Face it: Everyone will like you so much better when you’ve learned to play a musical instrument—and can jam out Gangnam Style, Sasquatch style or whatever suits your fancy—while performing a multitude of other postmodern actions like doing your job, shopping to acquire material possessions or making use of medicinal plants.
And it so happens that the end of summer, just as fall approaches, is a perfect time to take up musical play. School’s back in session, learners are coming out of the woodwork—so why not make yourself over as one of those seekers whose life can be changed through the acquisition of musical knowledge?
Luckily this is a musical town in a melodic state, nestled in a dissonant country and a too complex to sonically categorize world. That means you’ll have no trouble whatsoever moving over toward musicianship. Here’s a place to go and something to do as you build those harmonic muscles and chordal ideas into a stronger, more healthy human existence.
Around Burque, the New Mexico School of Music is one of your best options, whether you’re young or just young at heart. The school offers an early childhood music program divided into two age groups: 18 months to 3 years old and 3 to 5 years old. This program, known as Music Fun Time, prepares young children to encounter music by presenting basic theory as a fun, creative activity. Students are also issued a backpack full of rhythm instruments at registration, so parents should keep in mind the potentially loud and joyous noises that will certainly follow. The school also offers a complete Suzuki violin program for young learners.
For older children and teens, this private music school staffed by some of the city’s best music educators—many of whom also teach at UNM—also offers private and semi-private lessons on a variety of instruments including accordion, brass (French horn, trombone, trumpet and tuba), drums, guitar (acoustic, bass, electric and ukulele), piano (all styles, including classical and jazz), strings (violin, viola, cello and harp), voice and wind instruments (clarinet, flute, oboe, saxophone and recorder).
Of course adults can engage in similar courses of study at the New Mexico School of Music. Whether they’re new to the whole concept or trying to get back into tune after several years of ignoring their high school band director’s best advice, the school offers private lessons with varying time commitments for adult learners of all abilities.
And yes, all of the so-called cultural advantages tied to a musical education will cost some feria, folks. But with a staff of university-educated, community-minded instructors at the helm, it’s well worth the price of tuition.
Besides, everyone you know will fawn when you can sit down at the piano at the local tavern and elegantly bang out some righteous Debussy whilst discoursing on the majesty and madness that was French Impressionism. Just sayin’.