Queen Bee Music Association to Teach Instruments at Aspen Plaza Building | Business

They started the Queen Bee Music Association a long, long time ago in 2019.

Husband and wife team Lindsay Taylor and Brian Nelson started their school to teach people to play the ukulele, guitar and violin in two classrooms rented from the Desert Academy.

Then the pandemic arrived. Queen Bee has moved to virtual and private lessons until June this year. By then, Desert Academy had closed its doors.

Taylor and Nelson started weekly songs for children 5 and under every Wednesday at Railyard Park in June and added children’s songs at the Southside Branch Library in September. Additionally, there was a four-week summer camp in July and August at the Desert Montessori School.

But the Queen Bee Music Association needed its own home.

“We’ve been looking for a space since we resumed in-person classes in June,” said Taylor, who serves as executive director. “It was difficult to find space for a group of people to enter.”

In October, Phase One Realty acquired the Aspen Plaza building and the nearby Plaza de Comercio on Pacheco Street. Aspen Plaza, 1596 Pacheco, is a two-story office building with a few state offices, 40% vacancy, and a vacant basement.

Phase One and Queen Bee found each other.

“They’re a really good bunch,” Phase One associate broker Aaron Romero said of the Queen Bee couple. “They needed a place to land and we had a place for them to land. We want to renovate the building.

“We’re part of the facelift,” said Nelson, artistic director of Queen Bee.

Queen Bee leased the 1,440 square foot basement.

“We took instruments there – drums, guitars, ‘boom whackers’ – to do a sound check to make sure no sound was carried upstairs,” Taylor said.

Classes start on January 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays for children aged 5 to 16 and for adults from 6 to 8 p.m. Queen Bee has three classrooms.

Taylor and Nelson start with four teachers and 10-week sessions with lessons in ukulele, guitar and percussion. Cost is $20 per class and registration is through queenbeemusicassociation.org.

“At the end of [next] year we want to add banjo and mandolin teachers,” Taylor said.

They also plan to have an adult folk ensemble.

“Anyone who plays any instrument can come,” Taylor said.

Queen Bee raises $5,000 for paint, furniture and educational supplies.

Taylor’s day job is director of communications for the recently reactivated Creative Santa Fe, and she plays flute, mandolin, violin, and ukulele. Nelson is a “drummer by trade”, but also plays guitar and piano and does music production. He teaches music in public schools and operates audio at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

“For our children, first and foremost, we try to make music a positive experience,” Nelson said. “We are moving at a slow pace. We try to have fun as a group. Our goal is not to release virtuosos. Rather, it is about planting a seed for the love of music and the joy of music.

They got singer Taj Mahal’s song Queen Bee that Nelson serenaded Taylor with when they were dating. They call it Queen Bee Music Association because “we didn’t just want to be seen as a school,” Taylor said.

“We want to build community through music,” Taylor said. “Music has the ability to connect people in a way that very few art forms can. There is a connection that happens when you play music with other people.

Andrew B. Reiter