New downtown Aztec studio offers artistic outlets

Boston Music Studios offers classes for all ages in a wide variety of instruments, as well as dance, mix-media and art classes

Leigh Black Irvin
Autumn James, 7, practices bowing after a performance during a group violin class on Thursday at Boston Music Studios School of Fine Arts in Aztec.

AZTEC — Residents looking for artistic educational outlets can find options at the newly-opened Boston Music Studios in Aztec.

The school, located on Main Avenue next to Feat of Clay Gallery, has been open for the past two weeks. It offers classes for all ages in a wide variety of instruments, such as violin, guitar, banjo, ukulele, piano and voice. Dance classes include ballet, ballroom dance, hip-hop and clogging.

The studio is the creation of Aztec resident Boston Henke, who saw a need in the community for more artistic choices.

Henke, who grew up in a musical family in Aztec, has played and taught violin for years. When she was in high school in the late 1990s, students could transfer to other schools if their school did not offer certain instruction. Because Aztec High School did not offer orchestra, Henke transferred to Piedra Vista High School in Farmington.

"I feel there is a huge need here," she said. "Aztec schools still don’t have an orchestra or string program and that makes me feel pretty bad for the kids in our area, because we have very creative people here in Aztec."

Boston Henke teaches a group violin class on Thursday at her new studio in Aztec.

Henke said her vision for Aztec is that it will eventually become an art and music hub. She said additions to downtown with businesses like Crash Music and Main Street Music, as well as several art studios, have gone a long way to achieve that vision.

"We’re all trying to work together to get Aztec livened up again," she said. "The building we have the studio in was really old and needed a lot of TLC, but the renovations turned out great. It feels good to breathe life into the building."

Henke, who home-schools her five kids in addition to running the business, said the studio also offers several art classes, including a mixed-media class and an art history class.

"The art history class is so much fun," she said. "The kids learn about famous artists and where they lived, and then they do art projects based on those artists. For example, when they study DaVinci, they’ll make small flying machines and catapults. When they study Picasso, they’ll paint upside down as he did."

Boston Music Studios School of Fine Arts at 109 S. Main St. in Aztec. is pictured on Thursday.

Shaylee Evans is a dance instructor at the studio who teaches hip-hop, tumbling and contemporary dance.

Evans agreed the studio's teaching style varies from those offered by other art schools.

"That’s where this place is different — we don’t have a set curriculum, and classes are catered to the student. It’s so creative in that way," she said.

Henke said information on available classes can be found at her website,

"People can enroll on the site, or they can just stop by and enroll," she said. "I feel so lucky to have top-notch instructors working with us, and I think demand is high enough that we can continue to fill all of these classes."

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.