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Meet Kelly Shepherd of Kelly’s Music and More in Littleton

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

Kelly, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We started with private lesson in my home and students’ homes.It slowly transitioned to small group sessions right in the homes along with private lessons. When we couldn’t take on anymore lessons because of the travel time expended, we decided to take the opportunity and the risk of opening up a school location. We lost a few students who were located further away but nearly all of our families stayed with us. We also gained some students. The school location allowed us to take on more students and develop the group lessons more freely. Our journey began.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We have steadily grown every year with a lot of hard work and self-evaluation. We constantly try to improve as teachers by thinking for today and we do our best to keep our environment fun and gratifying for all of our students. The challenge for us is growing as teachers and staying positive within ourselves so we can best help to provide a feeling of support for our students and parents. Being really positive is a huge success in and of itself and lays the foundation for our success. Children really can’t run their daily operations by themselves so a lot of vital components like attendance, emotional support and encouragement are the parts teachers and parents have to provide. We’ve been lucky with nearly all of our parents but occasionally we get some who in their love for their child may miss a little with their motivational methods.

Sometimes, overzealous attempts to support a child, lead to criticizing too much or trying to say the right things in an attempt to be positive and cover up one’s own anxiety about our own child’s performance. These are things that every child can feel really easily. So again if we can be positive and genuine in our support for and belief in our students and parents that goes a very long way.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Kelly’s Music and More – what should we know?
Kelly’s Music and More is an independent music school which offers students an enjoyable musical journey in which they can grow while having fun. We specialize in giving students support and encouragement in exploring the music of their interest. We are known for getting students to play right away. We veer away from some traditional methods and teach the fundamentals, technique, theory, harmony and ear development through learning songs they wish to learn. Of course we also introduce them to music that is unfamiliar to them but helpful to their development.

We also allow students to try out and study other instruments at no extra cost to their tuition. We are proud to offer group lessons as a part of our curriculum for no extra cost. Students can attend group lessons up to three times per week which allows them to get more comfortable with music and learn how to play in a group.

We are most proud of the fact that we genuinely care about our students. Through our work with students we have been able help bring people together through music. Our performances are really a community gathering where food, good music and conversation is shared. It’s all centered around our children and the families which shape it and make our school so special. We are happy to use our performances as food drives so that it can help strengthen our communities.

What sets us apart from other schools is that we have made an effort to steer away from traditional music lessons methods so that students can have a more enjoyable musical experience with the belief that they will ultimately become very good musicians and feel more freedom in music. We also hope that students will have their own signature sound and style. We don’t draw lines between the various categories (genres) of music which the music industry made terms for. We never talk about different genres; we consider all of the styles one thing, music. We play all the styles which to us means no styles; it’s just music.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First, our students deserve a lot of credit. We have wonderful students. They are great individuals who are very talented! Their parents and families have also been so instrumental in giving support to making the school a success.

Teacher and director Mike Mosca is at the school daily to help give musical support in teaching, organizing and keeping things together. Justyn Shepherd is also there daily to lend support in the daily operations. Many of our students help with new students in lessons. Nick Mosca who is a long time student who just graduated from Berklee School of Music has helped a lot over the years.

My teacher Jamal Wilson who helped me with shaping my teaching style and understanding how children learn and develop is someone I continue to call on for help when I’m stuck. My teachers Gary Bartz and Junior Cook are two of the best saxophonist in American music history. They’re both master musicians and masters at musical improvisation. They taught me so much so I pass what I can on to my students who want the deeper musical knowledge. My Dad who is a great musician and works well with young musicians has helped shape my approach. My brother and friend Eric Kennedy, a great musician has also been there for me and our school.

My wife and two sons have been a constant support for the school and it would be impossible without their support.

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  1. Brian Tarbox

    November 6, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Kelly’s is an amazing, magical place. He brings the best out of every student.

  2. Jamal Wilson

    November 7, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I have known Kelly since he was 14 years old and if you can find a better saxophone player in the world tell me about him I will be 80 my next birthday!

    I speak with Kelly all the time and I mean all the time! Sitting with Odell at her hospital bedside it is not unusual for Kelly to call and speak directly to her with love and well wishes. Odell and I visited his studio last year and helped remodel his music recording studio and we did documented it.

    His students are all so loving happy and joyous you almost can not believe it.

    When I was teaching music, I would invite Kelly to come teach some classes. He finally caught the bug and the rest is history. Kelly was born to do this that’s why his success and the success of all of his students is assured – if they But want it! ALAW! Always LOVE All Ways! Brother Jamal Wilson

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