2017 is my 20th year of teaching private music instruction! Wow thats a long time. The story goes like this.. I needed to get back into music and make it my living. I was the furthest I had ever been away from music, 3 years. I was still living in the Chicagoland area in Downers Grove at the time and was on my own. I got out the phone book, yep no internet searches back then and hustled to every music store within a 50 mile radius. About 25 stores. Hoping to get a gig teaching drums ANYWHERE. It took about a week to get to all of them and ALL of them turned me down, some even laughed at me, saying i have no business teaching when there are already established teachers in the area.
Well, almost all of them…
The last store i went to, was the store I had purchased my Yamaha Rock Tour Custom drum set from 6 years earlier, the owner was new, his name was Paul. He didnt know me at all. But i played drums a bit for him, talked to him about myself a little and to my dismay he hired me!!
He gave me a chance. I still get very emotional over this one act of kindness.
I started with 1 student, a young girl named Angela. I drove to Roselle Music in Roselle Il one day a week and started my journey. Before i knew it I had several week days booked with drum students. I started to fall in love with life and music again. After hearing me play guitar in the showroom waiting on drum students, Paul asked me to coach a rock group he started in the basement of the store called The Weekend Warriors Program. The basement was cool it had a spiral staircase leading down stairs.
This was my first time coaching a rock band. They were business professionals looking to play (some came in 3 piece suits after work) in a rock band environment. Weekly, I would coach them on learning songs on their instruments and playing together as a group and then have a performance at a big nightclub. In 1999, I became head drum instructor of the St Charles, IL Roselle Music location and had over 40 drum students per week that i taught in my own little studio room in the back of Roselle Music. By that time, I had been in several bands performing in Chicago, Il even in some of the awesome larger rooms – The Elbo room, The Beat Kitchen, Schubas, Joe’s, Double Door, Common Ground name a few. I was the drummer in The Jennifer Peterson Band performing in Chicago (not the burbs) and was the head drum instructor at Roselle Music with over 40 students per week. Things were really looking up! And i was still working a full time day job concurrently. So when i was asked to move to Sarasota Fl, in August of 2000, I knew i could do this all over again. I was extremely confident of this. And it was agreed upon that it was to be rebuilt bigger and better than ever. So with that in mind, I made the decision to give it all up, started saying my goodbyes to all my students and started packing up the Uhaul and moved to Sarasota, arriving December 5th, 2000. I musically re-established myself without knowing one single person here. I still think it was the right move to make. In hindsight i would have said good bye to my Dad and hugged the crap out of him… My teaching grew 10 fold or more and my multi instrumental musicianship grew exponentially. Take the chance, use your gifts and live life like there is no tomorrow. -sandi