SPANIARD'S BAY, N.L. - Caitlin Pike just recently started the next chapter of her life.
Pike grew up in Conception Bay North but moved to St. John's to pursue a further education in a subject she grew up with - music.
Now, with a diploma from College of the North Atlantic's (CNA) music: performance, business and technology program to her credit, she's back in the area.
Pike recently opened Newfound Talent in Spaniard's Bay - her own classroom where she provides music lessons to people of all ages.
It's not Pike's first experience taking on the role of teacher, however. While still in high school, she offered music lessons at the age of 17 from her parents' home, starting with two students who she would teach once a week.
The ease she found in teaching a craft she held dear to her heart is something she knew she wanted to continue later in life, she explained.
"At that point, I knew all my chords, all my strumming patterns, and I was still picking stuff up from other people, so what I was learning I was also passing on to those students," she said.
"It was then, too, that I realized where I wanted to take this."
Having originally moved to the city to pursue a degree in music from Memorial University, Pike explained to The Compass it simply was not the right path for her to go in order to chase her goal of teaching music lessons.
"I just didn't feel like that degree was going to help me get where I wanted to be," she said of the big decision.
It was far from an easy conclusion to come to, she said.
"The music: performance, business and technology program seemed to offer me more concentrated courses. Some of the classes had more of a business aspect to them, which of course was going to be beneficial to me, considering where I wanted to go with this," Pike said.
Having her own dedicated space for the business has already made a world of difference, she noted.
Her new business is already receiving a popular reception from those who have given her a chance.
Pike hopes to see the positive response grow, with the Newfound Talent name becoming the go-to music lesson destination for the area.
"It's pretty surreal to me, honestly," she said of the entire experience thus far. "In the back of my mind, I knew this is what I wanted to be doing, and I didn't know if it would ever work, but it's going pretty good so far."
Spaniard's Bay is home
Asked why she decided to pursue her business venture in the Spaniard's Bay region as opposed to St. John's, where there are more people and more potential clients, Pike answered simply - it's home.
"I know how important it is for music and art to thrive in smaller places, too," she said.
"When I was in school, I was going to Ascension Collegiate, and we had a great music program at that school, but I also know of people who grew up and didn't even have an option for music class because there wasn't enough interest or the resources weren't there, and that's a shame.
"At least, with individual lessons like this, the option is still there to people, whether they're kids who want to get into it or adults who missed the opportunity before."
Pike does offers lessons for everyone, even babies who are less than a year old.
Those classes, she explained, are not meant to make musicians out of small children but to aid them in things such as processing words through the music via singalong sessions with parents or to simply help build a strong bond between parents and babies.
Given there are no other businesses offering such programs, the baby classes are attracting a number of clients, she said.
"Everyone is different, and I think that's what I love about teaching - everyone learns differently, and it's interesting to me to have to modify my curriculum to suit the needs of each individual person," Pike said.
"That helps me know that they're actually getting something out of this, and that in and of itself is very rewarding to me."