Kids and adults alike are rocking out at The Music Cottage in Brewster.
“When we started there was no other music school in Brewster, and no other music store,” said Lauren Krzyzewski, who runs the business with her husband, George.
George studied music and played music professionally in his younger years, and after the couple had children, he returned to teaching his craft. “That’s his true passion,” said Lauren.
George had been teaching in the area for many years before they decided to open The Music Cottage in 2011. According to Lauren, George had about 40 students he was teaching either at his home or his students’, under the name Open Door Studio, and they thought that having one central location would better serve everyone.
The Krzyzewskis, who live in Pawling, sought out the Brewster area because George had students from Brewster, North Salem, Patterson, Mahopac, Carmel, Pawling, Somers, Danbury, Katonah and beyond.
“It’s a really good area because you get people from Putnam, you get people from Westchester, you get people from Connecticut,” said Lauren. “So when that location came up, it was just perfect.”
The Music Cottage takes students from age 6 to adult, offering lessons on all instruments, as well as vocal studies, singing groups, ensembles and bands, and music camp. In addition, the business sells Yamaha instruments, as well as accessories, and even offers instrument rentals.
“About 5 to 6 percent of our students are adults,” explained Lauren. “We have some mother-daughter and father-son learners. We also have some retirees who always wanted to play an instrument, or who did it before and came back to music.”
The Music Cottage currently has nine teachers, including Lauren and George’s son, Joe.
“Probably our most popular offering is our introductory package,” she said. With this $99 package, a new student gets four 30-minute private lessons, and can try up to four different instruments.
“It gives kids an opportunity to try different things,” said Lauren. “We try to make it really easy for anyone to try and explore what they want to do, musically.”
She said the private lessons are individualized, and allow the students to explore their interests and goals, learn how to read music and play chords, and delve into method books and music theory.
“In our rock group we let the kids chose the music,” she added.
Students and parents can rent instruments from The Music Cottage until they or their children decide they have chosen something they are going to stick with, to avoid purchasing an expensive instrument that will only end up collecting dust, or one that is not the right size, or of poor quality.
“We have very strong opinions about the type of instruments we would like our students to play – good quality, affordable instruments that will hold up,” said Lauren.
She also explained that if someone rents an instrument for a month or a few months and then ends up buying one from The Music Cottage, they can deduct the cost of the rental from the purchase price.
The Music Cottage encourages its students to get before an audience. “We like to showcase our students, and we like to put them together,” said Lauren.
She explained that the business has held smaller recitals for beginners at the Studio Around the Corner in Brewster, as well as larger showcases for intermediate and advanced students at the Towne Crier Café in Beacon. “It’s a real show,” said Lauren.
In addition, students from The Music Cottage perform regularly at the monthly open mic night at Moonlight Café & Caterers in Brewster.
Sometimes the teachers even perform with their students.
“We love to see our students play together and have the teachers back them up,” said Lauren. “Our philosophy is to get them used to doing shows. Even professional are nervous doing shows, but the more they perform the more confident they get.”
The Music Cottage is located at 177 Main St., Brewster, near the corner of Route 22. For more information, call 845-363-1456 or visit www.musiccottage.com.