News

Practice Makes Perfect - and Pineapples

by Office of Marketing | July 01, 2011
There was a point in her life when a young Sarah (Ross) '07 Burke, like many children, simply didn't want to take piano lessons anymore. But thanks to a wise and persistent mother, she kept playing, and her love for music grew. In April 2011, this love inspired her to make the biggest decision of her life. 

Sarah arrived at Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC) in 2003, the same year that the College received its accreditation for the Music Education degree. She quickly acclimated to the VFCC culture, joining chapel worship teams, the Concert Choir and Missions Committee, even providing piano accompaniment for the first school play. 

Six months after graduation, in January 2008, Sarah traveled to Belgium to serve for one year at Continental Theological Seminary. She worked as the assistant librarian and the interim music director where she led "all things musical." Upon returning home, Sarah took a substitute music teacher position at Schwenksville Elementary School, which lasted for two years. 

Sarah knew that she enjoyed teaching in a school, but she also realized that her long-term goal was to teach piano lessons. When the music teacher returned to the elementary school and a substitute was no longer needed, Sarah decided to teach piano lessons on the side and contacted a studio about working with them. It wasn't until a few months later, however, that the owner of the studio called to make her an offer. But it wasn't just for a chance to teach piano. The owner offered Sarah the entire business. 

At the age of 25, Sarah Burke bought her very own music studio. 

Sarah renamed the company Pineapple Music Incorporated, the pineapple representing the view that music lessons require out-of-the-box thinking. Her slogan: "Because learning music should be fun." 

Each day Sarah manages her business, designs curriculum and activities, works on schedules, and teaches piano and voice lessons. The studio currently employs three teachers, and students can take lessons in piano, voice or guitar. "In a child's life, music is important because it's an outlet from their normal routine, a place where they can be creative. It's something that they can be good at and proud of."

Who else is proud? One persistent mother who, so many years ago, encouraged a little pianist to continue practicing.