Music school holds grand opening Saturday at Anderson CenterMike Arturi doesn’t call his Universal Music Center a rock ‘n’ roll school. To him, it’s “a music school that rocks.”
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
Mike Arturi doesn’t call his Universal Music Center a rock ‘n’ roll school. To him, it’s “a music school that rocks.”
The distinction is important to Arturi, because the program he designed provides a legitimate music education — in a format that:
• Supports what young people are learning in the public school system, and
• Teaches in a fun, rock-band style that applies lessons to popular music “so the kids get a clear understanding of what they’re learning.” Arturi is a professional drummer who tours with the Lovin’ Spoonful. After settling in Red Wing, he began exploring the idea of opening a music program.
That decision led him to the Anderson Center, an artist community that embraces creativity in many forms. When the center acquired adjacent Tower View estate property and buildings, Arturi found his ideal location.
On Saturday, he invites the public to check it out. A grand opening will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in conjunction with the Anderson Center’s Holiday Celebration of the Arts. Prospective students and parents also are welcome to come at 10 a.m. to sit in on a master class.
The Universal Music Center offers an ongoing 12-week program aimed at students ages 5 to 17. Individualized instruction is designed for each student’s level of ability, from beginning musicians to advanced performers, Arturi said.
Students sign up for one of the following instruments: drums, guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, trumpet, trombone or saxophone, or for vocals.
All the students learn a set of three to five songs, then Arturi will pair them off into live bands that will perform together — culminating in a concert for family and friends in the historic barn loft.
In the 12 weeks, each student will get six private one-on-one lessons with a teacher skilled at that instrument; up to six rehearsals playing with other members of the assigned band; three master class/workshops on specific music appreciation topics; and the live performance.
The instructors are individuals who have expertise in the various instruments. They come from the surrounding area, including the Twin Cities. Most are working professionals, like Arturi, with live performance backgrounds.
Students can start the program any time, he noted. Private lessons will be scheduled individually. Rehearsals and concerts will accommodate on the people in each group.
Lessons are held after school and evenings during the week and on Saturdays; master classes are at 10 a.m. Saturdays. Down the road, he intends to bring in some celebrities and other professionals in the music industry to conduct longer seminars.
Arturi completely remodeled the interior of the 2,000-square-foot building that is the music center to accommodate students and families. The center has eight teaching studios for individual use, an office and a large common area that will have several uses — workshops, a comfortable place for parents to wait while students are at lessons, and a stage where students can practice silently on electronic instruments, jam, rehearse and get to know each other.
“There’s no better way than to play music together,” Arturi said.
“A music education makes for a better student … . This is going to be a place with a very positive and supportive atmosphere,” he said. “We don’t do tests,” but focus on giving each student a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction.
He also is willing to share other aspects of his experience in the music business. “This is a place where you can learn how to start a band. If you’ve already got a band, I can help make that band better,” and teach how to book, manage and promote a band, he said.
Arturi is not giving up performing. He plans to continue touring with the Lovin’ Spoonful, a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame band that does about two dozen appearances across the country each year.
Saturday’s 10 a.m. master class is free and open to any interested families. At the grand opening, people can tour the facility and students can try out some of the instruments. More details about the Universal Music Center, including fees, can be found at www.umcredwing.com or by calling 651-301-9223.
If you go…
What: Universal Music Center grand opening
Who: Recording artist/educator Mike Arturi
When: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Anderson Center Tower View campus
More info: www.umcredwing.com or 651-301-9223