March 2, 2020

Meet A Super Star Among Our Barrett School of Music Students

At the Barrett School of Music, our number one priority is the success of our Barrett School of Music students in their music lessons in Tampa. And "success" does not just mean lead roles and prestigious ensemble chairs. We define success by identifying each student's personal goals. In addition to achieving their goals, we make sure that every student has fun along the way.

Meet Will

Will Stokes began taking one of our music classes for kids in Tampa with Laura Hollis at age 11. And since then, he has completely dedicated his life to his musical and theatrical goals! Along with his lessons, Will was very active in his school theater program at Tampa Prep.

His freshman year, he received his first ensemble role in Pippin. In the next two years, he worked hard at both his stage presence and his auditioning skills. And all of that hard work paid off his Junior year! He was cast as "Puck" in A Midsummer Night's Dream and "Mark" in Rent, both lead roles! His Senior year, he played "William Gilletee" in A Game's Afoot.

Will was not only successful on the stage. Through all of his participation in the school theater program, he maintained his spot on the academic Dean's list! In his music lessons in Tampa, Laura encouraged him to focus on balance. We love to help our students develop time management skills in order to achieve their musical and academic goals!

In addition to school shows, Will participated in the "Stage Door" program in New York City for 7 consecutive years. And this experience inspired him to pursue a college degree in theater at Marymount Manhattan College!

What Will's Up to Now

Will Stokes is currently in his Junior year at Marymount Manhattan College. He is pursuing a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) degree in Acting with minors in Dance and Drama Therapy. In his Sophomore year, he was cast as "Schultz" in Circle Mirror Transformation and "Jeff" in Raganbone. And in the Fall of 2019, he played "Steven" in The Absurdist Play - Line.

In addition to his performances at Marymount Manhattan College, Will has been given the opportunity to perform with students at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. This is an event typically reserved for NYU students, so Will is very excited to be participating!

A Great Student Needs a Great Teacher

Will took music lessons in Tampa from age 11 to 18 with Laura Hollis, the owner of Barrett School of Music! Laura is a Tampa native who began taking piano lessons from her mother when she was 4. In high school, she saw the showchoir for the first time and fell in love with their red dresses, dancing, and singing! She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Studies from the University of South Florida.

While in college, Laura started teaching voice and piano lessons on the side to support herself through school. After graduating, she decided to make it a full time job. She noticed that many music students were not satisfied with their lessons, and developed an asset-based approach to teaching. And she trained her hired instructors to use that same approach! This has created an individualized program that is unique to the Barrett School of Music!

Laura's favorite aspect of teaching is building relationships with the students and their families. She enjoys getting to know each student's learning style, musical preferences, and background. And she has had the honor of teaching music lessons in Tampa for over 16 years!

If you would like to take the next step in your musical journey, let us know!

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