1316 Main Avenue, Suites C & D
Established: December 2005
How did you start your business and why?
Stillwater Music started in 2005 in a rented office space with 12 kids, some instruments, and a vision. We were originally focused on teaching music through the placement of students of all ages in gigging bands. In 2018, our friends and neighbors at Katzin Music went out of business and we took over their private lesson program which included approximately 20 instructors. We are now one giant family under the Stillwater Music brand with over 850 students of all ages, dozens of classes year round, 5 full time staff, and over 25 faculty.
What is your business' mission?
Our mission is to develop confidence, collaboration, creativity and citizenship through the joy of playing music.
What sets you apart from other businesses?
We are fiercely committed to keeping our rates low and affordable for most working families. We also have a generous scholarship program for kids who otherwise couldn't afford to take music lessons or participate in music classes. In recent years, we've awarded over $20,000 in scholarships on an annual basis.
How do you support the community?
Stillwater Music has for years provided inclusive music and dance classes to both adults and children with disabilities in the Durango community either free of charge or at extremely reduced rates. Our inclusive programs seek to dissolve barriers and connect people both with and without disabilities. We love our inclusive program and can't wait to resume in-person classes for our students with disabilities. We miss them!
Every year, Stillwater Music bands perform at 50+ events, festivals and fundraisers for other community organizations, usually free of charge. (Of course, this is pre- and post-pandemic.)
What inspires you? Favorite quote?
If you think that getting your kids involved in playing music could help them do better in school, you're right. Numerous studies show that playing a musical instrument, especially from an early age, enhances linguistic and executive brain function and results in better academic outcomes. And the longer a child plays an instrument, the better they do in math, humanities, history, science and language arts.
How do you see your company growing in the future? Anything new on the horizon?
The pandemic forced us to pivot all of our private lessons and classes to an online environment. While this change was not something we initially welcomed, in the year since, we have to come to see the silver lining. We transitioned from being a local music studio for students living in the Durango area to having students participate in private lessons and classes from all across the United States. Many of our private lesson students have appreciated the convenience of online lessons and most of our faculty plan to include at least some online lessons in their teaching portfolios going forward.