This probably isn't going to be an interesting story but it will be a wordy one. I still remember the day that I gave my first guitar lesson at the Noisemaker in Wabash, Indiana. The year was 2003.
In mid November word was going around the Wabash Plain Dealer, a newspaper where I worked, that a new music store was opening in town. I was delighted and surprised. I had been playing guitar since 1981, had been in a number of bands and had some teaching experience. I was excited.
During my lunch break I walked down the street to speak with the owner Terry LeMaster. I already knew Terry. I had met him about 14 years earlier. A band that I was in recorded in his home studio. I also knew him from Marion Music and Sound, a store that he managed in Marion, Indiana.
I had a talk with Terry, I volunteered in his store helping to build lessons studios, I went back weekly talking with him about doing lessons. I just had to wait for my chance to get the first lesson.
It was December and I had waited for what seemed like forever to get my first guitar student although it was really about 3 weeks. There was already a guitar teacher working for Terry so he got about the first 35 students that signed up. There was also a Drum and piano teacher that started then. I think the violin instructor started later.
My first guitar student's name was Wendy. I can't remember her last name. I just remember thinking she was probably about 16 years old. Later to my shock she told me she was 24.
I taught Wendy on the showroom floor of the Noisemaker because the lessons studios were not yet completed. I was nervous. Terry was walking around the store doing things and talking to customers. I was very thirsty so asked Terry for some water. He brought me a little Dixie cup with some tap water in it.
The first chord I taught Wendy was G major. I no longer teach the G major chord as the first chord. I teach E minor as the first chord. It's much easier for beginners to play.
Wendy didn't stay with lessons for long. I think she only took lessons for a few months, but at the end of that few months I had 15 students. From that point forward the lesson program at the Noisemaker grew steadily and rapidly until the recession of 2008.
I had 54 students in October of 2007. The summer following the start of the recession I had only about 25 students. Yes, the lessons went down that fast and although things got gradually better it never really fully recovered in Wabash during the next 7 years. I had many students stop lessons the day their parents' 401k accounts took a massive hit. The Dow Jones took a 6000 point dive. The town had lost one major factory and some of the others had laid off large numbers of employees. We spent the next several years talking about the sad state of the economy. But every winter is followed by spring, every spring is followed by summer. Recession is followed by growth and growth is followed by recession. This is just the way things are.
I left The Noisemaker in 2014 to move to Mexico. I made it to Mexico, but the move failed. Soon after I began my own guitar teaching business in Indianapolis.
I still live here in Indianapolis and I have begun Music Lessons of Indianapolis where we offer lessons on a variety of instruments. We primarily teach guitar, piano, bass guitar and drums. We are signing up new lessons every week and are incredibly happy to be in business here in south Indianapolis.