One of the of main reason we decided to put down roots in the Towson/Baltimore area and open The Music Space is that this city and its surrounding suburbs have always been a creative hotbed. It’s just big enough that it attracts and cultivates talented musicians of all backgrounds, but it’s also just small enough that most of these musicians rub elbows with each other instead of staying siloed in their own scenes.
This environment makes Baltimore an ideal place to take music lessons, because you get access to teachers who are not only skilled, but also grounded, open-minded, and accustomed to taking a DIY approach to performing. The more diverse the musical background of the teacher, the more likely it is that they can help a student develop their own sound.
This DIY cultivation has been at the heart of Baltimore’s music scene for decades now. major publications have been taking notice of Baltimore’s musical exploits since the mid-00s, and that coverage hasn’t slowed in recent years. From the cornucopia of experimental indie bands that emerged from the Wham City scene, to the evolution of Club music, to random exciting musical corners like the Baltimore Rock Opera or The Baltimore Afrobeat Orchestra, there are so many inspiring examples for young musicians.
In fact, even the Baltimore suburbs have their own distinctive musical lineage. Everybody should read up on the Towson/Glen Arm weird underground music scene that flourished in the mid-90s and went virtually unnoticed at the time. A bunch of teenagers from the Towson, Timonium, and Parkton area formed a loose collective that took an anything-goes approach to recording and playing - dabbling in multiple genres - and left a treasure trove of recorded material that is just being re-discovered now. Several musicians from this scene went on to join major touring bands in the 2000s.
Most importantly, what makes this creative legacy so exciting to aspiring musicians is that Baltimore’s scene has always been accessible. Many of our accomplished musicians give lessons to people of all ages, many play informally with other musicians in different genres, and many of them have regular jobs on the side. One of my favorite local music communities is the Baltimore/Washington Jazz Jam Session Group. This a completely open session that convenes once a week to include jazz, bluegrass, ragtime, Gypsy jazz, and and swing musicians to improvise together. You’ll frequently even see members of local orchestras pop in to join. It’s this collaborative atmosphere that creates the best environment for young musicians to learn.
We worked to staff the Music Space with musicians that come from this background. Whether it’s Piper Greenbuam, who plays multiple instruments across several orchestras, bands, and solo projects, or Charles Armstrong, a vocalist skilled and experienced in almost every major vocal style, our staff is a reflection of the exciting creative energy in this area, and we hope this energy runs off on our students.