Dana Vachharajani founded Dana V. Music, by accident, in 2005 when she agreed to teach voice lessons to a few students from a local school where she was an interim gym teacher. Yes! A gym teacher!
After a successful professional singing career out of New York City and the The Juilliard School, as well as a public education career in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and New York, she and her husband moved to Boulder, Colorado where she found herself in search of her next purpose.
Within 3 months of agreeing to teach her first student, she found herself in an interesting dilemma: She had a wait list of students wanting to study with her and was facing a full schedule, teaching 6 afternoons per week. Not wanting to keep a student waiting, she decided to incorporate and become a business, hiring two new voice teachers (Andy and Mary Truex). Quickly, their schedules filled.
Enter Katie Fillius (McClave)!
In need of a new voice teacher Katie was recommended to Dana by a fellow colleague. Katie was finishing up her masters degree in vocal performance and pedagogy at University of Colorado at Boulder. In her interview, when asked what she saw herself doing in the next 5 years, she answered “I would love to run a studio for myself someday.” Of course, she was a perfect match for what was yet to come.
Little did they both know that this would begin a truly positive journey for the next years to come.
Our Louisville Home
At the end of 2007, Dana Vachharajani had a decision to make. There was growth issue in the building where she was renting and she needed to make a choice: move, or break up the beginning of a wonderful institution. With new baby, Anjali, in tow, the work began to find a new home for Dana V. Music.
2007 also marked the beginning of the amazing partnership between Katie and Dana. Neither of them knew what was to come but both understood that the positive music education of young students was a paramount goal for both. Katie and Dana made a decision to become partners and co-direct Dana V. Music.
Thanks to a wonderful parent, Judy Cousins, Dana was made aware of a medical supply building in need of renters. 901 Front Street, Louisville, became the new home of Dana V. Music.
With paint brushes in hand and a lot of faith in each other, Dana, Katie and their wonderful partners, Manish and Graham, quickly made a 750 square foot space open for business by January 2008.
The Louisville community was one of the best things to happen to this music school. The school grew from just 34 students in 2008 to over 250 students per week by 2011. In 2018, Dana V. Music still boasts of over 300 students per week in over 40 different private and group offerings in their now over 5,000 sq. ft facility.
As more space became available at 901 Front St, Katie and Dana invested in constructing beautiful and sizable music studios with high quality pianos to match. They couldn’t have done it without the addition of the many highly-trained and well-loved teachers who have come through their doors.
Dana V. Music believes that our teachers are the heart of the school. Our teachers are highly trained, positive musicians who love to share their journey of music. The positive process is essential to progress and learning so that students are literate lovers of music. We have been so lucky to have had teachers who stay with us long-term, some for over 7 years, even through many different life changes. Many of our teachers have gone on to become professors at universities or successful performers, composers, and directors. In addition to our wonderful regular teachers on staff, we are fortunate to be able to bring in many talented guest artist teachers. Our very successful Bring it to Broadway Summer Intensive has now seen 10 years of the best and brightest Broadway stars acting as guest artists for our programs.
Our Parents and Students
What can we say? We wouldn’t be here without you!
Over the years, our parents have supported, encouraged, and advised us on all fronts. They suggest new programming, policies, and educate us about community and social trends in music. We keep our minds and ears open! Most importantly, our parents trust us to guide their children. For this, we are so grateful.
Our students come to us from all areas of Colorado, all ages (3-Adult), and all abilities. We encourage anyone to explore this beautiful art and vehicle for amazing communication.
Over the 13 years that Dana V. Music has opened its doors, we have seen over 60 students pursue careers professionally through continued training at some of the top universities and conservatories all over the country and world. Quite a few of our students are making their marks in this very competitive business. See our Alumni page to learn more.
It has been our joy to be a part of the musical growth that thousands of people have experienced through our passion for music education. We take such joy in laying positive foundations for our students. We love our Pixies to our Adults, who at every turn continue to awe us with their pursuit and creativity. We are so proud to play a small part in cultivating this knowledge and confidence.
Dana V. Music (DVM) was created to provide positive, memorable opportunities for individuals to explore many aspects of music. DVM provides instruction in the form of private lessons and group classes to students of all ages. We believe that learning and experiencing music should be a positive progression of discovery. Music is important for the emotional, social, and intellectual growth of an individual.
Through many life, business, and family changes, Dana and Katie continue to work together on helping to provide the best music education in the most nurturing way.
We thank you for allowing us the opportunity to teach you!
Dana Vachharajani and Katie McClave
Co-Directors of Dana V. Music