Twinsburg -- The owners of the former Gitterpicker String Factory hope their new location strikes the right chord in the community.
After about a year-and-a-half at 10735 Ravenna Road, the newly-christened Family Learning Center for Music will open its doors Sept. 6 at 2681 Creekside Drive, near Brewster's Caf, Bistro and Pub.
Vince Menti, who owns the music lesson, rental and repair center along with his wife, Lou, says the relocation was due to functional space requirements and to create easier access for the families in Twinsburg, Aurora, Solon, Hudson and Nordonia -- the music shop's chief service area.
"We're right at the intersection of Route 91 and Route 82, along with I-480," Menti said Aug. 30. "When you're right there, you're a lot more accessible."
Menti says his staff of 15 teachers and employees now have six defined lesson rooms, a repair shop, retail area and waiting room -- many of which were missing in the larger, but less functional, Ravenna Road facility.
"It's a smaller space now -- but it's all functional," Menti said. "We've been able to design the place to our specifications."
Besides better thoroughfare access and a layout more suited for a music center, Menti touted the location and its nearby benefits, with plans for student open mic nights at Brewster's (where Menti has played many times in the past with his own bands).
"There will be opportunities for students to perform live," Menti said. "That experience is invaluable to them."
With a number of restaurants and watering holes in the area, parents who have 30 minutes to spare as their child gets a drum or trumpet lesson have myriad options as well, Menti added.
In addition to percussion and brass instruments, Family Learning Center for Music offers lessons on guitar, piano, violin, voice, flute, clarinet and many other core student band instruments. The center also offers repairs to many of the same instruments.
"Our No. 1 goal is to provide a fun, family-oriented place," Menti said. "We have 6-year-olds and 60-year-olds and we want to provide a learning atmosphere."
Menti, whose 35 years of guitar playing experience and passion for music originated from the Fab Four as his father played -- replayed -- the Beatles in the family home, said the community has been supportive so far.
Renowned international guitar virtuoso Neil Zaza, a Northfield resident and friend of Menti's for two decades, even gave the center a nod of confidence via a recent letter.
"He just said how much he believes in our commitment to music," Menti said. "We're excited."