Marlene Cooper Williams, Founder and CEO
MARLENE COOPER-WILLIAMS was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she received her formal music education from the University of Minnesota. Piano and vocal performance was very much a part of her family life and Marlene began playing the piano at age four. By age seven, she had out-grown her private instructor and a highly unusual audition was arranged with three professors at the University of Minnesota.
From that audition, Marlene was admitted into the private piano instruction program at the University of Minnesota –one of the youngest students ever to attend U of M. She studied there for the next seven years, during which time she performed solo concerts, won competitions with the Minnesota Music Teachers Association and played with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. Then, through high school, she was very involved in many aspects of the music program, including extracurricular vocal and piano performances.
After high school, Marlene began attending University of Minnesota as a full time student, and began providing private piano instruction to her fellow classmates. She soon realized that this would be her calling but she also wanted to experience business and took a position as Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of the International Division at National Car Rental in Minneapolis. This is where she learned the art and intricacies of the business world.
Upon moving to Southern California In 1976, Marlene opened Con Tempo Music Guild in Sherman Oaks, CA. Her highly trained teachers provided private music instruction for students of all instruments, all levels, all ages and styles. The lessons were given in both the studio as well as the student’s homes. Thus, the traveling teacher model was successfully built.
As the years progressed, Marlene eventually sold Con Tempo Music Guild relocated and opened Village Music Guild which she eventually grew into a business located in 26 cities nationwide with hundreds of traveling instructors teaching thousands of students.
As a constant innovator of new music education programs, she has recently launched another music education venture, http://www.iplaymusiclive.com. This new program is allowing her teaching staff to continue coming directly to student’s homes on the internet highway. Using video conferencing technology, our students and teachers connect right in their web browser.
Once again, Marlene's newest quest is the formation of the Heritage Home Conservatory which is locally run and operated in the Conejo Valley in Southern California. This organization is community based, working with hundreds of private students on all instruments and voice in the student's homes. HHC is also providing music to the public school systems.
And finally, plans are being formulated to reach out to children with special needs as well as implementing a unique program designed to improve brain fitness to the elderly through music.
A quote from Marlene: If you're deeply passionate and believe in your work, it will never feel like a job."