From the iconic classical compositions to the melodic sound of a wind chime, music can be recognized anywhere. Karali Hunter, owner of Hammer & Strings Conservatory, learned that a quality education in music may be much harder to find.

With nine instructors and more than 100 students, Hammer & Strings Conservatory has survived a pandemic, building renovations and trying things like “mommy and me” group lessons.

Hunter said the quality of the instructors is what sets Hammer & Strings Conservatory apart from other establishments.

“It doesn’t matter what age you are, what level,” she said. “If you’re here, you’re getting elite level trainings.”

Hunter, who has a doctorate degree from Arizona State University’s music program, said all the instructors either have a master’s degree in music or are performers who are in high demand. Initial interest in music may bring students to Hammer & Strings, but the quality of the lessons keep them coming back.


Areas of study include piano, violin, cello, viola, voice and guitar.

Liam Chase has taken piano lessons at Hammer & Strings for the past three months. His sister, Lilly Chase, has been taking cello lessons for that same amount of time. Both had been playing their instrument of choice for several years from their home in Queen Creek before seeking out Hammer & Strings.

“Adulthood is about eighty years long and there is this small window of opportunity to reach your full potential,” Lilly and Liam’s mother, Nancy Chase, said. “I take them here because I want them to have that opportunity.”

Pianos can be seen throughout the multiple rooms of the conservatory; chairs lie gathered around the auditorium in preparation for someone to take center stage. As guidelines across the state lift restrictions on social gatherings, Hunter said she is excited to fill more of those seats.


There will be an open house at Hammer & Strings Conservatory from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 28 to highlight the efforts of the students and instructors.

“Students here are auditioning at music schools and getting accepted on scholarships,” Hunter said. “That’s the work that we’re capable of, and that’s the work we’re trying to do.”

Studio names

Karali Hunter names her pianos after famous composers, so when she opened the conservatory, she named the studios after the pianos in the room or other favorites of hers.


Prokofiev (piano)

Chopin (piano)

Copland (voice)

Lind (voice)


Shostakovic (guitar)

Ashkenazy (group)

Mozart (group)

Liszt (concert)


Owner Karali Hunter said many things fell into place when the conservatory was starting, including getting the 9-foot-1-inch Bösendorfer Concert Grand piano. (Katelyn Reinhart/Community Impact Newspaper)
Owner Karali Hunter said many things fell into place when the conservatory was starting, including getting the 9-foot-1-inch Bösendorfer Concert Grand piano. (Katelyn Reinhart/Community Impact Newspaper)




Hammer & Strings Conservatory

610 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 400, Gilbert

480-687-5518

www.hammerandstrings.com

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., closed Sun.