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Classical 101

Introducing Musicologie: A Great Place To Learn About Music

Musicologie co-founder and teacher at Kay Barker demonstrates how to play an instrument.
Musicologie co-founder and teacher at Kay Barker demonstrates how to play an instrument.

Justin Swain is a young man I’ve gotten to know over the years. He’s a fine baritone and a well-rounded, locally trained musician. Recently Justin has been posting about a business of which he is a part, Musicologie.

There were many posts, all of them most enthusiastic, about a music school located in Grandview Heights, with additional locations in Westerville and Dublin. When I learned that Musicologie was expanding to Lewis Center, I decided I wanted to know more.

Is Musicologie just another place to take piano lessons?

Not really. You can take piano lessons. You can learn to sing, play guitar, drums or any number of instruments. You can be two years old or 82 years old. There are one-on-one lessons in well-appointed music studios and group situations for toddlers who like to drum, sing and play.

The difference between Musicologie and other teaching studios? The sense I got that everyone involved is committed to music and is mission oriented. This is more than a job to the people who teach at Musicologie. It’s a calling.

If you want private one-on-one instruction in a wide variety of instruments and singing styles, Musicologie will work for you. The teachers are well trained, mostly young, enthusiastic and tech-savvy.

Musicologie was the brainchild of Kay and Joseph Barker. The Grandview Heights location opened in 2014.

Kay has a background in voice and piano. Her studies in early childhood development have informed Musicologie’ s current ethos.

”We want to encourage music explorers,” Joe told me. 

We are sitting in a recording studio in the Grandview location, complete with sophisticated looking sound boards, stacks of musical instruments, a piano, and oh yes, a few chairs and a couch.  

“We want to make sure that people whatever age can experience music,” he said.

“Experience music” would be a good mission statement for Musicologie. The company boasts four locations, Grandview, Westville, Dublin and a brand new location in Lewis Center.

“We began expanding in 2015. First to Westerville, later adding Dublin,” Joe told me. Grandview Heights has urban feel. Lewis Center looks sleek, new and beautiful.

“People find us,” says Justin Swain, the Community Leader of the new Lewis Center location. “We don’t have our official opening until September 7th, but we are already giving a lot of lessons in the location.”

I asked Justin, who is a young performer, how he feels about teaching. “I get much more from teaching. Performing is not always my comfort area, tough I do enjoy it. But teaching is where I want to be.”

Justin told me he has taught sixty half hours lessons per week in piano and voice, with students of all areas abilities.

Justin‘s feelings seem to dovetail nicely with an environment that the Barkers try to foster at Musicologie.

Joe Barker explains, We’re here for the teachers, too. I want our teachers to sustain careers in music. It’s important they feel empowered. I want our teachers to know their colleagues and students value them. We are here for the students, but we are also here for the teachers.”

That said, a potential teacher has to have the gift of communication with people to be successful at Musicologie.

What does a potential student need? I visited the Grandview location on a summer morning. There were several little kids at piano lessons. Nobody was banging on a piano. There was a lot of thoughtful enjoyment going on, emphasizing ‘joy’. Musicologie is working well towards its goal of empowering students and teachers, to love music and be loved back.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.