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Shelbyville resident operates music schools in Jefferson County

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By Lisa King

A Shelbyville resident is the owner and operator of music schools in Middletown and St. Matthews in Louisville.

Brian Curella and his wife, Heather, and three children moved to Shelbyville from Jefferson County seven years ago after falling in love with a historic home on Main Street.

Curella, who has been in the music business his entire life, established his school, called the Flying Hands of Music School, in 1997.

A music enthusiast from an early age, he began playing the guitar at age 9 and played his first “gig,” at the age of 11.

Curella studied for three years at Bellarmine’s jazz program and has a degree in music business from Belmont University in Nashville.

He taught for two years at the Louisville Academy of Music. In 1982, he took a teaching position at the Doo Wop Shop and left in 1997 to start his own school. Curella actively composes music for national film and commercials and is active in the Northeast Christian Worship band.

The focus of his schools is targeted toward private music and voice lesions, he said.

“It’s a three month class where they [students] practice once a week,” he said. “They work up about three songs. If they’re a singer, they sing, if not, it’s just instrumental. It’s just kind of classic rock songs they can learn, and then there’s a performance at the end.”

Hours are Monday through Saturday, and lessons are with just a single student and an instructor – he has 20 instructors between locations.

“During the lesson, they’re usually playing along with the teacher,” he said. “Like in a piano class, a lot of times the teacher just has a metronome running. Here, almost always the teacher’s playing along. That’s really the best way to learn, just one-on-one with the teacher. ”

A group class also is offered; that class is just for kids, he said, adding that the group gets together once a week and learns mostly classic rock songs. He prefers that students in the group class have some prior musical experience.

Lessons are offered in guitar, both electric and acoustic, bass, piano, drums and percussion, violin, mandolin, banjo, flute, trumpet and vocal.
Curella said he has a diverse group with 330 students.

“We have some as young as three [years old]; they typically do voice and introduction to piano or drum,” he said. “And adults, we have some students in their sixties. There’s a banjo student and a lady taking piano.

“Most of them are total beginners, and some of them are trying to rehone their skills. A lot of these kids have gone into music programs at college and we’ve had a couple of students who are teachers now.”

Students have been accepted into music programs at the Louisville Youth Orchestra, the Youth Performing Arts School, the University of Louisville, Belmont University in Nashville and Berklee Music College in Boston.  

Other features for students include three recitals per year, no registration fees, family discounts and the first lesson free for a five-month course.

Curella also is a professional performer, playing every Saturday night at Volare Italian Restaurant in Louisville, where he plays jazz, rock and rhythm and blues.

For more information, call 502-254-9097.