About Grow Your Gift

1 Peter 4:10 tells us that God has given each of us a gift. We should use them well to serve one another.  In order to utilize your gift, it must first be identified, cultivated and then ready for harvest. Grow Your Gift Conservatory of Music was established in 2013 to meet students where they are in pursuing their passion, to pursue the growth of their gift and truly operate with a spirit of excellence.

Our instructors, with specialized formal training are waiting to strengthen what’s already on the inside of you. Get to know our staff and see how we will use our gifts to help you grow yours…

OUR MISSION

To continue the legacy of high-quality music performance in our community through educational opportunities for people of any age.

OUR VISION

Our vision is to strive to offer affordable music lessons to each student. Being able to afford lessons in addition to owning an instrument can be difficult. So many more students would be able to increase their playing ability with additional help. The cost should not be out of reach. The Conservatory will employ qualified and accomplished musicians to teach wind and string instruments, piano, vocal, percussion, recording arts, and music theory. Because there is no other institution like this in the area, we are excited to market our dedication to music performance education. Our instructors will have continuing education opportunities which will allow them to obtain innovative and engaging information to bring back to the conservatory and continue to pour into our students. Our marketing efforts include offering sectional rehearsals in middle in high schools for an opportunity to sit down with band and choral directors and share the vision, build the buy-in, and allow these music instructors to see we have their backs in terms of producing high-quality musicians. Their jobs will become so much easier if their young musicians have the opportunity to receive affordable and enriched music education outside of school.

OUR HISTORY

The Grow Your Gift Conservatory of Music was birthed out of prayer. It was during prayer that God spoke and began orchestrating to allow 25 years of playing instruments to be shared with the community through the offering of music lessons. For six years, a home-studio served as the location to teach music and was comprised of 23 students ranging in ages 2 – 69. Piano, being the main instrument taught served students as young as two years old. Clarinet lessons have served many students thus far.

In addition to piano and clarinet, saxophone is taught to two adults and two school-aged students. With a waiting list of 11, plans were put into motion to expand the vision. This vision encompassed accomplished music instructors offering a variety of instruction for wind and string instruments, voice, percussion, recording arts, and music theory composition instruction. The Conservatory targets middle and high school students, supporting band and choral directors to encourage students to continue in music education. Our band and choral directors pour their hearts into their music programs and very few opportunities are in place to cultivate the passion for music outside of the band and chorus rooms. With the Conservatory serving Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding cities, we can ensure quality music education is provided for decades to come. Additionally, the Conservatory is the only institution of its kind, truly dedicated to only music performance education without the need to focus on sales to remain viable.

OUR SERVICES

As a collaborative music institution, we are Fort Walton Beach’s only community music institution dedicated only to music performance education. We have a large variety of instrument/music component instruction with a promise to provide high level services and help in an individual’s desire to Grow Their Gift.

Marlayna Goosby – Founder & Director

Ms. Marlayna Goosby, Founder & Director, utilizes her 25 years’ experience as a musician to serve others in helping to identify their gifts. With a steadily growing list of students and highly gifted instructors, she works diligently to ensure gift growing takes place for all ages.  Ms. Goosby is a graduate of Fort Walton Beach High School after accepting numerous invitations to the Okaloosa Honor Band,  All-South Honor Band, All-Southeastern Band, Tri-State Honor Band, and the prestigious All-State Honor Band. Upon graduation, she accepted a music scholarship to The University of Southern Mississippi where she continued to grow in her gift under the direction of Dr. Gary Adams (Symphonic Band), Dr. Thomas Fraschillo (Wind Ensemble), and Dr. Jay Dean (Symphony Orchestra). Ms. Goosby held the honor of serving as Principal Clarinetist playing alongside musical legends such as Doc Severinsen and original Broadway Cast members. Ms. Goosby completed her Bachelor of Music at USM and continued her education at Troy University to earn a Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology. At the Conservatory, we operate under a spirit of excellence where every musician and associated family member will understand just how special the gift of music truly is!

Olga Wakins – Office Manager

Ms. Olga Watkins serves as the Conservatory’s Office Manager. She is the first person you will see as you enter our facility. She will greet you with a smile and be ready to serve your needs as they relate to your time with us!

All aspects of our operations are under her perview. To schedule or reschedule your lesson, ask questions about your account, assist with refreshments in the Musician’s Lounge, and so much more, she is the person who will make sure your experience in a positive one.

Jenese Harvey – Woodwinds

Jenese Harvey is a private woodwind instructor concentrating in clarinet, saxophone, and flute.

Many of Mrs. Harvey’s students perform and excel at Solo & Ensemble festival, and earn placement in All-County, Tri-state Band Festival and All-State Honor Bands.  She prepares her students for auditions into summer music camps, college ensembles, and music scholarships.   Interested students also receive help learning to double on other woodwind instruments to play in jazz, concert, and/or marching band.

Aside from the Conservatory, you can find Ms. Harvey working with the Choctawhatchee Stylemarchers and the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra through Conservatory partnerships!

More About Ms. Jenese

Melanie Henry – Double Reeds

Melanie Henry serves as the Conservatory’s Double Reeds instructor. She is also instrumental in serving the Choctawhatchee Stylemarchers and the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra through  partnerships with the Conservatory.

Ms. Henry began her career in music at Pryor Middle School. As an honor graduate from Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach, she was actively involved in extracurricular programs to include academic honors clubs, service organizations, and the infamous Choctawhatchee Style Marchers. She was acknowledged for her exceptional musicianship by receiving 6 appointments as a member of the Okaloosa All-County Band and 5 selections as member of the Florida All- State Band.

More about Ms. Melanie

Jensen Cadenhead – Percussion

Jensen Cadenhead serves as the Conservatory’s percussion instructor. He is a graduate of Crestview High School and Northwest Florida State College’s Music Program. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in music at the University of West Florida. Mr. Cadenhead is highly trained in most percussive instruments from beginner to early advanced levels.

Katy Gaines – French Horn

Katy Madson, a graduate of Illinois State University has earned her Music Education degree and performs Horn at a professional level. She provides her students with a sturdy foundation in playing the French Horn and serves them through their college preparations. She currently serves as the Music Educator at Edge Elementary while gaining additional experience as an instructor at the Conservatory. Katy provides fundamental instruction through to collegiate auditions preparation.

Ash Faircloth – Classical Voice

Ash Faircloth is a recent graduate from the University of West Florida with a B.M. in Music Performance with an emphasis in voice. While she is taking a gap year prior to enrolling into a graduate program for vocal performance, she still continues to perform and work with musicians today.

Read More About Ms. Ash

Noemi Ruiz – Trumpet

Noemi Ruiz serves as the Conservatory’s trumpet beginning piano instructor. She is a graduate of Niceville High School and Northwest Florida State College’s Music Program. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in music at the University of West Florida. While Ms. Ruiz diligently grows the gift in her students for any genre, she specializes and continues to grow in jazz performance. You can catch her giggin’ at many of the local area’s venues!

Lauren Battles – Beginning Violin

Lauren Battles serves as the Beginning Violin instructor at the Conservatory.

Utilizing her personally developed and proven curriculum, she properly prepares violinists of all ages for a promising journey through music!

She is a graduate of the University of Florida and utilizes her experience from both the UF Symphony Orchestra and her time playing 1st Violin with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra to lay a solid foundation for musicians studying with her.

Read More About Ms. Lauren

Martha Morgan – Strings

Martha Tucker Morgan is the Conservatory’s Strings instructor who specializes in violin, viola, cello, and double bass.

As a native of Abilene, Texas, her musical career took off at the age of 5 when she decided that she needed to learn to play the violin. She was very active in church music groups and her city’s youth orchestra during middle and high school.

Aside from the Conservatory, you can find Ms. Morgan working with the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra through a Conservatory partnership!

Read More About Ms. Martha

Michelle Basaldua – Music Instructor

Michelle Basaldua shares with us 24 years of knowledge from within the school systems across the nation. While she is a principal flute instructor and can offer a great study experience for any band instrument, she also brings an abundance of fun to the Conservatory through group music classes.

We can find Ms. Basaldua teaching our young musicians at Children In Crisis, The Monstessori Learning Center in Fort Walton, and at her Ukulele and African Drumming Circle Classes here at the Conservatory!

She brings life to group classes ensuring the experience is fun, educational, and provides lifelong memories!

Veronica Conner – Music Instructor

Veronica Conner is a classically trained Bassoonist and serves as the Conservatory’s Baby Bops and Home School Music class instructor. You can also find her at the Montessori Learning Center teaching the little ones, broadening their worlds through music!

Ms. Conner possess years of curriculum based knowledge which pours into the lives of young musicians, building their foundation for the love of music.

Tony Williams – Guitar/Sound Engineering & Production

Antony ‘Tony’ Williams serves as the Conservatory’s Guitar, Bass and Sound Engineer instructor. Specializing in teaching Beginner to intermediate levels.

A native to the local area and an alumni of Fort Walton Beach High School Tony has over 20 years’ experience on Guitar and Bass also over 15 years’ of recording experience. Tony has played with many acts in the area and has recorded/produced numerous local and national artist.

Although Jazz and Classic rock are his favorite genres to play he can help you learn any style your heart desires.

Clint Morgan – Low Brass

Clint Morgan serves as the Low Brass instructor at Grow Your Gift Conservatory of Music. These instruments include Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, and Tuba.

Many of Mr. Morgan’s students have achieved success in area-wide band contests as well as solo and ensemble competitions.

Aside from the Conservatory, you can find Mr. Morgan working with the  Sinfonia Youth Orchestra through a Conservatory partnership!

More About Mr. Clint

Debra Winningham – Piano

Debra Winningham brings her warm and bubbly personality to the Conservatory serving as the beginning – intermediate piano instructor. After serving 12.5 years as a music instructor at Foundation Academy in Winter Garden, FL she relocated here with her husband.

Studying with Ms. Winningham has proven to be rewarding and encouraging. She utilizes up-to-date teaching methods with her students of all ages to ensure a well-rounded experience.

More About Ms. Debra

Jordan Swett – Classical Voice

Jordan Swett serves as one of the Conservatory’s Classical Vocal Instructors. She brings years of professional knowledge to her students who are pursuing growth in their vocal performance.

Studying with Ms. Swett is ideal for vocalists who intend to audition for high level vocal ensembles to include All-County, All-State, college scholarship auditons, and so much more.

More About Ms. Jordan

It’s so easy to contact us!

Email us any questions or inquiries or call 850 483  0800. We would be delighted to follow up with your request!