Tracee Wilkins

Hyattsville Music School Sells Instruments After Drop in Enrollment

A Hyattsville music school is selling instruments after facing a drop in enrollment and added costs at the school.

Nevilla E. Ottley is the director and founder of the Ottley Music School. She said she remembers opening up the school in her home with 185 students and 12 teachers. It's grown to 352 students and 24 teachers.

But with rising costs to maintain the school and a drop in enrollment, Ottley said she is forced to sell instruments to make ends meet. Instruments she's selling includes pianos, violins, clarinets and more.

"I can't have teachers that don't get paid," she said.

Ottley says she isn't upset about having to let go of her instruments.

"I wouldn't say I have heartbreak in letting them go, because it's to the betterment to the school," she said

Ottley believes that learning music can open up doors for young students.


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"The younger you start, the quicker [your head] develops and the higher your aspirations for what you are going to do in the community," she said. "So music is vital to all human existence."

The daughter of Maxine Gross began piano lessons at the Ottley Music School when she was in second grade. Now, a high school senior, she has been accepted into six universities for different music programs.

"For them to not be continuing and maybe even moving on to the next generations, it would be a pity and an extreme loss to everyone," Gross said.

Those interested in purchasing instruments from Ottley Music School or making a donation can go to the school's website.

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