Hi there, Theresa. Thanks so much for taking the time for this interview. Tell me about your rock stars.
Theresa: OK. Well, my daughter, Brittney, just graduated from high school, but she’s been singing since elementary school. At that time, she sang, played the guitar, and performed in talent shows. Brittney auditioned for the Music Media Entertainment Technology (MMET) department in the Academy of Performing Arts (APA) Program at Huntington Beach High School (HBHS). That’s where she really excelled in her singing. We found out about Ryan’s company, which at the time was called RockStars Music Studios, and we enrolled her in voice lessons. She’s a natural singer, so we wanted to help her perfect her pitch and tone. Whenever she would have a show, Brittney would be excited to perform the types of songs that she was singing and that she was receiving so much help. From there, she then added piano lessons with Ryan.
So how long ago did she join Van Tuyl Music Academy?
Theresa: About three years ago.
Did she start with singing and coaching? Did she ever do the camps, or did she just take the coaching classes? And then she started piano lessons?
Theresa: Yes, after a few years of voice lessons, she started piano lessons, about a year ago. She has a YouTube channel and a band right now, so she’s doing great!
What about your son?
Theresa: My son, Thomas, loved going to Brittney’s shows and watching her perform with the full band behind her. He got really hooked on the drums; he would stare and the drummers and decided that he wanted to be one!
We enrolled him in drum lessons around the same time as Brittney, about three years ago. He’s been learning how to play the drums, and he’s performed in several concerts, and also at talent shows at his school. He’s excelled in it and absolutely loves it.
So, now you get to see them perform in a show every year?
Theresa: Yes, I do!
And what’s your favorite song that you’ve seen them do?
Theresa: Oh, my goodness! One of my favorites was a song that Brittney performed last February called Oblivion by Brie Grimes. It was absolutely her best song. I think one of the favorite songs Brittney did this past February was absolutely her best song, and her best all time performance. I think the song matched her personality and her voice. And, the vocal director thought it would fit her. It was like the song was written for her when she sang it. She completely killed it.
“Enter Sandman” from Metallica was my favorite of Thomas’ performances.
That’s awesome! Have your children ever performed their music together? Sounds like you have a band built in right there: a drummer and a singer!
Theresa: They fiddle around at home a little bit but nothing outside of here yet.
Maybe one day.
Theresa: Maybe one day. I would like to see that!
How did you hear about VTMA?
Theresa: Well, when Brittney was in the MMET Program at APA, we heard that some of the other parents were sending their children to VTMA for lessons. I searched for them online and called them. From there, it was history. We really like them, and all the instructors are top-notch. I like that they teach music theory in a style of music that children want to learn. That’s so important. My son’s a metal head, so he would not want to learn music theory using country music, for example. He loves metal. They talk to the students, find out what the students like, then they teach from that point. I think it really helps them excel and keeps them excited about learning.
So Thomas likes metal better, what’s Brittney’s style?
Theresa: My daughter likes rock and punk. She likes the Cranberries and the Interrupters. She has the attitude and the personality, and she’s always changing up her hair. Every show she has a different hair color.
Anything to add?
Theresa: I can’t really say enough about VTMA. We really love it!