Wendell LandersWendell Landers opened Inner Circle Studios off West Road in early December.
Wendell Landers, owner of Inner Circle Studios Conservatory of Music in Cy-Fair, picked up the guitar at the age of seven and has not stopped playing since. Having recently moved back to his home town of Houston, he opened a music studio Dec. 1 to share his knowledge and experience with both beginners looking to learn the basics and advanced players looking to get better.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music with degrees in teaching and music, Landers' resume includes playing with more than a few famous names. He has played with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin-based guitarist Eric Johnson and George Strait's band Ace in the Hole, among others.
Landers previously ran a studio in Austin, where he was also in charge of the music department at Gary Job Corps. On top of that, he was in jazz band playing gigs every weekend.
With 19 students at Inner Circle now, Landers said he is looking to double that number. Many of his students followed him from his previous teaching gig.
“I've had some students that have been with me for three years and one woman who has been with me for five years,” he said. “Students say they stay with me because I have a lot to show them.”
Having taught other teachers in the past, Landers said his lessons are available for beginners to highly advance players. What separates his studio from other guitar instructors is the emphasis on sight reading and music theory, he said.
“The theory is how everything relates,” Landers said. “Sight reading in particular is really important. When you learn how to read notes, you're learning to learn on your own. You learn how to open a book and interpret it and you'll be able to read and play it without having to think about it. You'll know how it’s played in time, which is crucial.”
Lessons are available for $100 per month. They can be broken up based on what works best for the student, with 30-minute lessons each week or hour-long lessons every other week. Students can also take hour-long lessons every week for $200 per month. Stylistically, lessons can focus on everything from rock to jazz, classical or country.
Lessons are one-on-one, but Landers said he is considering group classes in the future. Long-term plans also include offering voice and piano lessons. The studio is currently not open on Thursdays and Sundays. Lessons are generally available between 3–9 p.m., but Landers said he tries to work with his students' schedules.
Landers is also working on finishing up an original CD of his guitar work, which also includes orchestra and choir elements. The CD is set to be released in January, he said, and will be followed by a series of live performances.
“Once we finish up the mixing, we'll be ready to go,” he said.
Inner Circle Studios Conservatory of Music
11250 West Road, Ste. M-1
Houston • 713-540-6217