I was walking down Castro street last week and noticed a well known local Jazz musician, John Worley, standing on the sidewalk drinking a cup of coffee. I introduced myself and told him that I’ve seen him on stage before and that I follow him on Facebook. No, I’m not a stalker. I asked him what he was doing hanging out on Castro street. He told me that he teaches private trumpet lessons at West Valley Music. John took me on a tour of the cute music store and introduced me to the owner, Diana Tucker. This the store’s 25th year in business in Mountain View. John told me a little bit about all the instructors as we walked down the hallway of the lesson rooms and I realized that they were all local celebrities. How did this little store manage to find so many talented instructors?
I asked Diana to tell me a little bit about how she finds such outstanding music teachers and she explained to me that she’s been in the business for years. Her instructors are all working musicians who go on tour and have released CDs and teaching helps them pay the rent. Honestly, these people are the most talented musicians you will ever find and now is your opportunity to learn from them. Even if you just sign up for one class to give it a try and see if you like it, it might just be the best thing that ever happened to you.
Please check their website for the class schedule. I saw a wide variety of classes offered, and about 30 instructors who offer private lessons, such as piano, guitar, ukulele, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, trombone and violin and voice. John Worley is one of the private instructors and he teaches trumpet lessons. You can look at all of the educators on the store’s website and Google the ones that you think you might be interested in. I looked at some of their websites (Martan Mann, Kassey Plaha, Astara Marcia, Jill Heinke Moen, and Wendy Waller) was quite impressed.
If you just moved to Silicon Valley and are trying to find something fun to do in your free time, taking music lessons is a great way to get to know the local community of musicians. You can either purchase or rent an instrument from West Valley Music.
One time I went to a ukulele event at Dana Street Roasting Company and there were probably 250 people in attendance, everyone from small children with plastic toy instruments to professional players. They all practiced together and then played 3 or 4 songs. It was absolutely beautiful. It was totally packed, standing room only, with people standing in the side street trying to get a peek inside. After I saw that event, I realized how popular the ukulele is in this area and what a powerful tool music is for connecting people to their community.
Do yourself a big favor; take a music class. Your future self will thank you. I love Mountain View.