The Shepherdstown School of Music formally opened in the summer of 2013 with a Rock and Jazz Jam Camp, which boasted around 15 kids—teaching basic elements of Rock and Jazz performance, as well as improvisation.
Today, the school is directed and owned by co-founder Sam Jannotta—also the sole teacher for piano and guitar lessons. “My direction into music as a career began as the result of my own desire for a career change in my life,” he explained. “I had been working for over ten years in the field of historic restoration. Music has always been a major interest for me, and I also enjoy working with kids, so it seemed a natural fit to teach music. I’ve since found the work to be really rewarding.”
Jannotta began studying music when he was nine, with the piano. He quickly developed an interest in Jazz, which became a passion.
“I’ve played in various bands over the years that range from Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, and straight-ahead Bop,” he indicated. “I am currently playing with Ginada Pinata as my main band. We play a fun variety of electric jazz funk tunes.”
Shepherdstown School of Music, located at 203 S. Princess Street in Shepherdstown, is currently offering private lessons for piano, guitar, saxophone, electric bass, ukulele, music composition, music theory and ear training (any instrument), and jazz theory and improvisation. Lessons are available to almost any age—Jannotta has experience teaching four-year-olds, ninety-four-year-olds, and many in between.
“The goal of my school is to cultivate creativity and the joy of music in my students,” he affirmed. “And to foster a more vibrant musical community.”By Lena Camilletti