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Music keeps her Young

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. PearsonJessa Young, right, plays Mary Had a Little Lamb with one of her piano students, Jillian Wentzel, 7, during a Thursday lesson at Glenwood Music. Young and her students are preparing for their variety show at Glenwood Music at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
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Some kids grew up watching “The Partridge Family.” Jessa Young lived it.”I grew up in a family of 11, and all are musicians,” said Young, a singer-songwriter, and beginning and intermediate piano teacher at Glenwood Music. “I grew up in a family band, and we called it Pops, for my dad. We covered everything from the ’20s to the present.”Young credits her father, a jazz musician and classical music theorist, and her mother, a band teacher, for instilling a love for music.”My dad started a whole re-creation of the Glenn Miller Orchestra. We would dress up in fun costumes and silly hats, depending upon the decade,” said Young, a former music teacher in the Roaring Fork School District who now teaches between 25 to 30 students privately. “My brother and I were classical pianists, and my mom taught us everything, which is a huge compliment to her. She was my first band teacher until I was 13.”

Once primarily a classical pianist, Young enjoys songwriting and experimenting with various instruments and music styles when she’s not teaching.”I mess around with guitar and flute. I work with an electric piano sometimes, but I also have a folk and jazz side to me,” she said. “I think the classical training is great. I have such an eclectic way of bringing my background to my teaching.”Young came to the Roaring Fork Valley nine years ago after graduating from Utah State University. She studied music composition at the prestigious Aspen Music School for three summers.”I wasn’t really into the same music – I was there to explore sound,” she said. “My teacher was amazing, and he didn’t try to mold me. I encourage my students to do the same.”On Friday, Young showed how she motivates students while sharing a piano bench with 7-year-olds Jillian Wentzel and Coral Walden in one of Glenwood Music’s teaching rooms. They giggled while practicing their rendition of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” the song they will perform at Glenwood Music’s student variety show from 7-8:30 p.m. May 25 as part of the store’s Wednesday Night Live series.

“I love the opportunity to work with people one-on-one,” Young said. “What I’ve learned is no two people are alike, and there are all these people with music inside them. I’m here to encourage that.”Music is not only the driving force behind Young’s career, but also her personal life. She considers music a form of therapy for herself and her students.”Music is very healing. In my own work, I transcend and translate,” she said. “I have specific examples of students who have had breakthroughs and something surfaces from their childhood.”Glenwood Music owner Larry Gruber, who has known Young for five years, said her personality and ability to connect with others shows through in her teaching.”She’s very world-oriented, and she has kind of a real earth mysticalness to her,” he said. “She customizes lessons that best fit the students so they don’t lose interest. She always has an upbeat attitude, and she really enjoys spreading the knowledge.”



For Young, teaching music is merely second nature.”I really feel I have something to share,” she said. “I feel the magnetic pull.”Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com


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