Battle of the Bands

October 24, 2013

Do you remember the first time you learned to play an instrument? It was probably in elementary school and all of your friends were getting the bug to become a musician. After convincing your parents to let you try a musical instrument you found yourself walking the isles of a local music shop.  There were so many to choose from, so many options and sizes. Knowing full well that each instrument brought its own stereotype, you wanted to choose perfectly. You strummed the guitar, shook a tambourine, and even stared intently at the cello. After cautiously interacting with the instruments, you sat on a stool and you hit the snare drum. It was heaven. You imagined yourself on stage in front of thousands! It was decided… you would be a drummer. Hitting the cymbals you couldn’t help but feel like all your favorite drummers you’d seen on YouTube. However, there was one tiny issue. You didn’t know how to play. Frustrated by your sudden passion, but lack of skills it was decided that you were going to take lessons. The big question though- where to take them?

When deciding with whom to take lessons there are many factors that contribute to your decision: location, technique, skill, but most importantly positive reinforcement. Learning anything can be difficult. It brings about humility and the need for perseverance. A good teacher is the foundation to a successful journey. Every year, Birmingham residents make their selections for “Best of Birmingham.” For the past two years, Mason Music has won “Best Kids Music Lessons.” Of course people choose them for their location, the technique and passion they help instill in their pupils. But, above all else it’s the encouragement and placidity that they give to their students. This is why, whether you are learning to play the drums, guitar, piano, violin, banjo, mandolin or how to sing, Mason Music is the place to be.

Only being open since 2012, Mason Music is already a dinner table name. Will and Sarah Mason taught lessons privately in their home for about five years before opening an actual building in Cahaba Heights. Being just miles away from Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights makes it an ideal location to teach neighboring children. After a year of seeing many of their pupils come from Mountain Brook they decided to open a second location in Mountain Brook Village. Whether in Vestavia Hills or Mountain Brook it has been the desire of Will and Sarah to have a facility that would allow them to teach group rather than individual lessons. These two locations help them do just that. Group lessons help the students foster a better foundation for music as a whole, taking in and hearing other instruments being played together.  Although, they do offer private lessons as well. Mason Music is currently in their fall semester of Rock Band League. There is a total of eight bands that are made up of fifty students who collaborate their skills and form a band. Each group collaborates drums, bass, electric and acoustic guitar, keyboards and vocals. The element that sets them apart from other local music lessons is that these bands then take their skills and perform at local venues in concerts and ‘battle of the bands.’ It is through both being educated in the art of music and performing that they have learned that students are able to get a grasp on playing music.

Image                                            //Group Lesson Practice Room, Mountain Book Location//

Image                                          //Individual + Group Practice Room, Cahaba Heights Location//

Within the bands that are being formed are also friendships. Playing music can often be described as having a conversation. There are several people on a stage, collaborating their skills and through playing instruments they are communicating to themselves and their listeners. Another factor that makes Mason Music stand out is how many teachers either lead worship or play music in their local church bands. In fact, Will Mason is the worship leader at Mountain Brook Community Church. Other churches that teachers play at include: Church of the Highland, Brookwood Baptist, Dawson Memorial Baptist and Redstone Church.  Not all of the teachers participate in church worship but they all uphold the same standard of high character and passion for music. It is through these character similarities and their passion for music that community is formed with each other and their students.

Image

// Mason Music Teachers, Mountain Brook Ribbon Cutting+Grand Opening//

The truth of the matter is that musicians are always learning and growing. Will Mason explains, “Everyone learns at their own pace. A lot of it depends on the student’s age, how much the student is practicing, and what their goals are. Mastering the basics of an instrument can be accomplished in a couple of years, but Sarah and I are still learning new things and we have been playing music for a combined 50 years.” Learning an instrument takes time. It takes practice and performance, but is a powerful outlet. An outlet that has the ability to change your mood and as Will Mason puts it, “it makes you feel something and helps communicate ideas and messages in ways that are universally understood.” It is powerful.

If you are interested in getting more information on Mason Music, you can contact them on there website: https://www.masonmusicstudios.com/ or facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/masonmusicrocks?ref=ts&fref=ts