Q&A: Musicologie’s Kay and Joseph Barker

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From the August 7, 2014 edition

Kay and Joseph Barker’s passion for teaching music needed a separate building. After months of searching for the perfect space, the married couple and members of folk-pop duo Bella Ruse settled on a space at 1400 W. Third Ave. in Grandview. Musicologie, a musical learning space that supports local musicians while offering students the best music education possible, opened its doors this week, offering vocal and performance classes, and will soon offer music engineering workshops. Both Kay and Joseph Barker are excited for the grand opening on Aug. 17, and the opportunity to see their dream come to fruition.

Music has always been a part of our lives, but teaching is what we love. The goal has always been to make music, but when we started teaching lessons to supplement our band income, it became obvious teaching was our passion. We wanted to do something different from the other studios we’d worked with in the past, so we decided to put some weight behind the idea and open Musicologie. We plan to approach music education in the full sense by offering music engineering workshops and a recording studio in addition to offering traditional instrument and vocal lessons. KB

We have been building businesses out of nothing the entire time we’ve been together. When we started [Bella Ruse] we had no idea what we were doing. We recorded our first EP at home and booked our own tour. Being on tour and having things go wrong has made us very relaxed people, so we aren’t afraid to jump in and start something. It was never a question of whether Musicologie was going to happen, it was a question of when it was going to happen. JB

We set out to create a place that supports local musicians as well as music education. As members of a band, we know how hard it can be to support yourself by doing what you love. Instructor turnover at some studios is very high; we want to avoid that by employing the best teachers and paying them the best rate. We want to be able to provide people who are active in Columbus’ music scene to teach classes and be able to earn a comfortable living. KB

We both started music lessons young, and it directly affected the course of our lives. If my parents hadn’t started me at the piano when I was five, my life would be drastically different. I wouldn’t be making music, I wouldn’t be married to Kay, I wouldn’t be living in Ohio. We wanted to provide that opportunity for others. Art education is really underfunded, and we think something like Musicologie can supplement that. We want to help the community come together through music. JB

In five years, we hope to have several locations. Proximity can be an issue when it comes to things like music education. We believe there are some neighborhoods that are underserved, and we want to identify them and grow into those communities. Music just increases the quality of lives, and we want to share that with each community we are involved with. KB

Photo by Meghan Ralston