Music Maker Workshops is a family-owned and operated music studio, in Ahwatukee, started by Mrs. Beverly Bigam in 1997.
This family business has been bringing the musical arts to the local area for over two decades. With the faithfulness of the community, the studio has steadily grown and developed into an Ahwatukee gem.
It all started with Bigam’s musical journey as a young girl in McBride, British Columbia, where she took lessons for many years from an inspirational teacher. Soon she was considered to be a gifted pianist, and she shared her talent at church, schools, and even at the local funeral home.
She raised her three children with an appreciation for the arts. She had always worked in the health industry, but there was a desire to pursue her passion and start teaching piano.
When Bigam moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1997, she knew it was her opportunity to start teaching. She focused on providing keyboard workshops for senior citizens, hence the name Music Maker Workshops.
In 2001 she recruited her daughter, Shelley Yakubow, to help teach the younger students. Within a year, they had over 100 students.
In 2005, Bigam’s other daughter, Kim Steedman, joined the staff. At the time, she was a full-time nurse and was getting tired of the stressful 12-hour shifts.
Her children became the guinea pigs for all the chants and songs she needed to memorize to pass her certification – and they loved it.
She traded in her stethoscope for maracas and started providing early childhood programming at the studio. Throughout the years, she’s not only provided creative lessons for many young children but emotional support for new parents.
MMW has branched out from just piano lessons to offering lessons in a variety of instruments, including brass and woodwinds.
Now, the facility has over 16 classrooms and 35 staff members. Students have options to find teachers best fitting their learning styles and personalities.
In addition to weekly lessons, the studio hosts such as recitals, showcases, and gigs.
MMW has established communication and partnerships with local elementary schools, providing sponsorship and music workshops/drum demos. The music team has developed relationships with middle school and high school band teachers in Kyrene and Tempe Union school districts.
For the past decade, the Friends of Esperanza Lutheran Church have opened up their sanctuary for the biannual recitals. The quaint and beautiful campus and gorgeous grand piano provide a lovely space for concerts. The winter recitals are free to the community, and over 250 students will be performing Dec.12-14.
The MMW annual seasonal camp will be Jan. 2-3 2020, for children between 5 and 12. Students have the opportunity to learn three different instruments.
The contrast between music in the morning and art classes in the afternoon keeps things exciting.
A few years ago, Mrs. B retired from the day-to-day running of the studio. However, she still teaches a few adults on Monday mornings.
Her daughters co-direct the studio and enjoy the responsibility of continuing the legacy of positive music-making in-which a sweet, humble teacher gifted their Mother many years ago. MMW will continue to be one of the driving forces for the arts in Ahwatukee.
Drop-by for a tour, conveniently located on the southeast corner of 32nd Street and Chandler Boulevard in the Dutch Bros Plaza.
Information: mmwaz.com. 480-706-1224
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