Local business provides equipment

Local support The Live Music Institute, located at 5224 S.W. 17th St., is supplying the sound equipment for the Jayhawk Theatre Revival benefit concert. The institute opened last August.

Brandon Bills

When the musicians take the stage at the Jayhawk Theatre Revival on Friday, the spectators at the back of the room will hear the tunes courtesy of the sound equipment and soundboard operator from the Live Music Institute.

The Live Music Institute opened at 5224 S.W. 17th St. in late August last year, but word is just now beginning to spread.

“A lot of people don’t realize what we’re doing here yet,” said David Schaffer, owner.

In short, the Live Music Institute is Topeka’s one-stop resource for young musicians. While focused on lessons and teaching young musicians, it offers so much more.

“We’re kind of trying to put everything in one building,” said Schaffer.

Under one roof, the Live Music Institute includes 10 teaching studios, a guitar store, a drum store, a vinyl record store, a rehearsal space, a recording studio and a common room with a stage for performances.

“We wanted to bring some kind of culture to these kids,” said Schaffer.

The Live Music Institute offers private lessons for nearly every instrument imaginable, and group classes for more popular instruments. The most popular instrument is guitar.

Other instruction includes a live mixing class, in which young people are taught to work behind a soundboard for a live performance.

This summer, the Live Music Institute will be holding its first School of Rock. Over the summer, teens can have the experience of being in a rock band. Participants will be placed in groups that will rehearse for two hour a week. At the end of the summer, they will exhibit their skills in a concert at the Gage Park amphitheater.

The Live Music Institute wants to not only teach young musicians, but to provide a place for them to meet other musicians and collaborate.

“We encourage our students to hang out here after their lessons and mingle with other students,” said Schaffer.

The people at the Live Music Institute are willing to go the extra mile. While this reporter was interviewing Schaffer, a man wandered in carrying a banjo. He had borrowed a banjo from his brother-in-law, but needed it tuned before returning it. Despite not knowing how to tune a banjo, Schaffer helped the man tune the instrument after getting instructions from the Internet.

“I think is a very good thing for Topeka,” said Robbie Devine, an intern at the Live Music Institute. “It’s a much needed environment.”