Musical Living Academy
Our mission is to facilitate the gift of music-making in every individual life that is part of the Musical Living Academy. The beauty of music lies in its ability to reflect who we are and what we long for. Some individuals enjoy the structure and challenge offered by traditional classical study, while others prefer a more practical approach, such as using music for worship or playing in a band. Still, others may want to do everything and anything related to music. One thing is for sure: we can help
Looking back on where it all began, it seems like I was taken by the hand and led down a path of great fulfillment and passion. I first fell in love with making music as I learned to play the piano. Later, I fell in love with teaching others to make music, and now, I have fallen in love with the opportunity to encourage younger teachers through my experiences and lessons learned.
My musical journey began when I was eight years old. I remember listening to songs, and there was always one sound that stood out above the rest. It wasn’t until my father helped me identify it that I realized it was the piano. Soon after, I saw an ad in the newspaper for piano lessons, and I asked my dad if he could sign me up. Of course, I had no idea what a big request this was for our single-income family of five. Nonetheless, my dad took me to sign up for piano lessons, and making music quickly became my passion, joy, and refuge.
I was very fortunate to start my piano lessons with an amazing teacher, Dr. Abraham Choy. He took my curiosity for the piano and turned it into a polished skill. He challenged me and provided training that was even at the college level, from ages 9 to 16. When I turned 16, my beloved teacher died in his sleep. I wish he could have known what all those years of lessons produced in my life. I was lost for a bit since there weren’t many private piano instructors who would take advanced students, but thankfully, just three months later, Iby Kovacs arrived in McAllen and picked up where Dr. Choy left off. Iby had dedicated her entire life to the study of music and had graduated from the Franz Liszt Conservatory in Budapest, Hungary. She saw the potential in me to teach others to play the piano, and I was too shy to say no, so I started my first piano student when I was 17.
One student quickly became ten, and by the end of my first year of teaching private piano lessons, my studio had grown to over 30 students. I never had the chance to work at the places where my high school peers were getting jobs, but my students kept referring me until I reached a maximum of 50 students per week. My entire work resume is really a career resume, with many hours of experience in teaching. I became passionate about the art of teaching and attended trainings and conferences to improve it. By the time I graduated high school, I knew exactly what degree I would choose: music education. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Texas Pan American in the spring of 2005 and maintained a private piano studio of 50 students per month throughout these years.
After several years of dreaming, planning, and preparing, God provided the opportunity to expand my vision and establish the Musical Living Academy in August 2011. The academy represents my passion, a new challenge, but most of all, the potential to teach others the amazing possibility of improving lives through music instruction. My life was changed through music instruction, and I believe I have already changed several lives in the same way. The team of teachers being built at MLA are here not just because we can teach, but because we believe we have been called to change lives through our gift of teaching. We don’t teach because we love music, we teach because we love people, and music can change your life for the better.