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Choosing an Instrument: Music House Stories, vol. 2

 by Aaron Sizemore

Choosing an instrument: A mystical process revealed.

Most musicians chose their career paths before even finishing grade school. It's kind of fascinating, isn't it? How does someone know his or her destiny at such a young age? The answers are pretty interesting. Enjoy volume 2 in our series of origin stories, straight from the mouths of our esteemed teachers. More to come soon.


Amy Laemmli - Voice & Clarinet

As a child, she'd have jam sessions with her entire family. How cool is that?

Amy Laemmli

My mother tells me that I was singing Edelweiss from my highchair at eighteen months old. When I was four, my babysitter was also a Suzuki piano teacher and one day, I just went to the piano and started playing a song that one of her students had been playing. I loved playing the piano, but after I started playing clarinet in middle school band, I discovered that it was much more fun to play an instrument with my friends. It wasn't any fun to play piano by myself. My family often played together as a band as everyone played an instrument. When I was in high school, we made our own praise and worship band with some of the other teenagers from our church. I was obsessed with writing harmony parts for our line of singers. Eventually, I decided to focus on singing when I was in college and had to declare a primary instrument. Of course, now I get to play and learn all sorts of instruments all the time as I have great learning community around me! No more practicing all that boring stuff all alone!

Brandon Vogt - Guitar & Bass

A jock finds his inner artist.


When I was younger I put most of my energy into playing sports. However, during the end of my senior year in high school I was looking for something else to do as a hobby. At the time, my sister was dating a guy that would bring over his guitar and play for her. I immediately wanted to get one of my own when I say him playing. So I bought a generic electric guitar and a cheap little amp. I have basically played everyday since. I remember being so excited to play, I would spend hours and hours playing after school just learning guitar riffs and solos from my favorite bands. I was blown away that all you had to do was look up tabs on the internet, and they showed you how to play these songs that I had loved for so long. I eventually studied music theory and took formal guitar lessons in college. Now I teach and play guitar for a living. 

Andy Launder - Guitar

He was born to play, but the wrong teacher almost derailed him.


Since I can remember, I've always wanted to play the guitar. It had a lot to do with with growing up in the height of the grunge rock era in the 1990's. I begged my mom habitually for a guitar. She finally caved and gave me one as a Christmas present when I was 11 years old. However, I approached her a couple of months later about quitting the instrument. I had an instructor who was about 90 years old and he had an extremely traditional method of teaching. The problem was I wasn't inspired by playing 100 year old nursery rhyme music. I wanted to play like my heroes on MTV. Luckily, I had a good friend who was further along than me. He showed me how to play power chords (5 chords) and it seemed like instantly I was playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana and “Glycerine” by Bush. Huge hits at the time. I caught the hook in a big way and 18 years later, here I am. Guitar is part of my identity. 

More stories to come!

Music House School of Music has locations in Overland Park and Lenexa with 30 teachers sharing their knowledge with over 650 students every week.

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Written by Aaron Sizemore
Aaron Sizemore
Co-founder & Executive Director at Music House