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Local musicians at Bold Music teach in-home and virtual lessons with live gig nights and in-studio camps.
You’re never too old or too young to learn how to play an instrument. Jordan Raniszeski, a 40-year-old financial adviser located in Charlotte, has always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, but with a full-time job and catering to four children, he never had the time to progress much past the basics. That is, until he discovered Bold Music.
Bold Music, which was founded by George Ramsay and Dean Williams in 2013, is an in-home music provider based in Charlotte and Raleigh. The pair started Bold Music while they were both teaching at a Charlotte studio at the same time they attended Davidson College—Ramsay eventually earned a music degree—and thought there was a better way to provide music lessons to students.
“We knew we could provide a much better service if we went to families rather than having them drive,” Ramsay explains. “As musicians ourselves, we also thought that there was a much better, less stressful and more consistent way to work as teachers.”
Kids from as young as 3 to adults as old as 80 take music lessons from Bold Music. They receive lessons at their own home once a week from a local teacher (most of Bold Music’s teachers are musicians themselves). Bold Music currently has four teachers based in Raleigh; the company officially came into the Raleigh market in August. Ramsay says, besides bringing quality music education to people, his team also hopes to have a positive impact on the culture of each city in which they reside, which includes putting on events with local businesses.
Raniszeski’s two daughters—ages 9 and 10—started taking lessons from Bold Music first; Raniszeski followed soon after and has now been taking lessons through the company for three years. He says that having a teacher tell him what to practice made for a more efficient use of his time and gave him structure and leverage for learning how to play the guitar. “I look forward [to the lessons],” Raniszeski says. “It’s a nice break in the week.”
Back in February, Bold Music started implementing virtual makeup lessons in order to save teachers from the hassle of driving around the city. The pivot came just in time before COVID-19 hit in March, when they were forced to make all lessons virtual.
Ramsay says their teachers were already trained on virtual lessons and families knew that it was coming—with the infrastructure already in place it was easy for them to make a smooth transition to virtual music lessons. “That was just lucky,” Ramsay says. Bold Music recently started going back to in-home lessons, but, due to the recent increase in positive coronavirus case rates, the company started doing more virtual lessons again.
Raniszeski says he likes the virtual lessons and sees the advantages in working with a teacher over live video conferencing, including being able to zoom in on himself playing the guitar and being able to roll right into a lesson from whatever he’s working on at home. He expects to continue with lessons for the foreseeable future, whether they take place virtually or in-person again. “George and his team have been very creative through the whole pandemic,” says Raniszeski. “They’ve done a really good job staying engaged and connected; I’ve been impressed with how they’ve handled it. I’d recommend them to anybody.”
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