The idea for the Franklin Music Academy came from the experience I had in the year 2010 teaching my fifth grade elementary music class. That Spring we were preparing for a big concert featuring music from the Beatles.
One student had taken guitar lessons and was able to play a few basic chords so I assigned him to play along with the choir during rehearsals. One of the other students took a keen interest in what this little guitarist was doing and asked if she could play one too. I told her to sit down next to the guitar player and observe him for a couple classes and practice on a guitar. After two classes, she was playing three chords: D, A, and E.
After witnessing the interaction between the 2 guitar students, I passed out all the guitars and assigned learning objectives for everyone in the class. Once one student learned something, he/she was instructed to teach a peer. Soon after, I passed out recorders, xylophones, glockenspiels, keyboards, and percussion instruments. I monitored the progress of each student, correcting a few things here and there.
At the end of that semester, the choir performed five songs by the Beatles with four students playing guitar, three on keyboard, four or five on xylophones/glockenspiels, a few on recorder, and everyone else either singing or in the rhythm section.
The glue that made everything stick was the material. They really liked the songs. Furthermore, they liked playing together and were eager to publicly demonstrate their new skills. I was able to teach multiple instruments and multiple skill levels at the same time. The fruits of their labor were immediately tangible due to the fact that we were constantly putting the songs together at the end of every class.
I thought to myself, this is how I would run a music school if I ever started my own.
A classroom experience promoted a business model that literally changed my life. That summer, I collected a handful of my students for a summer music camp and the Franklin Music Academy was born.