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Mar 1, 2013

Harmony Rising: Online Music School Enriching Homeschoolers

Charity Klicka

Jeremiah Baker began playing the saxophone at age twelve. Immediately he fell in love with the instrument, and knew that his life’s purpose was to share the joy and love of music with the world. Being from a very small town in Virginia and having very few resources, Jeremiah had no idea what lay in store for him. But despite the odds he remained positive and focused.

In high school, he began looking at prospective colleges to further his studies in saxophone. He aimed high with his first choice being the Peabody Conservatory—the very first conservatory in America.  “Now keep in mind,” Jeremiah explained during an interview, “I was from a very small town.  No one in my family had ever been to college, and no one in my area believed that someone from our town could actually make it in to such a school.” And yet again, despite all odds, Jeremiah persevered and made it into Peabody Conservatory. Come this spring, he will be the first saxophonist to ever earn a doctorate from Peabody.

Growing up in a small town, Jeremiah achieved great success in his saxophonist career because of his determination and positive attitude. With such blessings bestowed on him, Jeremiah decided to start Harmony Rising: An Online Music School. He “believe[s] that anyone can create the life they deserve. And through the power of education, [he is] determined to share this wonderful truth with the world.”

Two years ago, after Jeremiah began to travel more with his performance career; he began to realize that “there was part of [him] that was missing.  [He] wanted to teach and perform; not decide on one or the other”.  He was passionate about both areas.

“Then I got to thinking” Jeremiah expressed, “I know there are other musicians just like me, who are traveling and performing, but also want to teach.  And, it's the traveling and performing musicians that students want to study with because they know they are studying with teachers who are truly living out their passions.  A student is more likely to grow and develop into a successful musician if they study with someone who is living their dream.  A good teacher must lead by example.”

Jeremiah began to get excited about starting an online music school, but ended up letting it go because of the negative responses he received after he shared the idea with his friends and colleagues. Then about a year ago, the idea came to him again, and this time he asked himself “what’s stopping me?” He soon realized that the only person stopping him was himself.  “If I had listened to the people around me when I was growing up, telling me I would never make it into a school like Peabody, I would have never realized my true potential as a performer”, Jeremiah explained, “ So why all of a sudden was I listening to the negative voices now?” Jeremiah faced his fears, and made the decision to start “creating something that would revolutionize music education: Harmony Rising”.

Started about a year ago, Harmony Rising is dedicated to providing high quality, educational, inspiring, and engaging music lessons through an interactive online platform that allows for both flexibility and freedom.

In Jeremiah’s own words: “Harmony Rising brings amazing music instruction to the comfort and convenience of your own home.  No longer will travel time or travel cost keep a student from studying with an amazing teacher.  We offer top quality, live, one-on-one music instruction using either Skype or ooVoo (depending on what works best for the student) and offer lessons in the following areas: saxophone, flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba, cello, voice, piano, guitar, and percussion).”

Lessons are taught on a weekly basis: I.e. if you sign up for lessons on Wednesdays @ 10:00, your weekly lesson time will continue to remain Wednesday @ 10:00.  And when you sign up with a teacher, they reserve that weekly lesson time just for you!  The teachers at Harmony Rising have degrees from some of the top conservatories in the world and are actively performing musicians.  Introduction videos for Harmony Rising’s teachers can be found here.

“Within the first 15 weeks of study,” Jeremiah explains about the online course, “the student is encouraged to give a live webcast concert showcasing what they have learned in their lessons.  Harmony Rising sets up everything for the student, including advertising, etc.  This allows the skill and talent of each student to be heard by the world!”

And because this fantastic opportunity may be very new to homeschoolers, Jeremiah is offering the opportunity to take a free (no risk or commitment) trial lesson.

What’s in it for you, apart from taking excellent courses from accredited teachers?

“Music education has been proven to boost IQ, prolong memory, sustain focus, and aid in problem solving skills.  And specifically for homeschooled students,” Jeremiah adds, “music education helps foster positive creativity and develops skills that will help them later in life.

“Our teachers are positive role models as well as amazing instructors.  Not only will homeschooled students have a creative outlet through Harmony Rising, they will be able to develop positive, inspiring, and encouraging relationships that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

I couldn’t have said it better than Jeremiah. So what are you waiting for? Plunge into the world of musical study, and experience the freedom and flexibility of taking classes right from your very own home.

In the words of the famous composer, Friedrich Nietzsche, "Without music, life would be a mistake". And indeed, I think it would be.

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