July 3, 2008 · Updated 5:10 PM
"Gail Wieldraayer has a vision. She loves music and she loves kids, so she's starting a business that brings her two favorite interests together. Wieldraayer will soon open Miss Gail's School of Music, a music lessons business It has always been my dream to have my own school. It's bringing both of my degrees together in such a unique way, Wieldraayer said. It's teaching and there's no beating it. Wieldraayer, who is an Oak Harbor native, graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a bachelor of arts in music performance and received her teaching certificate from Northwestern College. After teaching at Oak Harbor Christian School for several years she moved to Southern California, where she worked with different church choirs. She returned to Oak Harbor in 1995 and now she is looking forward to her first experience with teaching out of her home. She will teach music lessons three times a weekIt's coming together a little differently than I imagined and I'm really excited about that, Wieldraayer explained.She has always loved and been inspired by music, but got the idea for a school after attending her niece's music lesson in Moses Lake. She sat in on the session and realized that was what she wanted to do. Wieldraayer believes that music is important for a child to learn about. She will offer three introductory-level classes for children ages 4 through 7. She will be utilizing a program called Let's Start Music, which uses many different tools. It is a fun program written by an educator/musician who knows how to introduce musical skills sequentially and with enough repetitive activities to allow comprehension, she said.The lessons focus on general music identification and sounds and will be taught using singing, puppets, rhythm instruments such as hand drums, tambourines, workbook activities and games. After attending her lessons, Wieldraayer hopes that students will be ready to move on to formal musical lessons, such as piano or violin.Students will be able to read and identify music and will definitely be ready to go on to other lessons, she stated.Let's Start Music has three levels - do, re and me - the first two of which Wieldraayer will be teaching this year. Lessons begin the week of Sept. 1. Students are given nine-week quarters and roughly follow school schedules. Do classes are for 4 through 5 year-olds and are offered Tuesdays from 10 to 11 am. Re classes are for 6 through 7 year-olds and will be Wednesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. or Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The cost is $50 per child per month, although there is an additional one-time fee for Re students. All classes are limited to 10 students.Me is an intermediate level and Wieldraayer plans to begin it next year. Parents interested in enrolling their children in lessons should contact Wieldraayer by phone at (360) 675-2514 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of August.------------------There are many places on Whidbey Island to learn how to play an instrument. Here are a few of the options:Whidbey Music Center: 675-1211, Oak Harbor; piano, guitar, woodwind, bass; $60/month, one session per week, half hour lessonMr. Music: 675-1745, Oak Harbor; violin, clarinet, band instruments, keyboard, etc.; approximately $60/month (prices depend on teacher), one session per week, half hour lesson Gloria McKinley: 675-7861, Oak Harbor; piano, organ; $10/half hour lessonDorothea Hedgecock-Studio 4: 678-5598, Coupeville; keyboard, piano, organDave's Music: 675-5500, Oak Harbor; guitar; $60/month, one session per week, half hour lesson "