A new music school is opening in Cheyenne, and it’s is different from most traditional music schools.
Wyoming Center for Creative Music director Tyler Cessor said the organization’s mission is to build a community of music-makers. “Music is a community activity. We’ve kind of lost sight of music as something that we all live,” he explained, “and it’s been treated as something that only a few people do; you have to be a soloist or you have to do a bunch of schooling to be a musician, instead of supporting music around a campfire, [or] music as a family.”
As a non-profit, the WYCCM believes there shouldn’t be economic barriers to music-making, so lessons and programs are pay-what-you-can for all ages. “Everybody has the capacity to make music, and financial means shouldn’t be a barrier to that,” said Cessor.
It also differs from traditional music schools in how music is taught. WYCCM doesn’t follow a classical conservatory model, or even a school of rock one. Instead, the teaching is designed to help students express their own creative ideas. “The classical model just ends up funneling more kids into the same direction,” said Cessor. “And you get six saxophone players that sound pretty much exactly the same, playing the same set of music, instead of celebrating innovation—and failure—as a part of that process.”
WYCCM is currently scheduling private lessons, and offerings like music therapy, early childhood music, and family music classes will start in September. Community members can learn more at an open house on Saturday, August 18 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 319 West Lincolnway in downtown Cheyenne.