“We wanted to create a sense of normalcy because everything was so scary,” Gaviria said, noting the school did not have to cancel a single lesson during the shutdown.
While Kingwood Music School has been a staple in the area since 1986, the pair did not purchase the business until after they had each completed their doctorate in music at the University of Houston.
Though Fehlauer and Gaviria play piano and double bass, respectively, they said the school provides instruction for just about any instrument.
“We have over 25 teachers, and we teach just about anything, including the obscure [instruments], like accordion and mandolin and banjo,” Fehlauer said. “We mostly provide one-on-one lessons because that way, the teacher really tailors [lessons] to the student, and the student plays the pieces they want to play.”
Both Fehlauer and Gaviria boast extensive experience with music and teaching; however, their paths toward the industry were not alike. While Fehlauer was raised in a family of musicians, Gaviria said he looked at music as more of a hobby while he was pursuing a career as a physician.
“I spent three years [studying medicine] and realized that I just wanted to do music for the rest of my life,” he said. “I didn’t have the early training, but then I kind of made up for it.”
Gaviria noted while there is a lot to be said about self-taught musicians, he said having an instructor available for lessons is an invaluable resource.
“With an instructor, they can tell you, ‘Hey, we can try A, or we can try B, but C, D and F are not such a great idea,’” Gaviria said. “It accelerates your progress, and it gives you an organized and methodical way to approach the instrument.”
According to Fehlauer, the music school puts an emphasis on providing musicians with the tools they need to make music a lifelong passion.
“We do really believe at the music school in teaching music literacy, music theory, giving the students all the tools they need,” she said. “Most of [the students] don’t become professional musicians, but when they go off to college or whatever they do, we want them to be able to keep playing.”
Though many of the school’s students are youth, Fehlauer said some are well into their 80s. No matter their age, Fehlauer said she feels the same pride in every student as they make progress with their craft and perform during recitals.
“Music is such an incremental learning process,” Fehlauer said. “You can’t just cram one night and suddenly you can play. It has to be this daily drip. I think that that’s such a great thing for students to learn.”
Kingwood Music School
3427 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., closed Sun.