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Posted: January 3, 2009 5:00 a.m.

Little Drummer Boys

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James Cruikshank, 5, takes drum lessons at McKibben Music on the square. He can play the beat to the theme song of Scooby Doo. James has a simple reason for deciding to take up the drums.

"Because I wanted to," he said.

Another 5-year-old, Daniel McKenzie, also takes drum lessons at McKibben. When asked why he likes the drums more than other instruments, he shyly shrugs his shoulders.

"Is it because you get to bang on them?" Mack McKibben, owner of the shop on the square, asked.

Grinning, Daniel shook his head yes and then turned around to show him how. He keeps perfect time with a recording of a pleasant-voiced woman saying, "and one, and two, and three and four."

Technology used during the lessons allows students to listen to recordings or the instructor or vice versa.

"There's just so much more you can do with the computer stuff," said McKibben, a jazz pianist.

McKibben Music-open on Monticello street on the square for a little more than a year-- employs nine instructors to teach the 157 students enrolled in guitar, piano, voice, bass and percussion lessons. Students range in age from 5 to 75.

The one-on-one, 30 minute weekly lessons are $85 a month. According to McKibben, the guitar and piano lessons are the most popular.

McKibben said he adds approximately three to five new students a week.

"People love music," McKibben said. "In these times we're in, what better soothing thing could you be interested in than music."

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