A bad teacher or bad experience are two of the most common reasons Alex Hobcraft hears about why people stop taking music lessons.
“What we really try to do is to make it very fun and exciting as opposed to with the ruler out, hitting you over the hands and knuckles,” he says. “So I hope everyone who leaves here has a great musical experience.”
Hobcraft and his wife Rachael Shay opened Footprints Music & Learning on Yonge Street north of Eglinton Avenue in 2009 to offer private piano, guitar, drums, bass, vocal and violin lessons and now focus primarily on children under 18. This summer they are launching camp programming including a rock band camp for teenagers and youth sessions where kids can dabble in a variety of instruments.
“We thought we’d create a camp that allows them to play the ukulele, play the strings, play the wind instruments, play percussion, we teach recorder and then also have the chance to play keyboard, piano,” she says.
The idea came up after learning many parents knew they had musically inclined kids but didn’t know which instrument they should take or would enjoy playing, she says.
Seeing the students’ development has been a highlight for Hobcraft, as well as watching them perform during recitals.
“The most recent one that we did, the level of performance was amazing,” he says. “We had it at the Castlefield Community Church and it’s such a beautiful church and it was just really nice.”
“Seeing the little kids especially at the recital, they have such esteem and confidence when they’ve successfully stood in front of people and played,” she adds. “That’s amazing.”
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