Husband-wife duo open studio to teach music lessons |

Husband-wife duo open studio to teach music lessons

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

While sitting behind a piano in her Carson City studio, Linda Badinger admits there are some challenges to teaching music, namely when her students do not practice.

She smiles.

“But I have the best job in the world,” she said. “I love it.”

Badinger and her husband, Mike, opened Music Lessons Unlimited two years ago and moved the business to an old yellow house on Roop Street near the Carson City courthouse on May 1.

She said the move has generated more foot traffic in two weeks than the two years they spent in a storefront near Lowe’s.

Linda teaches piano and voice lessons while Mike teaches drums and guitar upstairs. Both of them help students with songwriting techniques, too.

Music runs in the Badingers’ blood.

Her father was a professional opera singer, performing with Beverly Sills and Robert Merrill at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. Mike’s father was a professional saxophone player and he backed him on the drums.

Today, Mike plays guitar for the Fountainhead Foursquare Church in south Carson City.

Their two children also are musically inclined. Their daughter, Sarah, is recording an album (and will graduate from Dayton High School next week) and their son, Matt, regularly plays in jazz ensembles, including at Comma Coffee during open mike nights.

The Badingers met while attending North Texas University about 30 years ago after joining a band that covered popular songs of the era. She played piano and sang. He played drums.

They moved to California and eventually to Denver where they taught music and played gigs when the opportunities came around. Linda said they have opened for Bonnie Raitt, Michael W. Smith, Jars of Clay and Amy Grant.

In 2006, after Mike got the full-time job at the church, the family moved to Dayton and eventually opened the music lesson business.

They now have about 50 students, but their goal is 80. They stage two recitals a year.

Linda says they’ve been “starving musicians” all their lives. She adds she wouldn’t change a thing.

“We had to start all over, so Carson has been very good to us,” she said. “We’ve been able to start from scratch again and build back up here.”