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Meet Renee Bordner of Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio in MetroWest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Renee Bordner.

Renee, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was six years old, my grandfather bought me a used Baldwin Piano for $700. I still use that piano to teach lessons today. In July of 2007, I was living with my family in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. I was searching for an energetic piano instructor for my 5 year old son. I was unable to find a dynamic instructor who did not already have a waiting list for new students. A few of my friends convinced me to put my Master’s Degree in Education and my piano experience to use and become the dynamic teacher I was looking for. What began as teaching a few students soon grew into an entire studio of 56 students taking weekly lessons over the next five years.

In 2012, my husband’s career brought us to Massachusetts. My husband purchased our home in Sudbury without our two children or me even seeing it. He promised us that it had the perfect set-up for a piano studio. I started teaching again after we cleared the moving boxes out of the way, but the students were not from Sudbury. I continued teaching my students from Pennsylvania through Skype lessons until they could start lessons with teachers in the area. In the beginning, I knew no one in Sudbury. As we started to make new friends, I started to find people who wanted piano lessons. One year later, I had 30 students. Two years later, I had a waiting list for piano students. Three years later, I decided to hire an instructor who could teach voice and piano lessons. Instead of hiring a voice and piano instructor, I hired a percussion instructor. Soon I could no longer call the studio a piano studio since we offered lessons on many different instruments. I changed the name of the studio from Note-worthy Experiences Piano Studio to Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio. Today, only six years later, the studio has over 40 instructors and 325 students, ranging from 3 years old to 80 years old.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, the biggest obstacle was saying goodbye to my 56 students in Pennsylvania. They threw me a huge surprise party in my front lawn after my very last lesson. It was a very emotional and memorable evening for me. Saying goodbye to the students I sat next to on the piano bench week after week was not easy. It was scary for my own children to move to a new part of the country so I had the role of helping them transition. At the same time, my husband transitioned to his new role in Cambridge. Everything was different in New England for all four of us! The weather and the way people talked was different! However, my kids persevered and quickly learned that sprinkles are really called jimmies. Once we sorted out that car keys and khakis were not the same things I decided to invite students into the studio in our home. My first student was the younger sister of one of my daughter’s first friends here. This student still takes weekly lessons with me and I look forward to every lesson. People often ask me when the studio will stop growing, and I tell them every time that we will stop growing when there are no more students who want to take music lessons.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio – what should we know?
We offer in-home lessons to students of all ages and stages, on a wide variety of instruments. Our instructors are energetic and passionate about sharing their love of music with others. They hail from Berklee College of Music, Eastman School of Music, Yale University, New England Conservatory, and many more. They have participated in the Tanglewood Music Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, Aspen Music Festival, among others. Our instructors have performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, the Late Late Show with James Cordon, with Chaka Khan, Itzhak Perlman, Robin Williams, and many more.

I am the founder of the Sudbury Chapter of the National Piano Guild. In 2018, we had over ninety students participate in the Annual Guild Adjudications. We also offer a significant number of group classes, social events and community awareness events. Our students and families look forward to our nursing home recitals and huge winter recital weekend extravaganza. Some of our most successful past events include our Jazz Workshop, our Spring Honors Recital, Scholarship Competition, and our Theory and Music History group classes. This fall, we are adding Parent & Child Music Classes for toddler-age budding musicians. One of my favorite events of the year is our Musical Instrument Petting Zoo! This is free and open to the community. Children and children at heart are welcome to come and try a wide variety of instruments.

The studio is dedicated to providing a wide variety of music education to its students, going above and beyond weekly lessons. The instructors work with the studio and the families to give their students a life-long love of music. We offer lessons in Acton, Concord, Lexington, Lincoln, Newton, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, and Weston. Instruments taught are Piano, Organ, Harp, Cello, Violin, Viola, Bass, Guitar, Ukulele, Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Oboe, French Horn, Trumpet, Cornet, Trombone, Baritone, Susaphone, Tuba, Percussion, and Voice.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
In my journey as a teacher I have discovered that I not only love teaching children how to play the piano, but also love developing teachers. As a result, I believe that we are developing the arts in our community. A major factor in our success has been our phenomenal team! I am blessed and honored to work with our amazing instructors, office manager, and webmaster each week. 

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