When your child has an ear for music and recognizes notes easy, it's time to sign him up for music lessons. And, with the new programs at Sky Studios — and a few more in the works — you're sure to find a fit for him! Locally owned and operated in Brentwood for nearly 15 years, Sky Studios began with Gene Ford. When owners Schylar and Kristen Shoates took over Gene Ford Music in 2015, where Schylar taught for almost 10 years and spearheaded the program side, they rebranded it to Sky Studios in October 2016. The Shoates' love of music and teaching kids only grew from there.
“It’s an honor to get to be the catalyst for a student to discover music and begin the lifelong quest of musicianship," says Owner Schylar Shoates. "It also connects you back to why you began playing in the first place and keeps your love for music alive.” His wife and co-owner, Kristen Shoates, couldn't agree more.
"We have some students who started with us taking lessons, participated in RockBand and then Record Deal and are now writing and recording their own albums in our studio," says Kristen. "It's really cool to see their experience come full circle like that, and that's exactly why we structure our offerings like we do."
Regardless of age, students learn the basics of playing and can apply this skill in hands-on settings like on stage, in a band or write and record original songs. Ages 5 and older can sign up for one-on-one private lessons in guitar, piano/keyboard, bass, drums, violin/fiddle, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, saxophone, flute, trumpet, trombone, clarinet and voice. All of the teachers are college-educated as well as professional musicians. The core programs at Sky Studios, which started it all, use the "Learn. Play. Create." model, where students learn an instrument, perform live and create original music. And, to add to the already long list of offerings, Sky Studios now offers private lessons in hip hop production, record production and Pro Tools to students interested in the beatmaking and production side of music.
Other offerings include group live performance programs as well as songwriting and recording. Students get to perform in real-life shows at some of Nashville’s best venues and also in two annual all-student showcases. Also new this year is a program called CoffeeHouse, which is the acoustic answer to their RockBand program. It's geared toward solo and acoustic performances.
Sky Studios also features an on-site recording studio, which makes it easy for students to learn their way around a studio. Throughout the programs, they also bring in industry experts to teach students about the business side of music.
They also offer half-day summer camps — six different ones camps this year! There's even an early childhood class for children younger than 5 in the works, which will allow tots to explore music in a more unstructured setting.
Sky Studios is located in the Brentwood Place Shopping Center at 330 Franklin Road #276B, Brentwood.
Learn more at skystudiostn.com.
Photo at top courtesy of Sky Studios. Student Kevin Leonard sits down with owner Schylar Shoates for a one-on-one session.