Introducing Small Steps 2.0 and our friends at Musicologie

Who is Musicologie?

Musicologie is a music education studio in the Grandview Heights neighborhood of Columbus. They were started by Kay and Joseph Barker who had been teaching and doing audio production out of their house. They have since grown into a team of 17 amazing teachers with diverse backgrounds and specialties.

What does Musicologie do?

In their words “We help people become better musicians. We are unabashedly passionate about music – teaching, performing, recording, everything! We teach almost every instrument and specialize in one-on-one private lessons for kids and adults. We also do group classes, events, in school presentations, summer camps, workshops, and we write articles, about the teaching methods we use in our toddler class.”

Their Teaching Philosophy

Joseph and Kay shared their approach to teaching as “Every student is different with their own goals, abilities and musical tastes. The teachers create an individualized experience that’s comfortable and positive, making sure that every lesson is both fun and challenging.” They also believe great music lessons should be available to everyone, and offer scholarships through their project, The Musicologie Fund.

Joseph Barker

Co-Founder - Percussion/Audio Engineering

Joseph co-founded Musicologie with his wife Kay after years of playing, recording and touring in their band Bella Ruse. He graduated from Hope College in 2008 and studied everything from audio engineering to philosophy. He has been playing drums and guitar since he was 8, studying piano and theory since he was 5 and teaching since college.

He has composed music for Showtime, MTV, Bulgari, Anthropologie, Amazon and the Vancouver Film School, scored two films, written and produced songs on seventeen (and counting) albums for many different artists, composed the music and lyrics for a full length musical and written scores (no pun intended) of songs for other theatre productions.

In addition to running Musicologie, Joseph operates Musicologie’s scholarship project, The Musicologie Fund, and collaborates with schools around Columbus like ACPA and The Graham School to help kids learn about recording. He plays in the band Nick D’ & the Believers and continues to compose and produce music for his production company BLASTY BLAST.

Kay Barker

Co-Founder, Piano and Voice Teacher

Kay graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors in vocal performance and psychology and a minor in piano. She has 15 years of piano and voice teaching experience with students of all ages and levels.

She began teaching private lessons when she was in high school and taught at her Bexley home until 2014 when she started Musicologie with her husband Joseph.

Kay has toured nationally with folk/pop band Bella Ruse as lead vocalist and keyboardist for 4 years, opening for artists like Sarah McLachlan, Heart, Metric, and Kimya Dawson. Her songs and performances have been heard in commercials, film and television including placements on MTV and Showtime. Performer Magazine called her voice ‘truly unique’.

Kyle Tucker

Guitar Teacher and Partner

Kyle has been teaching for seven years and studied guitar performance at the Tri-C Cleveland Jazz Studies program and The Ohio State University with notable performers and educators like Stan Smith (Capital University), Vera Stanojevic (Capital University for composition), Tim Cummiskey (OSU), Jacob Sacks (New York City), Dan Wilson (Tri-C/Cleveland State) and jazz saxophone legend Ernie Krivda (Tri-C, Cleveland). In addition to jazz guitar, Kyle also studied classical guitar, piano, composition, and voice.

Kyle performs with numerous Columbus bands and jazz groups and toured nationally with his indie-folk band Oliver Oak.

He does freelance mixing and audio production out of Musicologie’s studio in his free time, is one of the original Musicologie teachers and is at the Grandview studio early every morning handling day to day operations.

Focus on Students -Leo on drums

Leo has been a student with me since August 2015. Leo is so passionate about music and playing the drums has been a perfect way for him to participate. When he started, he was afraid to make mistakes and struggled with traditional drum methods.

Now, he's excited about new challenges, and played Eye of the Tiger on a full drum set in front of more than 100 students and their families at Musicologie's spring concert.

Focus on Students -Gavin on guitar

Gavin started lessons with me in September of 2015. Over the last few years, he has progressed through an entire method books series and composed and performed a few of his own songs. Gavin is always excited about lessons and practices tenaciously, which has helped him grow into a proficient young guitar player at just ten years old!

"The great thing about Musicologie is that there is no pressure from my teacher. He motivates me, helps me when things get tricky, and encourages me to be creative in a positive way. Practicing the guitar has also given me a way to bond with my mom. When the songs are really hard, I work on them, over and over. When I get it right, it makes me feel good."

Focus on Students - Musicologie Junior

Not Just a Class – an Adventure

Musicologie Junior is a group class for toddlers and their parents, guardians or caretakers. At each 40 minute class, we’ll sing songs, move our bodies, dance to different styles of music, read sing-along books, and play lots of musical instruments while your child reinforces her naturally-developing senses of rhythm, melody, rhyme, speech, and movement! We’ll incorporate methods from Kodaly, Dalcroze, and Orff. Ages 0-5.

"When a friend asked me to lead a toddler music class a couple years ago, I had no idea it would become such a source of joy for me. The kids are always so excited to try new things and discover more about music."

Kay describes how the average Thursday morning class as "Little Izzy dances and bows for the class and makes up her own songs at the piano. Ollie loves to sing "Do Re Mi" with me as we sing a cleaning-up song. Joseph is always coming up with silly things for us to sing about. And Juliet takes the songs that we sing in class and puts her own words to them. Each little one explores music in their own special way and I get to see that discovery every week. It's the best!"

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