New music studio offers musical exploration in downtown Port Huron


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Port Huron resident Cayla “Sissy” Ross has come a long way before sneaking into family gatherings so her fingers can find her great-grandmother’s piano.

Ross, who has a music degree from Spring Arbor University, opened the Miss Sissy music studio in downtown Port Huron. It is a place of musical exploration whether through private lessons, private lessons or live music.

“I love to see people believe in themselves,” she said.

Ross acquired the space for the studio in the former Sentech Employment Services office at 914 Military Street in June and opened the studio in July, although she is still working there.

Cayla Ross has opened Miss Sissy's Music Studio in downtown Port Huron.  At the studio, Ross offers private lessons, private lessons, lessons and live music.

The studio offers piano, saxophone, ukulele, composition, electronic music and music theory lessons. Beginner classes cost $ 30 for 30 minutes, experienced classes cost $ 40 for 45 minutes, and people can get a group package of 10 30-minute lessons for $ 275, according to the studio’s website.

She said she will have 12 students taking classes this fall and ages range from 51 to 5.

She asks people to have their own instruments, but it is not mandatory. However, the progress will be slower because the person will not be able to practice at home throughout the week.

“It’s their investment, what they’ve invested, they’re going to take it out,” Ross said.

Cayla Ross has opened Miss Sissy's Music Studio in downtown Port Huron.  At the studio, Ross offers private lessons, private lessons, lessons and live music.

And if someone doesn’t know what instrument they want to play, “we can figure it out together,” she said.

Ross said the classes alternate and one week they take traditional training and the next they work on the student’s personal goal.

“I just want them to feel like they’re growing up, and whatever they do, I will,” Ross said.

One of Ross’s students is his cousin, Andrew Alexander, 16, a resident of Fort Gratiot, who attends Port Huron Northern High School.

He said he bought the saxophone about three weeks ago because it was the first instrument his cousin chose and he saw how cool she looked to play it.

The rehearsal room at Miss Sissy's Music Studio in downtown Port Huron.

To all the questions he thinks about during the week while training, he knows Ross will have an easy answer for him. She makes him practice every day and motivates him to be a good saxophonist.

The work-study programs help her learn, “and she makes me better every time,” Alexander said.

Mark Douglass, with a doctorate in musical arts, grew up in the Croswell area and was Ross’s music professor at Spring Arbor University.

He gives a talk at 7:45 a.m. and every day Ross shows up 30 minutes early and is practicing on the piano or saxophone. For three years she showed up early and in three years never canceled a lesson.

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Douglass said Ross’s skill level during her undergraduate degree was on par with a master’s degree program and that she was “extremely talented.” She is a writer, a poet, extremely gifted for classical music, jazz, several instruments and is an “incredible rapper”.

“She could honestly go anywhere,” he said.

He said his teaching style will be different with every student, every lesson.

“I know Cayla is going to change the music scene in Port Huron,” said Douglass.

To learn more about Miss Sissy’s Music Studio, people can visit her website, Facebook page, and can contact Ross at (810) 689-4884 and [email protected]

Contact Bryce Airgood at (810) 989-6202 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ bairgood123.


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