Dominic Twardowski conducted this interview with Michael Middleton on February 15, 2018. Michael Middleton works as an instrument instructor, based in Indianapolis.
DT: What services do you or your company provide to clients?
MM: Our company primarily does one-on-one music lessons. We teach guitar, bass, drums, piano mandolin, ukulele, piano, cello, violin, brass and woodwinds. I'm currently teaching a couple of group guitar classes and we also have a pre-k class. There's plenty of more information on our website at: www.IndyLessons.com
DT: How did you get into the business you are in? What would you say you like most about it?
MM: I began teaching a lot at The Noisemaker music store in Wabash, Indiana back in 2004. I had heard about a new store opening in town so I went in and I happened to had known the owner. I'd recorded in his recording studio many years earlier. Before long I was teaching there 6 days a week and was able to quit my full time job. Now I own my own music academy.
DT: With all that activity, what would you say is the most challenging aspect of your career?
MM: I sometimes have fairly advanced lead guitarists come to me who want to become better at lead improvisation. I have no problem showing them new exercises, scales, licks and teaching them new concepts for awhile, but I've had some of these students take lessons from me for a few years and it's almost exhausting trying to find new things to teach advanced students.
DT: With your long experience in this field, wow would you describe the current music/entertainment scene in Indianapolis? Is there anything you hope to see more or less of in the future?
MM: We have a lot of stuff going on here. Probably the most happening place right now is in Fountain Square near downtown. There are several bars that book touring rock bands and local bands. We have a number of other venues and neighborhood bars around town where local bands can find gigs. Back in the 80s and 90s we had dozens of bars who booked house bands. I'd like that to return because house band gigs provide steady work and are easy to do. I remember some bars having house bands 5 or 6 nights a week. I think Karaoke nights are a cheaper alternative for bars and it's possible that there aren't as many people who go out to bars nowadays.