A few months ago, I noticed there was a new business, developing in the adorable space across from our local library. It’s a very busy area, populated by one of our fav eateries (Rick’s Restaurant and Sports Bar,) and newest bakery (Twisted Sisters). Since we moved here a few years ago, I had been on the prowl for a local music program and lessons, so I was ecstatic when I looked over and saw the marquee that read “Star-Studded Voices LLC” was now present in our area. I knew I had to go in and meet the owners!
If you walk into Star-Studded Voices, you’re going to be greeted by the blinding smile of Tikisha-Michelle or her talented daughter, Yaminah. Such was the case when I entered and took a tour with my family of five. Transplants of Texas, they first lived in Wilmington and then landed here and have called it home since 2019. Her entire family is active in our community, with her running a non-profit organization, Yaminah coaching lacrosse, and her hubby refereeing and umpiring.
Her favorite thing is being able to be a part of a small community.
After 26 years in education and becoming the founder and executive director of Education InsideOut, she is more than equipped to head up two different locations for Star-Studded Voices, here and in Wilmington. Yes, you heard that right: they had a location in Wilmington before debuting the one here, including managing three vocalists who record in their production studio.
Star-Studded Voices is Born
Tikisha-Michelle shares that Star-Studded Voices was born from a legacy of love for music in 2014. Her daughter, Yaminah, is a performing vocalist and “we decided to share our joy of learning to sing and perform on stage with others.” She became her manager in 2020 and watching her grow compelled her to create a place where musicians could grow in knowledge and confidence. In order to create a more masterful musician, they began to offer guitar and piano in 2021.
Music is ingrained in their family, with her growing up learning to play various instruments and singing in choirs. She began singing and recording with local, national, and international choirs, while juggling coaching her daughter as she participated in various competitions and community events.
Ups and Downs
The Sneads Ferry location came to be in January of 2021 and yes, they were faced with Covid challenges and trying to find a location in town. Places they were interested in were either not sound proof or very expensive and out of their budget. They initially started in the Sneads Ferry Community Center which wasn’t cost effective or good for growth.
“It is important to have arts in any community. Providing students the opportunity to grow in the knowledge of an instrument and increasing their confidence through music helps them be positive, active contributors in the community.”
Still, when you’re growing a business that relies on consistency and participation from the community, there comes triumphs and challenges. Setbacks and advances. Students achieving goals and developing into successful musicians is such a dream to watch, but rescheduled lessons and family vacations stall consistent progress. Still, she’s positive about the future and knows life circumstances arise: “we are looking forward to helping all of the students become successful with us, in the community theatres as well as school performances.”
Dismissing Musical Myths
Tikisha-Michelle said she wants to dispel the myth of “I am too old to learn to sing or play an instrument.” It’s never too late to enter into a musical journey of your heart’s desire.
They will soon begin to offer:
- Group lessons and activities for elementary students
- Middle school guitar group
- High school guitar group
- Music-a-Thon fundraiser for those who really want to take lessons
She said she does not plan on making many changes, just constant progress and improvements: more teachers, more programs, more showcases.