked her parents, when she was twenty, to assist her in the upstart of a music store after realizing her passion for helping children identify their interest and abilities in playing music. Her dad mortgaged the family farm, which lead to the opening of Wert Music in 1973. With...
Jacques Masson was just 15 years old when he began giving drum lessons at a local music store. He has been involved with teaching music ever since. As a player, Jacques was approached by Premier Drums to serve as an endorser in 1986, which served as his introduction into the music products industry...
Steve Held was involved in music retail beginning when he was a teenager working at the Music Corner in Waterloo, Iowa. He later worked for West Music in Iowa City for well over a decade and then had his own piano store with his business partner Jim Hall. In the early days, Steve was trained in the...
Rand Cook recalls his mother taking him into the Candyman Strings & Things music store when he was three years old. He was quickly disappointed at that young age that the store when he realized they did not have any candy. With his parents support and playing the clarinet in school band, Rand...
Joyce Harkey took regular piano lessons as a child and remembers the day when she was a teenager and her love for music just clicked. She focused on what she could do to use music to help others and with her mom’s background in nursing, Joyce studied music therapy. After getting married, she...
Steve Harkey and his father, Don, formed Accent Music in Wilmington, Delaware in 1988. He was joined in the store by his wife, Joyce, after she raised their five children. The couple met in college, where Joyce studied music therapy and Steve focused on music merchandising. He later worked for Art’...
Roger Sparks started teaching guitar lessons in the wake of the Beatles boom in 1964. Just four years later he and his wife, Diane, opened Sparks Music in Arkansas City, Kansas. In 1974, the store held its grand opening at its current location of 315 South Summit in Arkansas City. The couple had...

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