TRINITY — As a kid, Joe Rhodes taught himself to play the guitar using one that was left unattended at school. The guitar's owners — students five years Rhodes' senior — turned out to be the Everly Brothers, and the experience was the start of Rhodes' music career.
Rhodes, 66, recorded music and performed it on stage with Emmylou Harris and Kris Kristofferson when he lived in Nashville. He still performs. But now, he also teaches.
Rhodes and his wife, Laurene, 65, own Ramblin Rhodes Music, a music and performing arts school on Starkey Boulevard in Trinity, where he teaches guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele and hammered dulcimer, among other instruments.
The school opened six years ago and in two years outgrew its first location. Students have ranged in age from 3 to 87, and lessons are conducted in groups or one on one. There are currently 150 students, 14 instructors who teach instruments of all kinds, plus voice and drama, and a concert every month.
"The concert is part of the program because for kids, being on stage is part of the dream," Rhodes said. "Kids that are going to be in a show tend to practice more."
But the school isn't just for children, he said. There are journalists and doctors and lawyers who take lessons.
"It's like a meditation, they tell me," Rhodes said. "It takes them away from troubles. You have to concentrate on music totally when you're playing it."
Playing it is "good for the brain," he said, and can be a lifelong hobby.
"There's always more (to learn)," he added.
For more information about Ramblin Rhodes Music, visit ramblinrhodesmusic.com or call (727) 375-0123.
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SMARTstart New Port Richey business incubator to host open house: Entrepreneurs, small businesses, public officials, college students and the rest of the community are invited to attend an open house from 9 to 11 a.m. June 26 at SMARTstart New Port Richey, 6345 Grand Blvd., New Port Richey. At the SMARTstart business incubator, entrepreneurs and startups work in a collaborative environment with other small businesses. At the open house, learn about the incubator program, tour the facility and meet initial incubator residents and partners. RSVP to Krista Covey at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 20.