A longtime lover of music is hoping to continue the spread of music education with the purchase of the Music Factory, a Springfield music school.
The school is at 1139 N. MacArthur Blvd. in Springfield and provides musical instruction for young children.
Jacksonville High School graduate Devon Carpenter, who plays the harp, purchased the school after the previous owner decided to move.
“I was taking my daughter to classes at the Music Factory,” Carpenter said. “As a lifelong harpist and musician, teaching provides a new aspect to our own training.”
Carpenter is a harp player and has spent several years performing in India and Nigeria.
Carpenter said this provided a great opportunity to teach while returning to be near family since moving back to Jacksonville last summer.
“We’ve been living in India and Nigeria for several years and we thought it was time to move back to Jacksonville to be closer to family,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter graduated from Jacksonville High School in 1997 and graduated from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, earning a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in history. During her time in both high school and college, Carpenter said she was active in choir and orchestra.
The Music Factory was established in 1994 by Lianne Brewer. Carpenter purchased the school last fall to prevent it from closing.
“My daughter attends classes at the school and when the owner said she was going to close, I knew I was in a position to help keep it open.”
The Music Factory provides music-based classes for children up to 10 years old, including parent-child classes and individual classes.
Carpenter said she is hoping to expand her own experience while helping the children.
While she has been teaching harp lessons for 15 years, Carpenter said this will be the first time she has worked with a younger age group.
“Some of these children are younger than I’m used to, but I’m getting experience with my daughter,” she said.
Carpenter said the school will remain the same, with the addition of harp classes and potentially classes for special-needs students.
“Our focus is on the children,” Carpenter said. “We want to foster lifelong lovers of music.”
Carpenter said there are eight teachers, including herself, who will work with students to expand the students’ love and knowledge of music.
At the younger ages, Carpenter said the children will learn about music with movement and activities, in addition to learning instruments later. Carpenter said the teachers also try to teach about other aspects of life.
“We have a holistic point-of-view and we work on cognitive and social and emotional aspects of the children’s lives,” Carpenter said. “We help them learn to interact with others, help them bond with other children and learn about the world of music.”
Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1233, or on Twitter @JJCNews_samantha.