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Meet Gene Kelly of Kellymusicworks in Watertown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gene Kelly.

Gene, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began my love for music as a child singing in school choirs, musicals, and then studying piano for many years. I began studying Classical piano at the age of 7 years and continued studying piano throughout Bucknell University and later after moving to Boston after graduation, became interested in learning how to improvise piano at the Berklee College of Music. I developed my love for jazz and improvisation through my eventual private studies with renown Jazz-guru, Charlie Banacos. After meeting Charlie I was convinced that music would be a never-ending journey of exploration and development. This inspired me to share and teach students piano and voice, so I began studies for a Masters degree at the New England Conservatory of Music. Later after teaching for over 11 years in the public schools, I was motivated to begin my own music teaching business, Kellymusicworks.

Has it been a smooth road?
Initially, things were slow and it was difficult to find students. I found out that after time, I grew my following from word-of-mouth. I also learned that marketing one’s self is important. You must learn how advertising works differently today, than before in the days of print ads. For the first time ever, consumers can know whom their audience is and either pay someone, or learn how to use SEO (search engine optimization) techniques to attract customers to your business. I had no idea how complex the field is with Google setting the standard for how people scour the web looking for things they may need, like a piano teacher or a voice teacher. I also learned a bit of HTML5 and SEO to optimize my own website and to get it more noticed in search engines.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Kellymusicworks story. Tell us more about the business.
Kellymusicworks is a self-run business for teaching piano lessons and voice lessons.
I teach students from the age of 5 to the age of 75+ years! My interest is in helping
students get what they want out of learning an instrument. I make learning fun by providing repertoire that is current and often times will create my own arrangements of movie themes, cartoons even, or tv themes. I also believe in teaching musical
theory instead of solely teaching students only how to “read notes” on the page.

Knowing musical theory gives you a deeper understanding as to the relationships
of the sounds you play, so that you can play music and interpret it, appropriately. I also have helped kids land lead roles by preparing them for drama/musical auditions. I focus on singing techniques like: intonation, tone, breath support, diction, blend, etc. I can teach sight-singing by my personalized program of solfege study. I not only have experience conducting large concert choirs, but musically directing pit-bands for high school musicals, and starting college vocal groups, at Salem State University, The Salem State Soundbites.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the interest in music continuing to grow, in part due to the explosion of social media, 24/7 video on YouTube, TV shows like American Idol, X Factor, The Voice, America’s Got Talent, and James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gene Kelly, and students.

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