Marlene Hutchinson has always been interested in music. As a child, she played piano and clarinet. Twelve years ago, the Laguna Hills mom decided to learn guitar as a New Year’s resolution.
Shortly after that resolution, Hutchinson “fell in love with the guitar.” Friends started asking her to show them a few things and eventually she started giving guitar lessens. Her passion quickly turned into a business, Marlene’s Music.
“I really just want everyone to play guitar,” she said. “It’s just so much fun and that’s what motivates me; that’s what drives me.”
Hutchinson, who once worked in property management and real estate, developed a one-day crash course for would-be players. PBS was impressed by a DVD of her workshop and has since aired it as a fundraising program. She also developed guitar accessories that sell online. Her seminars take place around the country and her business continues to grow.
Hutchinson spoke with the Register about turning her love of guitar into a business.
Q. When did you realize your love of guitar could be turned into a business?
A. I started teaching the first year after I learned the guitar and I was getting paid. But it was more something on the side for some extra money and that grew quite nicely, all by referral, and I started doing group programs. It wasn’t until I was really ready to take that risk and try this one-day format that I really ramped it up and made it a business.