When Earl Jones started teaching guitar in 1975, he had four students. Not long after this inauspicious beginning, he happened to read an article about a teacher in California who started with six students and quickly increased that number into the hundreds. Very encouraging for the young struggling instructor, but what really caught Earl's attention was the reason for this growth. The California teacher said that the key to his growth was that he learned to love every one of his students.
Earl decided to actively apply this principle; he exerted extra effort to sincerely care for each of those four students. They were no longer just a source of income; they were a mission. Within a month of his decision, he had 20 students. By the end of his second month, he had 40. Now, his weekly roster exceeds 300 with a full staff of teachers for every instrument and voice, instruments for rent and sale, and a waiting list.
Many of Earl's students have become professional musicians and singers. Many others have enriched their lives by playing for their own personal enjoyment or for friends, family, church, or social events. Earl himself has been a performing artist for over 40 years. In fact, many will recognize him as "Cowboy Earl" from his days at Mike's Farm. Prior to this, he was involved in virtually every aspect of professional music (clubs, concerts, churches, festivals, TV, recording, radio, etc.) as a multi-instrumentalist and singer playing every style of music imaginable. His real passion, however, lies in teaching others to play.
For 37 years, Earl Jones has taught private students, classes, and workshops. Constantly searching for ways to make learning easier, more fun, and effective led to the creation of a unique method called EZ Numbers. After several years of testing and improving this method, his wife and business manager, Kathy put these lessons into book form and founded the EZ Pickin' Publishing Company. To date, they have authored seven books that are sold through the Internet and at their studio outlets. This easy-play method is one of the reasons for the success of Earl Jones' Music School, but it's not the primary one, says the owner. "The real reason for our success goes much deeper and traces back to those original four students and what I learned from them," Jones said. "I have always tried to create an atmosphere of informality and fun; to emphasize self esteem, confidence, and dignity; to find one's individual learning strategies and strengths; to let them learn at their own pace with no pressure. I want every child, teenager, or adult (seniors included) to remember this as a fun and rewarding experience."
One of Earl's students describes her lesson as an escape from daily pressures--"my own special time," she says. One teenager said it's a lot more fun than video games or sports and young children have been known to cry when they couldn't attend their lesson. An older gentleman said, "I told Earl I couldn't even play a radio. He proved me wrong. I played a song on my first lesson and I've been pickin' and grinnin' ever since."
One rewarding aspect for Earl is the family participation. Sometimes entire families will enroll and learn together. For example, several members of the Fucili family from the Pin Hook community (near Wallace) have been taking lessons for several years. "We love it," says Randy Fucili, who plays banjo while his wife, Edna, plays upright bass. "As soon as we get home from work, we grab our instruments and start playing." Lessons have paid off for the Fucili's, as they are now members of a bluegrass group called "Living Strings". Other members of the family play in different groups. Randy's brother, Rickey, plays guitar and his wife, Peggy, plays piano. Uncle Allan plays fiddle, bass, and guitar at his church, while another family member Christopher plays electric guitar.
When asked about his goals, Earl says, "It's not about numbers; it's about nurturing talent and impacting lives in a positive way." For more information or a free consultation, call 1-866-806-7079 or 910-353-6633.