Local Instructors Teach the Healing Power of Music 

Photographer / Jim Hunt

Dusty Teter of Legends Music Academy in Tipton is passionate about music, and believes it can heal and restore people.

It’s a belief Teter has held since the business opened in May of 2019.

“We are at a small, two-office space next door to where owner Chris Parton had been giving music lessons in Tipton for eight years, with the dream of expanding his teaching business into what Legends Music Academy is today,” Teter says.

Legends provides music lessons with a performance program, plus a retail music store for its students and the community, as there are some great music and dance schools in this area that help students become better and happier.

“Legends music director and owner Chris Parton has been teaching for over 20 years,” Teter says. “A lifelong multi-instrumental performer, songwriter and musical educator, Chris mostly enjoys helping his students improve as musicians and seeing them grow as people. It is his vision to help build legendary musicians and legendary people. Chris approached his friends and fellow Tipton High School alumni, Jerry Teter – my husband – and I, about joining him to open Legends Music Academy. We are lifelong musicians, passionate about sharing music with all ages, and we decided it was the right time to start this journey with Chris.”

Teachers Gabe Winn and Josh Phipps joined the Legends team in its first year, and together with Parton as well as Jerry and Dusty Teter, the staff offers lessons for guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocals, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, songwriting, recording and performance.

“We were voted Best New Business of the Year in 2019 by the Tipton County Chamber of Commerce,” Teter says.

Legends is soon having a grand reopening.   

“We quickly outgrew our original space, and the building next door at 122 West Jefferson Street became available,” Teter says. “We were excited to double our space, and provide a super cool space for folks of all ages to explore, learn and play music in a fun, nurturing environment.”

Teter says Legends has a fun stage, and encourages budding musicians to play together in ensembles or bands.

“We also doubled our retail space, and can now offer more instruments and accessories including acoustic and electric guitars, basses, ukuleles, banjos, mandolins, keyboards, drum sets, accessories and fun items,” Teter says. “Visitors to Legends Music Academy also get to spin the prize wheel for prizes and discounts for store items.”

Visitors can also sit down at a drum kit, and play various instruments.

“We encourage musical play with the goal of instilling a lifelong love of playing or creating music,” Teter says. “We offer off-street parking, and we pride ourselves in offering a safe and comfortable space for families.”

The Legends team recently renovated their building, which previously stood vacant for 13 years after a fire.

“We built four teaching pods, separate teaching spaces, plus a stage area and seating with tables,” Teter says. “We were able to have our ribbon cutting on March 12, but then were deemed nonessential and closed before we could celebrate our grand opening that weekend. We never really had our grand opening, so we are celebrating our reopening with a building dedication and jam.”

Legends Music Academy also offers free events like beginning ukulele workshops, a ukulele players club, jams, and paid programs like summer music camps for all ages. The jams, free ukulele workshops, and ukulele players club are held once per month.

“Jams are about playing and sharing music with anyone interested,” Teter says. “With the current social distancing guidelines, we are limiting participation to 15 players. Players are welcome to join in on any number of songs. The jams give people an opportunity to grow their skills, and we believe playing music with others is one of the best ways to grow as a musician.”

Teter is excited to spread the word to the community about the reopening.

“We offer several programs to learn and explore music, and many other programs will be offered in the future,” Teter says. “Our summer music camp has been very successful. Our performance program offers musicians the opportunity to play with others in front of an audience, and we are excited to be able to offer a variety of instrument choices for sale to suit all abilities and tastes.”

Teter enjoys being based in Tipton for many reasons.

“First, owners Jerry and Chris are native Tiptonians and are excited to provide this business for their hometown,” Teter says. “Both of them spent time away from Tipton. Chris worked as a professional musician and teacher. Jerry was a 20-year career Army veteran. Both were happy to return to this town they love, and serve this community. We’ve expanded to hire several high school students, and look forward to providing a long-standing place for the Tipton community and surrounding areas to learn and enjoy music for many years to come.”

Teter says the Legends staff enjoys helping people.

“We make music, we love music, and believe in its healing and restorative powers,” Teter says. “We are honored to be able to provide this service and this place for the community, to impact students and players of all ages and abilities.”

Legends Music Academy is located at 122 West Jefferson Street in Tipton. For more info, call them at 765-408-0537, or visit legendsmusicacademy.com

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