SYCAMORE – Ben Weaver was presented with the opportunity to start his own music teaching business last year. He didn’t think twice.
Weaver, 41, owner of The Music Connection at 515 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore, started teaching at the school in 2013. He made the most of every opportunity, while also pursuing his music education degree at Northern Illinois University.
Last year, he took over the store, formerly known as Mattix Music, and has taken off with the opportunity. Aside from owning the music lesson business, Weaver works full time as a music instructor in the Wheaton school district.
Weaver said the Music Connection helps musicians find their comfort level.
“I feel it’s important to help the local student population have a way to further their education through music lessons and I try to really provide as many different instrument lessons as we can,” he said. “Every student has the option to start a new instrument or continue getting better at what they already play. We want them to be able to have that personal connection. It’s a big accomplishment to them.”
The Music Connection has 10 teachers on staff. They provide a variety of music lessons, ranging from performance groups to one-on-one instruction.
According to the business’ website, the Music Connection offers lesson in 30-, 45- and 60-minute intervals. Instrument lessons include piano, woodwinds (flute, clarinet, saxophone), brass (trumpet, french horn, trombone, baritone, euphonium, tuba), percussion (drum set, keyboard mallets, concert/school band, hand percussion, rudimental), strings (violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, mandolin, ukulele) and voice (soprano, alto, tenor, bass).
Weaver said the Music Connection also recently began to implement beat boxing.
A majority of the school’s client base are younger teenage students, but Weaver said the Music Connection offers its instruction to all ages.
“The power of music is amazing,” Weaver said. “It can help people make connections across age gaps and backgrounds.”
Weaver acknowledged the growing challenge that the music industry faces in today’s society. He pointed out the competition from technology among children, specifically with video games.
He said he believes music provides an outlet for expression that video games can’t supply.
“I grew up on [video games], too,” Weaver said. “But I can’t be creative in a video game. Music lessons provide a safer way to work on hand-eye coordination. The discipline to accomplish a level in a game versus discipline of learning all 12 major scales. ... I’m not sure if the amount of growth would be healthy long term if they’re playing video games versus playing an instrument.”