Local musicians have a new hangout in Cloverdale — and it may sound familiar to north county musicians. Healdsburg’s Speed of Sound Music is branching out to include a new Cloverdale location, located on North Cloverdale Boulevard.
“My main thing is always doing lessons and beyond lessons, putting kids and adults in bands to play together,” said owner Ron Charlesworth.
Speed of Sound’s Healdsburg location has been open since fall 2012, but Charlesworth wanted to extend north because of Cloverdale’s ability to be central between north county and folks in Mendocino County who may be looking for a music shop.
“I’m opening in Cloverdale because people have said that I need to,” he said. “I think there’s just a lot of families in the area up there that can use what we do. The music scene is just alive up there.”
“When I unlocked the door at 3:15 p.m., there were like nine teenagers swarmed in there just thrilled,” Charlesworth said, talking about the mid-September day that Speed of Sound opened in Cloverdale. “Things were not unboxed yet, we weren’t ready to sell anything, just ready to sign up some students. It was exciting to see these teenagers skateboard in, and they didn’t care that the place was a little bit of a mess.”
It’s the interest of young people that particularly draws Charlesworth to Cloverdale’s music scene. Where the Healdsburg location has a base of older customers or younger kids who may be taking lessons because of parent influence, he said that he things the young people of Cloverdale will “buy in” to what Speed of Sound does.
“Just to have these kids, 15 and 16-years-old, coming in excited about playing music together, was really cool,” he said.
“The difference between what’s going to happen in Cloverdale and how we’ve done things in Healdsburg is we’re going to put a bigger push on some retail in Cloverdale,” Charlesworth said. “Speed of Sound, we pay the bills by giving lessons and it’s really my passion to give lessons and put people into these collectives. But in Cloverdale I think that all points north of Cloverdale need a place to come to buy guitars and drum kits and things like that.”
Included in the more retail aspect of what they’ll be doing, Speed of Sound will also have instruments and audio equipment available to rent.
In addition to retail space, the Cloverdale location will still have lessons, will work as a hub for putting bands together and has the capability of serving as a recording studio.
“We teach all things,” he said. “Usually there’s a teacher on call that can teach almost any instrument, but we do primarily focus on jazz, pop and rock styles — but we have violin teachers and we have woodwind teachers and brass that can teach the more classical music.”
Speed of Sound hosts lessons for kids age 6 and up, and has taught adults into their 80s.
While the location is still working through the kinks, Charlesworth said that he plans on having Speed of Sound be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to a loose closing time of 7 p.m. Saturdays will have more limited hours, from around 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Speed of Sound’s Cloverdale location is located at 207 N. Cloverdale Blvd.