“We’ll have 100 students by the grand opening Aug. 26,” said Chad Ebert, director and founder of the Lewis Center Music Academy.
Ebert said people will just walk in from off the street asking about music lessons at the Olentangy Crossing Plaza location, 6433 Pullman Drive. He said the academy has enrolled over 70 students since opening June 5.
On the day of The Gazette’s interview with Ebert, a family stopped in asking about saxophone lessons. After receiving the information from Ebert, the young boy interested in taking lessons said, “I like the place already.”
The Lewis Center location is Ebert’s second music school. He said he has been at his first location, Powell Academy of Music, for nine years and has 600 students enrolled with a waiting list of about 100.
“There are usually 40 people waiting in the lobby,” he said. “It’s just a sea of people.”
Ebert said he started the school with a few music friends.
“Now we have over 35 teachers,” he said. “Some are band directors or musicians working in symphonies during the week.”
The school’s focus, Ebert said, isn’t to teach the trendy guitar riffs of AC/DC or Metallica. He said the goal is to foster a student’s creativity, confidence, and grit.
“We’re here to help people grow through music,” he said. “It’s a tool for improving lives. Everything we do is designed to make the experience fun and engaging.”
Many of Ebert’s students have gone on to receive college scholarships or recording deals.
“One student, Sarah Clapper, won Miss Ohio 2017 and will be in the Miss America contest,” he said.
Clapper plays the piano and was crowned Miss Ohio on June 17.
“Besides, if I had to teach Metallica riffs seven days a week, I don’t think I could do this anymore,” Ebert added.
Ebert said he spends most of the week at the Lewis Center school and one day a week at the Powell location. He said good employees make it possible for him to focus more on the new school.
“My office staff at the Powell school are awesome,” Ebert said.
Ebert plays jazz piano and said he has been teaching music since he was about 15-years-old in his parents home. He said he comes from a musical family and that he is doing something he loves, playing and teaching music.
“That’s my son,” he said, pointing to a picture of a young man playing drums.
Ebert grew up in the Polaris area and attended the old Olentangy High School.
“I’m very excited to be in Lewis Center,” he said. “It’s a move we’ve wanted to make for a long time because I grew up in the area.”
Ebert’s new school is within walking distance of Olentangy High School, providing easy access for students and saving parents from driving to Westerville, Powell, or Delaware for their children’s music lessons.
The school offers classes for students as young as a month old to adult with private lessons in, piano, guitar, voice, violin, viola, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums, and more.
For information, call 740-913-1718 or stop in after shopping at Kroger.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.