An American Dream Turns Fifteen - Christie Chiles Twillie

In 1996, a young Ohio woman was finishing her Business Degree at The Ohio State University. As a way to earn extra income she put her childhood talent to work and began teaching private piano lessons to families in the Columbus, Ohio area. At that time she probably never realized that the seeds she was nurturing would blossom into a venture so fruitful that it would educate people across the country; but that’s exactly what happened over time.

Stacey Brooks, the owner of Piano Lessons In Your Home, Inc., took the building blocks of her American dream and created a legacy in the Music Education field that has changed the lives of thousands of families. The school’s humble roots crept their way through the Greater Columbus suburbs and made it as far south as Tampa, as far north as Chicago, and even into the western Lone Star state of Texas. Now Brooks has expanded to seven locations around the country and the popular school is continuing to grow. So how does one woman turn a small business venture into nationwide music school? Brooks quickly learned that when her excellent customer service and professional yet caring teaching approach were given to families, she had something she couldn’t lose. These traits weren’t consistent with many schools in the area but they were greatly appreciated by families who wanted their children to study piano. Over time, the word about Stacey and her teaching spread and not long after that she would realize that it was time to expand her homegrown business by finding other teachers who were as passionate about their work as she was; and so the venture that would be called ‘Piano Lessons In Your Home’ began.

These days, parents can easily access the school’s programs which offer far more than just individual piano lessons. Five years ago when PLIYH celebrated ‘A Decade in the Music Industry,’ they added guitar and voice lessons to their roster. Now, depending on the location, prospective students can also study violin, cello, drums and a variety of band instruments in the comfort of their own home. When the day comes that a student realizes they want to take their ability to the next level, PLIYH teachers are able to help them prepare for the school’s Master Classes and Concert Series auditions while their parents are mentored about how to be supportive of practicing in an age when students are managing college level homework and are over scheduled.

The teachers, who are offered positions after an interview, audition, and background check, are very dedicated to the school and if one takes the time to review all of the incentives that PLIYH provides, it’s easy to see why. Between the employee work status, the free Continuing Education Program workshops and college level courses and the school’s music store and libraries, wanting to teach for PLIYH seems like a natural step in the right direction. The school is also extremely proud of its Faculty, Artistic Director and Regional Directors who work diligently to support the teachers and who help them with scheduling and structuring personalized student lesson plans.

Fifteen years later, after teaching thousands of kids and working with hundreds of teachers, Piano Lessons In Your Home can boast that the average length of time a student stays with the program is five years and an average teacher tenure of eight years. The Emily Kelby Scholarship Fund, named after Brooks’ childhood piano teacher, has helped offset tuition for families who needed assistance or who wanted to send their children to summer music camps. This summer a Chicago PLIYH student was one of only eight students selected by audition for the Interlochen Junior Advanced Piano Program and the Emily Kelby Scholarship ensured that he was able to attend. There are also many former PLIYH students who have gone on to pursue college music majors and who plan to carry on the charge of sharing music with future generations. Not bad for one talented Ohioan’s American Dream … and even better for the children who will benefit from the legacy for years to come.

Even in these trying economic times we must not forget that the American Dream is alive and well. It begins in the homes where parents spend time with the children they love, teaching them to believe that dreams really do come true. Sometimes it’s the simplifying of life that makes it so much better and in-home lessons present the age old opportunity to listen to the dreamers who one day will have articles written about them.

Learn more about Piano Lessons In Your Home’s vision by visiting the school’s website The convenient, affordable instruction will benefit your family in more ways than one and by enrolling in August and September, you can take advantage of Anniversary Specials and find a dream in savings yourself.

Lessons are available in Columbus, OH; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Dallas, TX: Dayton, OH; Little Rock, AR; Tampa, FL and St. Petersburg, FL.