Village Music in Wellington is more than just a store. Owners Donna and Steve Wiley have an ongoing relationship with music and aim to share that love with the community. “We want to share our love for music with others and have that legacy go on,” Steve explained.
Village Music hopes to offer a more personalized music experience. “What differentiates us from other music stores is our service,” Donna said. “Parents are very comfortable leaving their children with us. We always try to go the extra mile for our clients. We know them personally, and we take care of them.”
Donna studied and taught piano at the University of Munich in Germany, while Steve toured with his solo acoustic act. After living in Europe for a few years, they decided to return to the United States.
Previously from Boston, they did not want to return to the cold. After exploring Florida, they zeroed in on Wellington. Last November, they opened the doors of Village Music.
Steve has been a professional musician for more than 30 years, and he especially enjoys playing the ukulele.
“My passion and specialty is more the ukulele because it’s a great way for kids to start,” he said. “They can start very young playing an instrument and move up from there.”
The Wileys are happy with the early success of the store.
“I have started to build relationships with the local schools and partnered with them,” Donna said. “That has been a big benefit. I think Wellington just needed something like this.”
Village Music is home to roughly 150 students and growing. Catering to all ages, the Wileys have seen patrons from as young as 4 years old to up to 82 years old.
They have hired more than a dozen instructors. However, they are careful in their selection process. Perhaps one out of every 10 applicants will be offered a job teaching music.
“We have certain requirements,” Donna explained. “We prefer a music degree, and they need to be able to read music and teach music theory. They need to be good with kids and be personable.”
They Wileys understand the importance of finding a good fit when it comes to pairing their students with the instructors. “We try to match the students up with the right teachers,” Steve said. “We feel out different personalities and try to fit them in the right position.”
Having the right teacher is crucial. “A teacher can make or break a student,” Donna said. “If a teacher makes you excited about music because he is excited about music, that lights a spark in some kids, and who knows what they can become?”
Village Music hosted its first summer camp in the last week of July, and by the end of the final day, all the participants were playing together. Once the camp was over, several of the children would stop by to say hello and stay in touch. They also loved being able to visit the Village Music mascot, a Pomeranian named Benji.
Along with lessons and summer camps, Village Music offers a full selection of products — and music knowledge to boot.
“We are very knowledgeable of our products are always willing to investigate and do the research for anything that somebody is interested in,” Steve said. “We are just very excited about music, and we want to take that enthusiasm and share it.”
The store’s newest venture is offering music rentals. The Wileys strive to expand the service to promote music in education. “We are hoping to supply nearby schools with these rentals,” Donna said. “We want to be the local store for them.”
Individual lessons run $30 a session. By booking a package of 13 lessons, the price drops to $28, and the initial registration fee of $25 is waived.
Village Music is located in Wellington Green Square at 10660 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 798-5334 or visit www.villagemusicwellington.com.
ABOVE: Donna and Steve Wiley of Village Music with their dog, Benji.