Tutor finds right note with piano students

Kellie Houx/Staff Photo

Allen Myers sits at a piano in the Pillsbury Music Center at William Jewell College. Myers teaches piano students as part of the Lydia Lovan Community School of Music on the college campus.

LIBERTY — The Lydia Lovan Community School of Music has been inspiring and instructing students interested in music for more than 40 years. Instruction is offered for many instruments as well as voice. Lessons are taught weekly in the Pillsbury Music Center at William Jewell College.

One of the longtime tutors in piano is Dr. Allen Myers. He teaches at least four days a week. He sets his schedule as needs dictate, including his own responsibilities with a church group or ensembles such as the Allen Myers Jazz Orchestra.

Myers also serves as an adjunct instructor of jazz studies and has taught music business courses.

What exactly does your business do?

“I teach piano lessons in intervals of 30 or 45 minute. Some students take lessons for an hour. These are often students who often have interests in songwriting, music theory or composition. There are also students who are taking on harder music, and that needs extra time.”

How did you get started in this field?

“I took piano pedagogy in college. As a college student, I started teaching lessons for some extra money. I looked for various opportunities to make ends meet. My wife, who teaches French, became the head of the languages department at Jewell. I followed and found a place at the community school of music. It will be 22 years this month.”

What makes this business challenging?

“Being involved in music requires various streams of income. I have the new publishing company, nouvellemusicpublishing.com/. I look at teaching as part of my work. I help students realize that the business is challenging. I teach about contracts and how most music is placed in television and movies. It’s an interesting industry where your music can be heard by millions but no one knows your name.”

What makes this business rewarding?

“I have taught students as young as 5 to those who are retired. I have to often change directions and adapt to student needs. Not every student comes with the same needs and their learning situations. The maturity of students can require different activities.”

What surprises people most about your business?

Myers has had his music licensed for several television programs such as “Homeland,” “Revenge” and “Hand of God.”

“I often talk with students about how they can be involved in music in many ways, and I work on passing on that knowledge. We talk about songwriting and finding their voice. I have a home studio, and we talk about what software and hardware may be needed.”

What is your most popular product or service?

“The community school offers seven recitals from October to May. It’s a unique opportunity that every four weeks we give students a chance to discover what they like. They get a chance to gain confidence that moves beyond the recital hall. They can stand in front of the class and do presentations. Being involved in foreign language and music helps improve grades and the ability to concentrate.”

What’s next for your business?

“My joy is keeping this art alive. ... I am also busy composing and preparing parts for ‘Holiday Overture’ for the Liberty Symphony Orchestra. Then I have the publishing company where I am working on books that can be used as refreshers at the intermediate level. They are also good supplemental materials for teachers from the works of Jane Hergo.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630. 

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