At Dana V. Music in Louisville, music lessons are providing both structure and an escape for students weary from a year and a half of pandemic schooling.
“We provide the fun, we provide the release, we provide the expression for them,” said owner Dana Vachharajani.
Vachharajani, a Julliard-trained opera singer, always felt education was her true calling. She’s been growing her business since 2005, but the pandemic brought new challenges. Music teachers are finding even more meaning in the work now.
“We don’t consider ourselves just teachers of music. We’re kind of the counselors. We are listening to our students and making sure they are all-around happy,” Vachharajani said.
Students range from preschoolers to adults, and from beginners to those preparing for collegiate and professional music careers.
Emelise Munoz, 15, studies guitar and voice at Dana V. Music, and said music is her passion.
“I have my guitar in a stand in my room and I'll just practice... whenever I have a chance,” Munoz said.
She has to have discipline, but Munoz said she also sees music as a break from her other stresses.
“Whenever I have something going on at school, I can just go home and write about it and it'll turn into a song,” she said.
Munoz is already a professional performer, with a tour planned this fall.
Vachharajani said she encourages students to share their talents. Students perform on street corners, at local fairs, and senior community centers. Ultimately, her hope is that her students feel like they’re part of a family.
“If they have beautiful memories in their adulthood and say to their own children, 'I remember taking piano lessons at Dana V. music'... even if you don't take that to college or a career, you're taking it into your family — you're taking it into the world,” she said.