Music Makers in Western Springs builds foundation of life
Tom Noesen as Roger (left) and Matthew Serafin as Mark perform their opening song of "Rent." | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday
Location: Performing Arts Center, LT South Campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road, Western Springs
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:27AM
WESTERN SPRINGS — Why does Johnny eschew the guitar and Suzie cease playing the piano so early in life?
Perhaps it’s a lack of musical chops, but often times it’s about failing to resonate with an instructor.
Jeremy Michor, owner of Music Makers of Western Springs, thinks that’s a bad reason to give up musicianship. So he — and his group of music professionals — are doing something about it. The Western Springs native and Lyons Township alumnus said good music schools “instill the love of music in kids and work to boost their self esteem.”
Michor has operated Music Makers since 1995, taking the reins from his mother, who founded the studio in 1978.
Micki Doherty, director of the musical theater, said as kids build confidence, they break out of their shell, which makes stepping onto a stage in front of an audience an easier proposition. Last weekend at LT South Campus, the studio hosted a performance of “Beauty & The Beast” (third through eighth grades) with two casts and 80 children. Additionally, “Welcome to the Jungle” was performed with kindergarten through second-graders.
Music Makers is getting set to break ground on a new state-of-the-art studio east of Wolf Road, and adjacent to Field Park School. The new facility, to open in spring 2014, will double the square-foot space available.
More than 60 students are taking private lessons than this time last year, and most all other programs are growing in numbers as well, owners said. With a faculty of 13 teachers, all with university training or professional performance experience, Music Makers offers private or semi-private lessons for piano, voice, drums, guitar, strings and band instruments.
“We always taught lower-level age groups, but would eventually lose them as students,” said Doherty. “Four years ago, we added a young adult musical theater program for teens to keep them in the fold.”
Performing musicals such as “Hairspray,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “The Wiz” and “Little Shop of Horrors,” the young adult troupe has developed a strong reputation for talent.
This weekend’s performance is “Rent,”featuring a cast of 17 plus a small orchestra consisting of guitar, piano, bass and drums.
Rent is a “beautiful story, and I think our kids rose to the challenge of the material and the style,’ Doherty said. “They were fearless to commit to these characters.”
Doherty said the goals with both musicals and classroom learning is staying ahead of the curve of emerging musical trends. When the TV show “Glee” became popular, “kids wanted a platform to sing those songs, so we adopted a program in that fashion.”