Ron Jones’s vibrant 50-year journey with music started at age six. “My dad was a pastor. We had an organ in the home that neither of my older siblings played. I’m the baby of the family, and my dad was determined that somebody was going to play that organ for his church. Since I was the last one left, I started taking lessons and I’ve been playing ever since.”
Jones doesn’t resent the parental pressure. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. “I praise my dad every chance I get for making me play.”
Jones is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education.
Music has always been a part of his journey. A proud veteran, Ron served in the Army as a commissioned officer flying UH-1 helicopters. While in the service, he played piano for military base church services. After an accident he miraculously survived where the engine blew out of the helicopter he was flying, he returned to his hometown of Memphis, TN.
It was there that a very influential person in his life encouraged him to become a music educator. He first taught in Memphis City Schools then later moved to the Dallas area where he’s taught for over 20 years.
Jones’s idol growing up was Stevie Wonder. So just imagine his sheer joy when he was invited to play the piano for Stevie Wonder when he was singing at a local relative’s memorial service that just-so-happened to be held at the church Jones attends. They played “Falling in Love with Jesus.” “He pulled out the harmonica and everything!” says Jones, “It was absolutely amazing.”
Dream Come True
Two years ago, Jones started his own business, Memro Music (a clever combination of his hometown and his first name), full-time. “It’s always been a dream of mine to own my own school and use the gifts that God has given me to pour into others.”
He loves the side of his work that provides him the opportunity to help students to receive music scholarships to college.
It may surprise you to learn, however, that half of his clients are adults. “Many adults regret quitting when they were younger,” says Jones. “They’ve always wanted to start up again.”
He enthusiastically notes that playing the piano has many benefits for adults. It requires using both sides of the brain, which improves cognitive function, memory, and concentration. “That’s why most musicians don’t suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s,” he explains.
For children, studies have shown that taking music lessons helps them to perform better academically, particularly in math and reading.
Jones has a unique approach to teaching. “Most music teachers teach with a book, I teach my students to use their ears,” says Jones. Once they’ve learned the basics, he starts them off with playing songs they like and hear every day. “Because they’re playing songs they want to play rather than songs they’ve never heard before, they remain interested.”
Being an educator has given Jones a connection with students that allows him to understand how they think and operate. “I take pride in my students learning so quickly and well,” he says, “I try to keep them not only motivated, but interested in what they’re playing.”
Jones lives by the lyrics of his idol Stevie Wonder’s songs: "If you're feelin' what you hearing, well, don't you know, it's just the music, that friendly music talking to your soul. It can make you blue or make you glad, oh it's the best way of talking that man has ever had.”
Interested in lessons?
Visit https://memromusic.com/ to learn more details and book a session.