Our mission is to create inclusive communities of music explorers and empower teachers to build sustainable careers.

Who We Are

Our mission is everything to us. It drives who we are and where we're going. Musicologie was started by husband and wife Kay and Joseph Barker in their house and we're now the largest music education company in Ohio with six studios in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati and a team of 100+ amazing teachers with diverse backgrounds and specialties. We teach 100,000 music lessons every year to people of all ages and abilities.

What We Do

We help people become better musicians, and better humans! We are unabashedly passionate about music – teaching, performing, recording, everything! We teach almost every instrument and specialize in one-on-one private lessons for kids and adults. We also do group classes, events, in school presentations, summer camps, workshops, and we write articles, like this one about the teaching methods we use in our toddler class.

How We Do It

The way we teach music is called The Musicologie Method®. We apply it to every lesson, no matter the instrument, age, ability, or the lesson books used. The Musicologie Method® is rooted in two things: a safe environment, and education through play. Research tells us these two elements are key components of the way everyone learns, from kids through adults.

In music lessons, a safe environment means a place where you feel free to be who you are, encouraged to play the music you enjoy, and excited to try new things. Education through play means having fun playing your instrument! That's why it's called playing music! We use games and strategies to help our music students make serious progress while enjoying the process.

Our Philosophy

Every student is different, with unique goals, capabilities and needs that we need to meet. One of the core strengths of Musicologie is our adaptability, using both proprietary and third-party curriculum to meet the needs of every student. We don’t pretend that we have a single method that is best for every learner, or a curriculum that can fit the teaching style of every Teacher. What we have instead is an Educational Philosophy that informs every lesson, every class, regardless of instrument or curriculum.

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Starting Early

We start kids young. There is a window of opportunity in a child’s brain between birth and age seven. After age seven, growth of intra-brain connections slows down and it’s much harder to learn new skills and habits. You can see this in action with language. If you learn a language as a kid, you’ll have native proficiency. If you start learning later, you’ll never be as proficient as native speakers. Music is the same.

Immersion and Exploration

Our lessons are experiential and immersive, not regimented. Think of language as an analog for music education as a whole. Children learn language through immersion, not through practice. A baby learns how to speak even though it’s never given any English homework. In the same way, music lessons for young learners should be immersive and experiential, not regimented. Many caregivers expect a regimented experience. They want their child to start daily practice immediately. This is wrong! Think about it: We don’t approach any other kind of education like this. We don’t expect daily homework for a five-year-old, daily sports practice, daily language drills. So we shouldn’t expect or require daily practice immediately, at least not for a young music student.

Teaching Life Skills

We believe lessons teach life skills in addition to specific instrument skills. Music lessons at Musicologie are about much more than learning a specific skill. We teach students how to be good human beings. We teach emotional intelligence, discipline, and self-awareness. We teach motor skills, dexterity, and spatial recognition. We teach reasoning and logic. This learning all happens no matter how good a student gets at their instrument or how much they practice at home.

Encouraging Mistakes

We encourage mistakes. Disciplining students for making mistakes doesn’t teach them not to make mistakes, it just teaches them to hide them. We want students to make more mistakes. That’s what learning is. You try something, make mistakes, and try again. Each time you try, you get a little bit better. If a student is afraid to make a mistake, they won’t take risks and try new things. They won’t be excited to meet new challenges, they’ll avoid them. Encourage mistakes!

Assuming Good Intentions

We assume good intentions. This is for young learners in particular. Kids don’t want to be bad. At the root of every behavior is some small good. Being scared to try something new means a child really cares about doing a good job. Getting frustrated and angry about mistakes means they desperately want to succeed. We dig deep looking for the good. We acknowledge it. We encourage it. We assuming the best about students and show them that we do will grow trust, mutual respect, and confidence.

Teaching the Process of Learning

We teach how to love the whole process of learning. We want to build a foundation in students for understanding the language of music. We focus on the process rather than the product, facilitating discovery rather than dictating information. We teach how to learn, not just what to learn.

Our Responsibility

We know a student’s success is our responsibility. If a student at Musicologie isn’t engaged, our Teachers take responsibility. It’s our job to find a way to make lessons engaging and figure out a new way to explore or find a new game to play. Music is fun! Likewise, if a student doesn’t understand something, it’s our fault, not theirs. We’re the experts. We have the opportunity and responsibility to tailor lessons to our students and figure out what works for them.