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The sound of music
Local music instructors can teach students to play many instruments

Jeff Comas, co-owner of Allied Music Instructors, (right) shows student Ryan Lounsberry how to form a chord. Comas and the other music instructors at Allied Music Instructors can teach a variety of instruments.- Preston Flanders/farragutpress
Allied Music Instructors, formerly Music Garden, can teach a novice to play almost anything with strings, keys or toms.

As two guitars slowly strum out chords to Don McLean’s “American Pie,” Jeff Comas, co-owner of Allied Music Instructors, shows a student how to add a seventh note to an ‘A’ chord.

“We can teach guitar, bass, drums, violin, piano, voice and brass and winds,” Jeff said as he began to play some classical tunes after the teaching session.

Jeff and his wife, Laura Comas, moved the business to Farragut after a stint off Downtown West Boulevard.

The business is now located on the 11000 block of Kingston Pike, across from Wendy’s.

“We (moved) to have lessons here. We have a lot of clientele in the Farragut area,” Jeff said. “We wanted to put things closer to where our student population is. Half of our students live here.”

Although the sign outside still reads ‘Music Garden,’ the new Allied Music Instructors sign should be up in a week, Laura said. The business name was changed to depict a “change of image,” she added.

“We still have the garden feel, we’ve just trimmed it down some,” Laura said.

Allied Music Instructors currently has six instructors, one of which taught country legend Dolly Parton, Laura said.

“Jack (King) taught her in her early years,” she said of their brass and woodwinds teacher.

Now many Farragut High Band members learn from King, Jeff said.

Teachers at Allied Music Instructors are “basically independent contractors,” he added.

“The teachers basically work for themselves,” Laura said.

Potential clients call Allied at 675-1323 and either talk to Laura, who handles the business end of Allied, or leave a voicemail.

“If I talk to them I fill them in on any information they need,” she said.

Laura helps connect potential students with instructors.

The student then works out a schedule with the instructor of their desired instrument.

A majority of Allied’s students are beginners, Jeff said.

“Most of our students come to us as beginners and stay with us and become highly skilled,” he said. “The staff is really knowledgeable when it comes to music.”

The majority of their students are adolescents, but “we have several professionals that come in during their lunch break,” Jeff said.

One thing that Laura said sets Allied apart from other music instruction businesses is the wide variety of instrumentation their staff can teach.

“A parent can bring a child in for one instrument and serve another child’s needs on another,” she said.

To accommodate a number of students, the business has five instruction rooms, all padded to “keep music from bleeding over into the next room,” Laura said.

Another service that Allied offers to accommodate more students is group learning.

“What sets us apart is we offer teaching in small group, usually of two to four students,” Jeff said. “This gives our students the opportunity to learn with other students. It’s really better for students because they get more knowledge of rhythm.”

Students even get a chance to showcase what they have learned at recitals, which Laura said are usually at nursing homes and churches.

“It gives the student performance opportunities, which they like,” she said.

“Those (recitals) really make them want to learn even more,” Jeff added.

Allied Music Instructors does not have set hours, but Jeff said they are typically open between 3 and 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Cost for lessons will vary.

Jeff said lessons typically cost $50 a month for group and $68 a month for individual sessions.

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