LAFAYETTE - "Everybody really is craving just a fresh start right now after the past year and a half that we've had," says Katie Crist, the owner and director of The Music Box.
After several months of pivoting to virtual music lessons, The Music Box in Lafayette has opened its new location, a space for aspiring musicians to hone their craft.
Explains Crist, "It's bright and vibrant in here, and when the kids walk in their eyes are lit up and they're excited."
Crist has watched her local school of music grow for almost a decade. Now she has the space to not only accommodate many students, but one that facilitates the learning process.
"I walk in here and I'm like, 'I wanna be in a classroom singing,'" adds Crist, "And we want to create that experience for everyone."
One of those students is 16 year old Abigail Whitman. She's stuck with The Music Box for several years because of the people.
"It's just a very family oriented place," explains the young singer, "Everyone knows each other. Everyone's so nice. Those moments where your voice breaks or you mess up, they're like, 'It's okay, keep going!'"
At this Acadiana music school, it's not just about learning a musical skill. It's about putting those skills to use in the real world. That's why they have state of the art recording equipment like an vocal booth, for example, so that artists like Abigail can create something from scratch.
Whitman says she's only written one song before, adds that she's not done. "I'd also like to maybe record another song with the music box," says Whitman.
With a space like this, there's no limit for students who want to be among the stars.
"Music is so inspiring," an ecstatic Crist says, "It's so special and it's creative; and the space that you're learning in should match that experience."
Crist adds that many of her former students are now pursuing music careers - some through a college education - some even performing on stages in Nashville and right here in Acadiana.
To learn more about the music box, click here.