We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Lessilee Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Lessilee, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I have always been involved in education in some way or another. My career originally started with me as a music teacher and vocal coach. Through that, I found that music was a powerful vehicle that moves the heart and mind. As time went on, I began to be involved in other aspects of education, including higher education and educational leadership. I always knew that, somehow, I would return to my roots of music and instruction. BeyondTheNorm Music, L.L.C was that avenue. With all that has taken place over the last few months, during the pandemic, my heart began to break for all creatives and musicians—especially children. I became much more sensitive than before to the importance and the need for music is for all of us. I am even more certain of what we have to offer to support it. During this time, I have gained an even greater perspective on the marriage between music and the human soul. Music serves as a powerful outlet for humans and is so necessary to us all. As a business, I have always wanted to provide services for anyone with a love for music, no matter what age or experience level.
What should our readers know about your business?
BeyondTheNorm Music delivers expertise in the areas of music instruction, training, consultation, and management. We were established with the intent of expanding and increasing the current capacities of musicians, as well as providing creative direction and support for them. This is what sets us apart from others. We are dedicated to professionalism as we offer the finest music lessons and instruction for individuals, ensembles, as well as small and larger performance groups. BeyondTheNorm School of Music instructors use proven techniques and methods; every participant is honored with customized programs to launch them into the heights of their musical aspirations. We are currently enrolling and welcome all students, no matter the age, or level of experience. We are also welcoming new staff members and instructors that share the same heart and vision.
I’m most excited about our vocal instruction program. It happens to be closest to my heart, because I am a vocalist first. With this, my philosophy regarding the voice is another aspect that sets us apart. I always say that there is a difference between voice training and vocal coaching. Rather than teaching you to mimic a sound that already exists, the intent is to coach and nurture the natural, God-given talent that you already have. Using our non-traditional teaching techniques, also offered virtually, each lesson will cause our students to be the unique, amazing vocalists they were originally born to be!
Getting to where I am today in terms of business was definitely not a walk in the park! Most honest business owners and entrepreneurs will tell you that! There are many obstacles to overcome. I have come to realize that one of greatest components to any success is ENDURANCE. Many people don’t see what they want to see because they are not willing to endure to see the results completely unfold; so they either give up on the journey, slow down, or stop the process altogether. We live in an instantaneous society that loves quick results. There are some things in life, however, that require endurance and patience. This has been one of my greatest lessons thus far.
I would like to go down in history known as someone with heart. I want the world to be able to see that, with everything that I do, my heart was always attached to it. I want this to be known as one of my earmarks.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
With social distancing in affect, it has become a bit difficult to do many of the things that I enjoy most. In an ideal situation, I would love to freely take my visitors to the beach to take in some sun and fun here in South Florida. I would also like to take them on the west coast of Florida for a small road trip to sightsee and for shopping stop offs. We have so many hidden gems as far as restaurants in Florida─ there are too many to be named!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family has been amazingly supportive of me on my journey, along with my mentors and friends. My most impactful mentors include: Dr. Jason H. Jackson of The Jackson Global Initiative. He has been a great example and inspiration to me; Dr. Verna A. Barrow-Bugg of The Barrow Transformative Coaching Institute. I have learned so much from her; Dr. Jerome Symonette, my former music professor. He has been a tremendous mentor to me since college. I also have to thank my good friends Syheita K. Rhoden, Marcus A. Prince, Esq., Kashonda Lynn Carter, Esq., Natalie R. Jackson, and Nicole Lovett for all of their love and support over the years. Each of these individuals have challenged and encouraged me in incredible ways. I would also like to dedicate my Shout Out to the members of The Lion’s Den Missions Base, a volunteer and community service organization in Fort Lauderdale, that have become family to me. I am grateful for each one of them.