Conservatory hits the right note for local music lovers
By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Celebrating it's one year anniversary, Sioux City's Music Conservatory is redefining what it means to take music lessons. They're turning music into a life lesson while helping students find the perfect pitch.
At the Sioux City Conservatory of music, students do more than just learn to play.
They are Collaborating, jamming out to songs, some famous, others they've penned themselves.
Gabby Deriso does double duty, learning to write and play guitar
"I love that I can describe all the troubles and all the problems I've gone through, but make them a positive thing," explained Deriso.
Owners Ron and Gia Emory say they want everyone within these soundproof studio walls to feel part of their creative community.
"For being a school of music, it's a lot more than music. I mean it's music, but it's guidance, it's being a positive influence," said Ron.
The Emory's want students to understand the history behind the notes they play.
"We showed them documentary music film and they had never heard some of the performers that we were presenting to them," said Gia.
Loretta Lynn, Neil Diamond, even Elvis Presley, in the conservatory's theater, documentaries about music's pioneers are in constant rotation. Teachers incorporate a visit into their weekly lessons.
"Almost every student we have now, knows who Stevie Wonder is, and why he's important," pointed out Gia.
Eight-year old Noah Peterson's parents enrolled him so he could play the organ at church. But, Wonder's on his play list now.
"And jazz and blues," said his mother Rachel Porter.
The record room has become a favorite hang-out spot for Deriso. The Conservatory's amassed quite a collection of albums.
"I think there's more information, than if you were to download a song off of I-Tunes," said Gia.
Besides their private and group lessons, the Music Conservatory also has a crash club, song writers guild, jazz club, and open mic night.
The Conservatory's roots are in rock. Ron was a founding member of the California punk rock band T-SOL, paving the way for groups like Oasis and Sublime. He uses lesson time to talk with teens about the highs and lows of stardom.
"It doesn't matter what kind of music it is, drug addiction goes along with music, but it doesn't have to." he told Deriso during a lesson.
While Emory says there was a time when he never could have imagined teaching music lessons, "It's real easy for me to do what I'm doing here," he said.
Whether they're tickling the ivories or strumming a guitar, the conservatory hits the right note for its students.
"As far as a destination where musicians could just kind of go, and be, and interact with each other, I think this is something that they're bringing new to the community, and I think it's great," said piano teacher Ben Miller.
"It just makes me really happy that we're doing what we're doing right now in Sioux City," added Ron.
Some local rockers are showing it's never too late to learn an instrument.
Monday night on KTIV, meet the later-in-life learners living out their childhood dreams.
Their annual fundraiser, a show at the Orpheum Theater that will feature their own students plus regional artists and a surprise national recording artist is set for Saturday, November 10th and 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the Tyson Events Center Box Office.
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