by Cassie Mattia
Symmes Township, Ohio – Loveland is full of so many wonderful things for families to get involved in and for parents to get their children involved within the community. The Loveland Music Academy (LMA) is one of those places that welcomes anyone that has a passion for music or simply wants to learn something new that is entirely community-oriented!
LMA came into conception in 2007 when Linda Bergholz and Aaron O’Keefe found a need within the Loveland community for a music academy that could provide quality instruction based on the need of the student. LMA began its journey by offering private lessons for guitar, piano, strings, woodwinds, brass, harp, percussion, voice, and acting in the heart of Downtown Loveland. LMA’s goal was to provide students with a solid musical education and lessons tailored to each student’s interests and goals. With that motto in mind LMA grew rapidly!
LMA quickly began to be known as the go-to place in Loveland and beyond for fantastic music education and instruction at a very reasonable price. In 2009, LMA moved into the Brown Building at 209 W Loveland Ave (which was across the street from LMA’s original location) because they were growing so fast and needed more space for studios. Within 5 years LMA gained 26 instructors educating 400-500 students per week!
“I teach from age six through adults; each lesson is tailored to the individual student. I believe that it is important for students to be exposed to all types and styles of music–from classical to jazz, rock to gospel, country to blues, broadway to reggae, we all find our ‘niche’–and learn to make the music we love. My goal in teaching a student is not that they win awards, but that they carry the love of listening to and playing music for a lifetime. You can’t always find someone to play a game of soccer or basketball or tennis with you, but you can always sit down to a piano (or keyboard, or pick up the flute) and make music yourself.” – Linda Bergholz
Bergholz started to make plans to both expand and improve the LMA building due to the influx of new students, instructors, and much-needed renovations putting in a significant amount of money to a building that LMA didn’t own. Over the course of 10 plus years that LMA called 209 W Loveland home, they paid over 200,000 dollars in rent to the Loveland Community Firefighters’ Association (LCFA), a non-profit organization that owns the Brown Building off the Loveland Bike Trail in Downtown Loveland’s Historic District where LMA resided.
The LCFA according to their website, “works year round to raise funds to help supplement the department and many other community services. Most of the members of the LCFA are also members of the fire department or their families. These individuals work diligently year-round at fundraisers to raise money to donate to the fire department and other causes around the community. The LCFA has always tried to give as much back to the community as possible that we serve.”
Because of the LCFA motto, Bergholz thought that LMA would be in Downtown Loveland forever as it not only served the community, and supplied local music instructors with jobs, but also brought in a lot of money for both local restaurants and shopping boutiques from its 400 plus students and their parents. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
In September of this year, LMA moved to 10084 East Kemper Road, just outside of the Loveland City limit in Symmes Township because they were notified that their lease would not be renewed by the LCFA. Bergholz along with LMA’s music instructors and students were devastated as they thought this would be the end of Loveland’s only music academy.
Bergholz coincidentally came into Mile42 Coffee the day she was notified that LMA was being kicked out of the Brown Building and ran into me. I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was not okay and that something major had happened. Bergholz sat with me and told me what had happened and said she just couldn’t let this be the end of LMA. I agreed and encouraged her to keep on fighting because hundreds of local students, parents, and music instructors depended on her strength and dedication. That’s just what Bergholz decided to do. Not only did she write a letter to LCFA asking why LMA’s lease wasn’t going to be renewed and if they would reconsider, she began to work as hard she could to find a new location for LMA. Bergholz later found out that LMA’s lease was not being renewed because LCFA wanted to acrue more income from the Brown Building i.e they wanted to put in a new bar or restaurant. Although Bergholz felt she could prove that LMA did provide a significant amount of income, she decided to move forward in search of a new building.
The search for a new LMA building was tough for Bergholz being that America was in the midst of a pandemic, the cost to move LMA would be extravagant due to all the heavy music equipment (LMA has several Grand Pianos), and LMA would have to stop doing business for however long it took to move. Bergholz was determined to make it work, and she did just that.
I decided to take a trip to the LMA’s new location to see how the moving progress was going and to talk to Bergholz about the journey that led to the new building! So without further ado, I bring to you a one-on-one EXCLUSIVE Loveland Magazine TV Interview with Linda Bergholz! Believe me you won’t want to miss this one!
If you would like to take music lessons or you would like to get involved with LMA you can call them at 513-239-7105 or send LMA an email.
For more heart-felt Loveland stories stay tuned to the Loveland Salad With ME, Cassie Mattia!
Columnist Cassie Mattia is a resident of Historic Downtown Loveland. She is the Co-Owner, Associate Editor, and Director of Marketing of Loveland Magazine. Contact Cassie if you are interested in promoting your event or business in Loveland Magazine. Cassie also Emcee’s events so feel free to reach out if you are in need of an Emcee for your next event, fundraiser, or sports-related competition.