As the country’s largest instrument retailer and music lesson provider, we at Music & Arts pride ourselves on helping musicians and students reach their full musical potential. Nothing gives us more joy than when we hear about the success and progress of our students. That’s why when we heard this story of a young ukulele student, we knew that we had to share!
Meet Emily Bertrem of Plymouth Meeting, PA! We first learned of Emily from her Music & Arts lessons instructor, Jon Alba. A proud teacher, Mr. Alba took her story to the top! Emily had entered a local songwriting competition and was one of only three winners. The best part? Not only had she won, she had beat out over 5,000 other applicants, earning her elementary school a special $1,000 prize donation. We wanted to know more about her journey with music lessons, and here is what Emily and her Mom, Mindy, had to say!
Starting her journey
After weeks of watching her older sister take music lessons, it wasn’t long before 9 year old Emily Bertrem knew she wanted to start lessons herself.
“As Emily’s Mom, what do you think sparked her interest in music?”
“We started going to Music & Arts for her sister’s piano lessons. As we would wait, she would wander around and look at all the instruments. She seemed to always gravitate over to the guitar section. We ended up talking to Jon one day that we were in the store, and we decided the ukulele would be a great first instrument to get started on… and then grow into the guitar pretty soon”
“— and I really want to play Electric Guitar! I love all the different sounds you can make. Me and my friends love to put on concerts and right now I play the ukulele, but eventually I want to play electric guitar.”
Building her confidence
Speaking with Emily and her Mom, Mindy, it was clear music had made an impression in their lives, in more ways than one!
“What do you love about taking music lessons? Do you think it helps you in other ways, besides musically?”
“Yeah, definitely that.”
“Do you think other kids should take music lessons?”
“Why do you think that?”
“Kids these days, they are always glued to the technology, like I am, and you know…. It’s nice to get away from that.”
“I think you are wise beyond your years, Emily! Haha!
As a parent, Mindy, what kind of impact do you notice music has on your children’s lives?”
“I think it is definitely good to get them involved in something that is not videos and television… you know. That has definitely been a good thing for us and gives her some confidence too. Emily is learning to perform in front of other people now, and that is something that, for a while, she didn’t really want to do. Now, she is much more confident in her ability and its nice to see her grow like that.”
“I still don’t like being in front of the camera though!”
“Emily, what advice would you give to kids who are interested in lessons, but might be too scared or think they aren’t ready?”
“I’m not really sure… just try it!
“Mindy, as a parent, what advice would you give to other parents who might be thinking about signing their kids up for lessons, but might not be sure?”
“For our family, it has been a great investment. I think about it as an investment in their lives because it is a skill they will have their whole life, not just while they are a child. I am hoping that, when they are adults, they have this avenue to not always be working or worrying about grown-up responsibilities. I want them to have something they can enjoy for themselves.”
Emily told us she was very proud to win the competition by writing a song about her favorite book, The Lorax by Dr. Seus, and loves to write songs about whatever she is thinking. One day, when she advances to playing the electric guitar, she hopes to start a band with her friends. Way to go, Emily! Keep rockin’!
MORE ABOUT PRIVATE LESSONS AT MUSIC & ARTS
Whether you’re interested in enrolling your child in online music lessons or are interested in learning an instrument from a passionate expert yourself, Music & Arts can help. With a team of incredible, university-trained instructors based across the nation, we’re proud to be America’s home for music lessons. From complete beginners to professional musicians looking to sharpen their skills, our lessons are designed to help students achieve their goals no matter their age, musical interests, or background in music. Learn more about music lessons today!