By Becky Streeter
To quote the pop-icon Madonna: “Music makes the people come together.” Any musician, music-lover, or music educator, whether they like Madonna or not, would tend to agree with her sentiment. Nick Poss, owner of Eau Claire Music School is no exception.
Poss believes music education has the power to make people’s live and the community better. He says, “There are many personal benefits to making music–social, emotion, cognitive–but musicians also learn how to creatively express themselves and how to play in harmony with other people who may be very different from themselves.”
Poss grew up in Eau Claire and music, from rock to jazz to liturgical, was a constant thread in his life. After moving away to Ohio State University, where he studied ethnomusicology and gained his master’s and doctorate degrees, Poss felt the pull back to Eau Claire. While on the bus to the inaugural Eaux Claires Fest in 2015, Poss came upon the idea and opportunity to purchase Eau Claire Music School and continue its legacy in the Chippewa Valley.
Music is a powerful social force. Poss says, “The Music School is a place where teachers and learners can come together and support each other in growing both as artists and members of the community. The teachers work hard to find the things that inspire their students and use that as a basis for encouraging their future development.” Each student comes with their own experiences and abilities, regardless of their age, and the teachers strive to create a positive learning experience based on each individual’s needs and style.
The Music School offers individual and group music lessons in many areas for students of all ages and abilities. They also have teachers who have specialties in songwriting, jazz improvisation, blues, and music theory. Their classes are designed for infants, toddlers, school-aged children, adults and everyone in between.
Learning music can be fun and rewarding for all ages. For more mature in age students, music helps improve neural plasticity and hearing, and emotional well-being as if gets people socially engaged and physically active. “Truly no one is too old to learn a new musical skill,” Poss states. “I just had a 70-year student who has picked up the accordion again after giving up on it as a child. He has quickly progressed to the point where he is able to read music and learn songs on his own.”
The Music School offers more than four student performances per year, and these events are among Poss’s favorite part of owning the school. He says, “It is a chance to see the impact of music education not just on students, but on their whole family and the friends and neighbors who have come to enjoy the event together.”
To learn more about lessons or to sign up, contact the school check out the school’s website at https://eauclairemusicschool.com/.