A Brief History of Cool Conservatory

When Michael Hienzsch began teaching music back in the day -- in the spring of 1992 -- ​he quickly realized that his own bad memories of what music lessons were like when he was young were driving him to find a whole new way to teach music. Maybe... just maybe... music lessons could be fun. Not just painless -- but actually cool.

And so, Cool Conservatory was born.

It grew gradually over two decades. The teaching method that evolved was based on the notion that an inter-disciplinary approach was best. Piano students should learn to conduct. Singers should learn to harmonize melodies. Improvisors should learn to read, and classically-trained musicians should learn to play by ear. New research into how the brain learns spurred the development of alternatives to the old methods of instruction. 

It turned out that a LOT of subjects that were traditionally tricky to teach and difficult to learn became much easier with the application of these new methods. Students experienced greater success, and greatly reduced anxiety about mistakes. And that, of course, was cool.

But there is more to this picture. Many great teachers of the past and present believe that training in music -- the earlier begun, the better -- serves to build the student's mental, emotional, and even spiritual character. The benefits that a child gains from musical exposure at a young age extend far into her future. They impact every facet of his later life. What today are rhythm and melody and harmony manifest tomorrow as poise, confidence, enhanced reasoning ability, the ability to make fine distinctions between details, and a greater sense of life-balance.

Cool Conservatory's methodologies spring from deep roots that were planted by some of the most insightful and innovative educators of the past century. You can read about them on this site. We are fortunate to share in their legacy every time we teach.