About Frank - "I Love to Teach"
I believe music instruction creates well-adjusted, creative, confident adults.

 

 

My mother had similar beliefs.  She was from Hinesville, GA and loved Gospel, Elvis, R&B and Motown.  She had me playing way back in 1975.  I took piano lessons from 1975 to 1984.  I suffered through what makes most kids quit lessons...uninspired, routine music training.  I sometimes hated piano lessons, but luckily had a set of parents that pushed.  I also was lucky to attend weekend sessions at the Philadelphia Academy of Music.  I took a bus in each Saturday and got exposure to musicians and teachers from all over the world.  Oddly enough though, it was a friend that knew 3 or 4 guitar chords that started the chain reaction that landed me here teaching your kids. 

 

A childhood buddy of mine, whose dad got him a guitar for Christmas, showed me 3 chords and sang me a James Taylor song sometime around 1983.  We did not really understand it fully at the time, but he inadvertantly showed me how chord progressions work and how a melody flows over and through them.  I remember my excitement well.  All my finger training was now actually useful.  I used this new found power to start to figure out songs and to write my own.  I was like a kid with a machine gun.  I did nothing else.  Beatles, blues, Billy Joel, Elton John...I was on fire.  I figured out quickly that 95% of sheet music is wrong and arranged by people trying their best to represent a song, but not always getting it right.  I found that if I thought like a rocker, I could do better.  I remember figuring out "Unchain my Heart" by Ray Charles one night and I was so excited I called every kid I knew and they all could not have cared less.  I could not understand this.   

 

Well, on I went.  I started learning Bass Guitar to branch out in 1985.  I learned the power of blues, the joy of jazz and how to navigate and drive a chord progression.  I learned bass in a chording style that really works.  I still teach it this way.  The  bass guitar helped increase my understanding of the anatomy of a song.  I found myself getting into more complex music with moving basslines and counter melodies.  I liked the way the bass drove the rhythm and feel of the song.  I really loved the power the electric bass gave my music and the idea of an amplifier was so cool! 

 

I began intensely studying guitar shortly before college and while attending Villanova University received top notch musical instruction in piano, drums, guitar, composition and theory.  The classes were very old school, but by this time I had an appreciation for the knowledge and was taking it anyway I could get it.  Unfortunately, because I was on an Army ROTC scholarship, I could not major in music.  I took every elective I could though in the music department and took on extra class loads in music whenever possible.  I especially enjoyed the percussion classes and the various musical styles I came to know.  I had natural rhythm from my dancin' momma and it was so much fun to use it. 

 

I really dove into the guitar though and played non-stop.  It became "my instrument."  The guitar gave me another vehicle with which to write and express myself.  Because of that "awful" piano scale and cadence chord training, I became a lead guitar monster and always understood how to get around a guitar.  I saw it like 6 little pianos and man did it work.  I still use that technique too.  I also studied the guitar phrases of many famous rockers and bluesmen and tried to ingest them into my scale and chord techniques.

 

I played lead roles in a few pop bands during and after college.  I had to work around a six month Army active duty tour and 8 years in the Army Reserve as a platoon leader and executive officer, but it all worked out OK.  I always made time for the music!  My biggest effort was "Jojo Pepper," a band that scored much airplay with a single called, "Hippie Jean."  The band did real well in Pennsylvania and the surrounding area, and if you ever heard about the "red leather boots" on the radio....then you already know who I am!

My grandmother, Olga Tesla, was the grand-daughter of Josif Tesla (brother of Milutin Tesla and uncle of the famed scientist, Nikola Tesla).  My grandmother Olga Tesla married Francis Josef Keim in Philadelphia during the depression.  My grandfather worked and retired from Nikola Tesla's one-time employer,Westinghouse.  Besides a huge passion for music study, my hobbies include reading and study in Science, Philosophy, Physics, Byzantine History, American History and Constitutional Law. 

left...Nikola Tesla

 

 

 

I left my band "Jojo Pepper" to focus on my loving, beautiful wife Maria and two young children.  I tried to work a "real" job and still actually spend some amount of time with them.  The year was 1999 and it was tough.  No music was played.  There was no time.  I was resigned to a life of work, sleep and more work.  There was hope growing up in my own house though.  It was like God telling me, "here's why I gave you this gift stupid."  I really almost missed it.

 

I did not bank on the musical talent of my two kids.  I bought some instruments and started teaching my new "band," a seven year old son (Joseph) and a nine year old daughter  (Laura).  Jojo played the drums and Laura the bass and guitar.  We called ourselves "Smash Radio."  Well, they turned out to be way more talented than their father.  Laura started writing songs in 5th grade.  They rocked like genetic mutants.  We played a couple talent shows at the Lovettsville Elementary School and the townfolk got pretty excited for us.  A few parents asked me to teach their kids and I said, "OK, I'll give it a shot." 

 

Make no mistake, I am here today because the community of Lovettsville supported me and I will never forget that.  I thank my Lord, my family and my town for the wonderful life I've been given.  The ones that asked me to teach their kids changed my life and allowed me to do what I love.  The town graces me by making my Fall Concert a part of the Annual Oktoberfest.  I have had 2 concerts a year since 2005 and they have become great cultural events for area youth and their families.  I even accepted an invitation to bring my "Immortals" to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH after playing some music for the personnel there.  In the words of Jason Hanley, the Education Department Manager of the Rock Hall, "I've never heard anything like that on this stage and it's kids!, I can not believe it."  The staff made the kids lifetime members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they have a standing invitation to play ANY TIME.  I just showed these kids why I love music and they responded and took me along for the ride.  It is amazing.

 

I reached out to this community of Lovettsville in search of support and they stood with me like they'd known me all their lives.  What I have 6 years later is like a fantasy.  My students have progressed farther than anyone could have dreamed.  My bands play at the local Lovettsville Pizza and Subs on the deck in the summer.  It's becoming quite the tradition and I bet it will snowball into something great down the road..too many folks are showing up.  I'm also sending kids to music schools, watching them get accepted to top colleges, and aching deep in my heart when they go.  But I know they'll keep coming and I know they'll make a difference in this world.  My students are motivated, they are talented and they amaze me every week.  I love my job. 

 

When I get my two children together now (at 15 and 17), I can't contain my joy that my first two students still love it so much and have progressed to such a high level.  They are not entirely unique though.  Very few of my students have ever quit which is why it's so hard to get kids in here now.  Once a student comes through my studio door I make a committment to them and they to me.  I will stand by each of them to get them where they want to be and I will never, ever give up on them.  I will be here teaching, rocking, mentoring and loving it, for years to come.

 

Update...2013...The Immortals just got back from Cleveland where they changed lives teaching inner city kids.  They gave people better days by playing incredible concerts at The Cleveland Heights Youth Club, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Curiosity's Cafe.  The business is successful beyond my wildest dreams.  I have less bands than in the past.  I now demand a much higher standard of practice and dedication in order to be selected for a group.  The kids are AWESOME.  Practice and improvement are definitely UP.  My recital 2 weeks ago was the best EVER. 

 

Every day is a new joy for me and it just gets better and better.  My son Joseph is now 17 and the best drummer I've ever seen.  My daughter is 20 and is a music major at Binghamton University.  She has declared her music major and is doing very well.  I don't think I'll ever stop loving this job or what it bring sot me the kids and the community.

 

Update 10/6/14: Wow!!  This place is insane.  This is my first year without a Keim child in the business.  I have not lost my motivation; quite the opposite.  I find myself better equipped as a 45 year old to do this job than I was at 35!  The kids in the bands are extremely capable and the Immortals are now able to play anything from Led Zeppelin to jazz standards, latin music and all the top songs by anybody.  I have Miss Pam in here teaching too, it's just a great supporttive community of people I simply LOVE having in my life.  I can not thank the Lord enough for these incredible blessings.

 

Please contact me so I can pass the joy of music to  your children!