LEE’s SUMMIT, Mo. — When fire destroyed a metro music business, it ruined more than the shop.
Many music teachers who worked out of the Shining Light Music store find themselves with no place to give lessons. The store employed as many as 30 musicians who rented space used to give guitar, piano and violin lessons.
Put a guitar in Jimmy Dykes’ hands, and he’s a prosperous player. The 64-year-old has been giving music lessons for years, and he spent a long stretch playing guitar for popular soul singer Oleta Adams.
However, nowadays, teaching music to others generates most of his income. Dykes is one of those teachers with no permanent place to earn a living since Shining Light Music burned to the ground on Feb. 9.
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“We drove over there right after we got the text, saw it,” Dykes said. “You could tell from the outside it was completely gone. Burned to a crisp.”
Missouri’s State Fire Marshal’s Office told FOX4 the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but they don’t believe it was caused suspiciously.
In the meantime, Dykes’ fellow musicians, including keyboardist Joel McNulty, said Dykes needs help, but he’s more the type to offer assistance instead of seeking it from others.
“He’s the sole breadwinner for his family. He teaches six days a week if I’m not mistaken. The days he doesn’t teach, he’s the worship leader at his church,” McNulty said Friday. “This is the hardest working musician I know in town. Believe me.”
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Coincidentally, Dykes said he also lost a number of musical instruments in a previous fire six years ago. This time around, teaching tools, including lesson plans and guitar tab sheets, are the major losses.
Dykes said he gives music lessons to as many as 60 students per week. He said his church has given him a temporary space in which he can teach, but he and other teachers aren’t out of this jam yet.
“It seems like everybody’s doing what I’m doing. We’re all scrambling and trying to figure out what the next move is. We’re all praying for each other, I think,” Dykes said.
And they’re praying for a means of starting the songs again.
That could come on March 12 when Dykes’ friends and family plan to gather at Local Tap in Overland Park for a benefit concert to help his family.