NEW GLASGOW, N.S. - There’s something special happening on Summit Avenue in New Glasgow.
About a year and a half ago, Marsha Sobey purchased the house on 10 Summit Ave. It’s an old home, with hardwood floors, high ceilings and plaster walls. Once the residence of friends of hers, she had a vision to fill the house with music and enlisted her friend Jan Keefe to help make it reality.
Over the last year she’s sent Keefe messages constantly to tell her about instruments she was looking at and considering. They’re now set up in six rooms of the house that have been converted to studios.
“The vision for the Centre for Music on Summit was to have teachers and students in our area collaborating their musical talents under one roof,” Sobey explains. “I thought there was a need to have a small venue where instruction could take place but also where students could perform in front of small audiences and get that feeling of performing in front a smaller group of people to build their confidence.”
In September the doors officially opened to the centre and there are now eight teachers who use the facility between Monday and Thursday to teach more than 100 youth. Sobey says music has always been a part of her life and she enjoys being able to share it with others.
“It’s my release,” she said. “My husband always says he can tell what mood I’m in by the music I’m playing.”
Now on most weekdays she can walk into the house on Summit Avenue and hear the sound she describes as happy and vibrant. Downstairs, there will be young children taking part in introductory classes to music. Upstairs, individual classes in violin, guitar, piano and voice are held.
She said she did not soundproof the rooms because she likes the way the music sounds echoing around the house and “the liveliness of the place.”
The response from others in the community has been positive and many times in recent months she’s heard from people who said, “We really needed something like this in Pictou County.”
In the future they would like to offering choirs for children, and hope to get more seniors involved in a program in the New Year as well.
“The centre is a happy place. It’s a comfortable place. It’s warm and inviting and students, parents and teachers are, I think, very happy with it,” Sobey said.
Lynn DeCoste said it’s great to have the chance to work in an environment like the one on Summit.
“It’s very inspiring for me and my students," she said. “It gives you the opportunity to collaborate with the other teachers and can give more opportunity to the students as well.”
Haley MacLeod agrees. She teaches violin and in the past had to offer classes out of her home.
“The atmosphere you get in a conservatory setting is a lot more inspirational,” she said.
Anyone who would like to learn more about the Centre for Music on Summit can email firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be an open house from 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Sunday Dec. 16 for those who would like to drop in and see the centre themselves. People can help support the centre by purchasing a CD that features music by the teachers from the school which are being sold for $20.
Centre for Music teachers