Bellinghome: New music instruction, rehearsal space opens
by Brent Cole
photo by Brent Cole
Opening last month, Bellinghome is a new music school and rehearsal space owned and operated by Nick Taylor, formerly of Wild Hare Music School. The guitarist and music teacher, who also plays in Mr. Feelgood and the Firm Believers and Snug Harbor, has created a music hub for both young and old, students and bands.
Taylor earned his bachelor of music at Minnesota State University in Morehead in 2007 and over the next four years, played music in the Midwest while driving trucks as his day gig – including in the oil fields of North Dakota, his native state. Eventually, it was time for a change and Taylor moved to Bellingham in 2011 with the intention of going to Western to earn his teaching certificate. Post graduation in 2007, he had done an internship at Victory Studios in Seattle, so he was familiar with the area and ready to get into teaching.
After arriving in Bellingham, Nick made his way into the music scene – joining Snug Harbor within months of moving to town. It was through Snug that Nick met Ryan Hare who was operating Wild Hare Drum School. The two formed a friendship and business partnership. “We both wanted to teach,” Taylor stated, adding they basically shared the space and called it Wild Hare to pay the bills. With Hare teaching drums and Taylor on guitar, the school added different musicians in several capacities of teaching.
Later, the building they had occupied was sold, and the duo needed to find a new home for the school. They began to work on a new location, but over time it became apparent the partnership would move forward in separate directions. With that, Nick took the reigns and brought Bellinghome to life, opening its doors last month.
The school includes 10 rooms of varying sizes, five of which are rented full-time by teachers including Taylor, Hare (who now offers his Wild Hare drum school at Bellinghome), George Allison, Reid Immel, and Jason McGerr. The remaining five rooms are available for use by independent teachers (which includes local music scene vets like Erik Snyder, Will Glazier, Nika Munn, Jeremiah Austin and Andy Ingram, to name a few), or can be rented out by bands on an hourly basis. Eventually, bands will have the ability to rent a room 24/7 at Bellinghome.
In addition, Taylor will offer sessions and classes for those interested in the different aspects of the recording process – all the way from Pro Tools to mixing. (His college degree focused on audio production and film/video production).
The availability of musical instruments will include the traditional options, as well as lessons in creating electronic music from local musician Will Glazier. Rock classes with Bellinghome and Wild Hare will continue to collaborate on their bi-yearly program at the Green Frog.
For Taylor, who realized a decade ago that teaching would be his calling (while instructing snowboarding at Snoqualmie Pass), Bellinghome has given him the chance to fulfill that dream while staying within music, his biggest passion.
“I care about the future of music,” he stated, “and want people to understand what it is I love about music and keep that alive. I love electronic music and pre-programmed Abelton sets with computers on stage, but I’m really an old school analogue guy and am most impressed by a tight performance with interaction and improvisation with-in a group.”
Taylor added, “I want young people to understand why a live jazz/improv trio or quartet in small club can be just as awesome as a single DJ playing a sold out show at Red Rocks.”
The school also gives Taylor the opportunity to inspire young kids to get into music; in a sense, passing the musical torch. “Music is so helpful to society in so many ways. I like being a part of passing on the tradition of something you do that is really hard work and people really appreciate you for it.”
Nick looks forward to working with more people across Whatcom County. “I’m hoping to connect and collaborate more with the community and schools, getting our youngsters and older folks out performing or involved with musical events,” he said
Bellinghome is located at 2512 Meridian Street, Bellingham. For more information, visit the website at www.bellinghomeschoolofmusic.com or via Facebook at facebook.com/bellinghammusiclessons.