Music on Main Street in the Heart of Tech Country

Jun 2, 2017

In Blacksburg, Virginia you hear about new tech startups all the time.  But another thing the region is known for is music. A new venue opened there last month called Tempo Studios. It's a place where people can explore music on Main Street in the heart of tech country. Robbie Harris has more. 

Nancy Harder, an associate conductor at Opera Roanoke, had been giving private music lessons in her own home.

She recalls, “And my schedule got quickly maxed out as far as number of students I could take on and I thought I would move to downtown Blacksburg. I found this great space.”

Harder opened Tempo Studios last month on north Main Street in Blacksburg, sandwiched between the UPS store and a boutique.

“It’s pretty cool because people walk by and there are these windows and my grand pianos are right there. People walk by and stop as I’m giving a lesson and want to come in and ask what’s going on.”

Harder has hired several other music teachers to meet the demand for lessons. And even though her training is classical, she’s designed Tempo to explore all genres of music.

“For instance there’s a world music and art class starting this summer for preschoolers to explore art and music through world culture.”

Her other clients might be people planning or start acting or singing careers or preparing for an audition. Others are just looking to enjoy themselves through music.

One of her favorite students“was a women in her 50s, “…Who came because she wanted to sing karaoke with her friends. She was nervous about it, but it was a goal she’d had her whole life, to have the courage to get up there with her girlfriends. She came to me asking, ‘Can I have some voice lessons so I can maybe get to that point.?’  We worked together and she ended up being able to do that .  Harder says, “Just to get over that piece where you have a fear  and then where you get up there and you do something, is a goal for yourself. That ‘s my main satisfaction.”

(Music/ With You/ Original composition by John Willem)

John Willem, a rising junior at Blacksburg high school takes lessons here. This is a song he wrote called, “With You”

“The song really means something to me.   I can’t say the name but there’s a girl out there I like and ..( laughs ).

(Music Fades)

(Sound of People in the studio)  

Nancy Harder cuts the ribbon on Tempo Studios at 119 Main Street Blacksburg. It offers music lessons in a variety of genres, performances and exploration of music.

Dozens of people showed up for the ribbon cutting on this new music space in Blacksburg. Harder wants to see it become a kind of open meeting place for all things musical, where people could get together and jam, host concerts or just to explore the world of music – and see where it takes them.

MUSIC/ Kenzy Forman singing, "The Big Time."