by Lorie Lewis Ham
Fresno Music Academy & Arts, which is currently located in the Tower District, is opening a second location in Fresno! We took a moment to chat with owner Debi Ruud about FMAA and about this exciting expansion! She and husband, John Alden, manage the schools.
KRL: How long has Fresno Music Academy & Arts been in existence and how did that come about?
Debi: I began teaching out of my home in the mid ‘90s. I had so many people coming in and out of the house that I opened The Voice Shop in 1998. Then in 2016, we (my husband John and myself) changed the name to Fresno Music Academy & Arts and proceeded to “grow” the school.
KRL: What all do you offer?
Debi: We offer private music lessons in voice, guitar, piano, violin, bass, ukulele, and more. We also have an early childhood music program, Music Funtime. We have a small theater space and we do summer camps, group classes, performances, and special events. For example, we are a main stage ROGUE Festival venue and have been for many years.
KRL: How has the business changed over the years?
Debi: It has become what my dream looked like when it was just a “dream”. When I began this journey, I just had a singing school. When I decided to move the business out of my living room, I had my father help me draft up a business plan. I brainstormed everything I could imagine I’d want my school to look like, with multiple teachers and instruments etc. I also wanted to have a “franchise” and now with our second location, that is kinda happening.
KRL: Why did you decide to expand to a second location?
Debi: There are several reasons really. We have been “toying” with the idea for a few years. I have contacted many realtors, I’m hooked into loopnet, etc. I have had my eyes open and looking for a while…but, well, the pandemic. Everything kinda halted. Now that it has felt like we are coming out of it, we began thinking about it again, not actively looking for a space but casually discussing it again and then this space “appeared”, as if it were meant to be.
Honestly, if there is one reason to expand it’s that I really believe my mission. Music I believe is a positive loving force in the universe and I want to see as many lives touched by this powerful force as possible. Music had guided and informed my life and my hope is that it does that for everyone that walks through the doors.
KRL: Will the new location be offering the same things as the Tower one, or will it be different?
KRL: When will the new location be opening and where will it be?
Debi: We are shooting for mid April to be up and running.
KRL: Do you have any specials you are offering with the opening of the second location?
Debi: Right now and through April 21, 2022, register to win one month of free lessons, Piano, Voice, Guitar, Drums, Violin, or Music Funtime® our early childhood music program. If you are ready to start now, we are offering our $35.00 registration fee and the first lesson of your first month for FREE also. This is a $71.00 value.
KRL: Are there any special events coming up?
Debi: Yes, we will be having a grand Opening on Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23. There will be media coverage, Ribbon Cuttings, food, entertainment, etc.
KRL: What hours are you open/or will be open at both?
Debi: We are open Mon-Fri 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Most likely, we will open for some Sunday hours as well in the future.
KRL: Where can people find you online?
KRL: Anything you would like to add?
Debi: FMAA is proud to be able to deliver music lessons to all ages, with warm and friendly teachers, an accepting and loving environment, and encouragement to all.
Fresno Music Academy & Arts
1298 North Wishon Avenue
Fresno, CA, 93728
Fresno Music Academy and Arts, North
8068 N. Cedar Ave.
Fresno, CA. 93720
Editor’s Note: You can now also purchase signed copies of my mystery novel set in the Tower District, One of Us, at the Tower District location of Fresno Music Academy & Arts!
If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and also on podbean.
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