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Discipline and Delight for the Ear, Hand and Mind

By David Boegaard

The Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch is a center dedicated to excellence in music education and performance. With locations near both Katy and West Houston, Texas, the Conservatory offers lessons for students as young as 3 years old, and happily welcomes students of any age. The Conservatory offers 30 instructors teaching more than 20,000 lessons each year in a wide variety of instruments, free recitals, and a participation in the internationally-acclaimed Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.

The Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch was started in 2007 by a couple, Dr. Michael and Berta Guevara. Dr. Guevara was a professional musician for 20 years, and has successfully composed, arranged and performed music. "Having been musicians most of our lives, we had an overwhelming love of music, and of children," says Dr. Michael Guevara, suggesting that the Conservatory was a natural next step for the couple. And it was such a success that the couple opened another, related Conservatory in the region, just to meet demand.

The Conservatory offers classes, private lessons, master classes, as well as space for practice and recitals. With 30 instructors, the Conservatory offers instruction in a diverse array of instruments, ranging from piano and violin to guitar and drum, and much more. And with instructors fit for every age and skill-level, Dr. Guevara is right to say that "what we provide to the community is simple- the most comprehensive private lesson program available in our area!"

Two things distinguish the Conservatory from other music instruction programs in the area. First, they have the highest quality instructors, and second, they have a rigorous education program and method which offers proven results. The quality of the Conservatory, says Dr. Guevara, "is evidenced by having won the Best Private School in Katy award for 2 consecutive years now, as chosen by the readers of Living Magazine."

The quality of their educational program and method, in particular, can be seen from the Conservatory's association with the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program. The Program, says the Royal Conservatory website, "provides a recognized national standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner to advanced levels." So students know they are working through a well-developed program, and the more competitive students can compare their performance via national benchmarks. Dr. Guevara is proud to note that "we are the ONLY school of music in the entire greater Houston area to be a Founding School with what was called the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program!"

One of the Conservatory's newest developments is The Music FunTime Program. This program, says Dr. Guevara, "is an innovative and proven early childhood curriculum, based on Johns-Hopkins Research, that signifies that children 7 and under can learn to read music notation and symbols, and play instruments!"

The system uses suitable instruments and musical play to introduce children to music theory. "The children learn music theory," says Dr. Guevara, "all while fostering their ability to grasp math and science as they develop." While the Conservatory has not had the program in place for long, they are excited to introduce this new system to help younger students participate and excel.

Now that the Conservatory has taken off, Dr. Guevara doesn't limit his work to the school. Among other things, he is a co-founder of the Katy Jazz Association and has been Artistic Director for the Katy Performing Arts Society. Not to mention that he's an ordained minister and author of a book, Monster Chops! is also a founding member of the Katy Jazz Association.

It's no surprise that the Conservatory of Music at Cinco Ranch has become the premier musical education establishment in the region. For anyone in the region, there isn't likely to be a better or more enjoyable place to learn or relearn an instrument.

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