STAUNTON – It makes sense that Molly Murphy would become a music teacher. After all, music has been Molly’s muse from the time she was a baby. Both parents musicians, she was surrounded by music growing up and by the time she was four-years-old she was already singing in the church choir.

“I can tell that immersion in music leads to having a musical life because that’s how I grew up,” says Murphy.

Murphy knew at an early age that she understood music. That she had an ear for it, and this is how she began to learn. Through immersion and listening. And Murphy has been fully immersed in music ever since.

She took piano and voice lessons as a child and when she was a freshman in high school, she moved to Staunton to attend boarding school at Stuart Hall so she could concentrate in music. A year later her family joined her and Staunton would become their home.

“My mom had roots in the old-time music scene in the ‘70s in the Valley,” she says about her parents deciding to move to Staunton.

Murphy went on to perform in all the high school musicals and then continued to study music in college at James Madison University. After her third year, in 2005, she took a break from school and she and her sister Sally started playing in a band called The Bourbon Specials based out of Charlottesville. It was around 2009 that the two sisters would form their own group, The Judy Chops, now one of Staunton’s most popular bands.

 

Over time people started to ask Murphy if she gave any voice or guitar lessons, and this got her thinking about the possibility of becoming a music teacher. She found herself looking around in Staunton, an open and creative community, she says, and she decided it would be a great place to start the business of teaching music.

“My first voice student was Carmel Clavin, who started her own business, The Kettle, with the resources through the Staunton Creative Community Fund.”

Murphy went on to take classes at the SCCF, along with a business planning class and last September after Clavin opened The Kettle, Murphy started Queen City Music Studios, a school of music for learning by ear.

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Molly Murphy teaches girls how to sing major scales in her Queen City Music Studios music class.
Monique Calello/The News Leader

“I am so happy to be returning what I got out of great teachers,” says Murphy. “I think it’s really important for kids to have a fun, creative outlet.” She hopes the experience will help to broaden every child’s understanding of music and build appreciation and confidence.

“My sons, Remy and Dean, love Musikgarten with Molly,” says parent Jodie Bishop. “Remy and Dean are one-year-old and they have learned so much from this class. This has created such great interaction between us. They get huge smiles on their faces when we walk into class and see her. I am so grateful for this class and Molly!”

Now teaching in her new space on 16 W. Beverley St. in the Exile building, Murphy would like to offer free classes, by reservation, to anyone interested before the end of the spring season. To make a reservation, call 540-746-6976 or email Murphy at makemusicmakers@gmail.com. To learn more about Queen City Music Studios, visit queencitymusicstudios.com (class descriptions are listed below). Murphy will continue to offer private lessons and workshops for teens and adults throughout the summer. New classes for kids, toddlers and babies resume in the fall. 

CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Making Music with Friends – girls ages 8-11

With the guidance of a professional, practicing musician and accredited music teacher, this after-school program offers beginner lessons on several instruments and a chance for young ladies to develop their singing voices. Starting with vocal warm-ups and ear training exercises at each lesson, students will learn healthy vocal technique and expand their listening skills and music appreciation in a safe, encouraging environment. We explore several musical genres including Americana, Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Folk, and World music, and students will get to help choose their repertoire. With access to piano, guitar, ukulele, percussion instruments, students experiment in music with their peers during this semester-long after-school program

Making Music with Friends – kindergarten through first grade

Give your outgoing child the tools to focus their creative energy in the arts with an introductory music and movement class. Guided by a professional, practicing musician and accredited Musikgarten teacher, this after-school program offers (optional) beginner lessons on several instruments and a chance for young people to explore and develop their singing voices and musical ear through aural music learning. Incorporating whole body movement with rhythm, vocal, and ear training exercises at each lesson, students will learn how to use their voice as an instrument and expand their listening skills in a fun, encouraging environment.

Making Music with Friends – 8th graders

With the guidance of a professional, practicing musician and accredited music teacher, this after-school program offers support to young musicians. Starting with vocal warm-ups and ear training exercises at each lesson, students learn healthy vocal technique and expand their musicianship in a safe, encouraging environment. We explore several musical genres including Americana, Pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Folk and World music, and students help choose their repertoire. With access to piano, guitar and percussion instruments, students can diversify their music skills in a positive, encouraging environment with their peers.

Musikgarten – toddlers

Children are naturally drawn to music. By engaging your children in music classes you are not only giving them a “leg-up” on their musical development but on all other educational pursuits as well. And since Musikgarten involves the whole family, there are positive social implications as well. As we sing, bounce, rock, dance and play instruments together we are laying the foundation necessary for success in music, and you will delight in the endless energy of your children as they develop in this wonderful, musical environment.

Musikgarten – babies

We spend our 30-minute class singing, chanting, moving, dancing, listening and playing simple instruments – all activities that bridge the natural connection between music and movement for coordination, body awareness and control. With their grown-up, kids as young as birth learn music principals in a safe environment for exploration of space, and instruments such as rhythm sticks, jingles and drums, and parents get important bonding time and with their child.

Workshops for teens and adults

These 6-week workshops offer a concentrated course in various music endeavors including harmony singing, aural music theory, beginner and intermediate instrument classes, and jamming with other musicians.

Private lessons for teens and adults

One-hour private lessons in voice, and beginner piano, guitar and upright bass.