When the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to move to virtual learning platforms, the thriving Lakehouse Music Academy in Asbury Park managed to keep their unique flavor intact by creating their own weekly TV show, which is broadcast live on YouTube every Sunday night.
The irreverent hour-long video sessions, hosted by musicians Ben Marino and Andy Letke, offer a mix of talent of all-ages, from adorable pre-teens rocking out to hard rock classics and parents and grandparents getting the band back together again. Instructors offer guitar, vocal and piano tips and advice on playing and getting ready for the gig in much the same way as their in-person lessons function.
There are also drop-ins and performances from touring artists, including Brian Fallon, pop-punk three-piece Dentist (Episode 4), Latin-flavored rock band DeSol (Episode 1) and Americana artist Nicole Atkins (who appears in the latest episode at the 32:30 marker).
Atkins appeared remotely from her Nashville home and performed a completely unplugged version of “Mind Eraser” from her critically acclaimed release “Italian Ice.” The Nashville-based Atkins announced that she will be returning to her Asbury Park home stomping grounds in July for some time and will be performing short pre-taped segments from the Asbury boardwalk and surrounding areas which will run on Twitch.
Lakehouse Music is the creative center point for the Asbury Park music scene, founded by musician Jon Leidersdorff. The complex hosts a world-class recording studio designed by award-winning consultants Walters-Storyk, the Russo Music retail store, rehearsal space and art studios. The teaching includes a diverse roster of teachers from all musical genres, including virtuoso guitarists Ray Suhy (Six Feet Under), PK Lavengood (John Eddie), Rob Tanico (Mr. Reality, Highway Nine) and more.
Leidersdorff announced the school will open its doors for the first time in three months for in-person lessons, although virtual instruction will continue. “We know that everyone has different thoughts and opinions on how to handle this situation and we respect that very much.”