Sequim teen starts her own business

After eight years of learning, practicing and mastering the piano, Mickey Yeager decided to help other children do the same.

Eighteen months ago, the Sequim High School 2008 graduate applied for a business license and started Northwest Notes, her very own piano school.

“I’d been working in a restaurant since I was 14 and I didn’t love it that much,” explained Yeager, who also was a member of the select choir at SHS, of her big decision. “I love kids and I love piano so I thought, why not?”

Yeager, then a junior at SHS, created a brochure and handed it out to people at her church and mothers with whom she had been working at the restaurant. Administrators at Sequim Community Church, which she attends with her family, agreed to let her use a piano and the facilities for her lessons. Yeager quickly accumulated seven students ranging in age from 5 to 12.

“I had to learn to be creative,” Yeager said of teaching youngsters. “With the 5-year-old, at first I had to hold them on my lap to get them to sit still. Now I play Simon Says and things like that.”

At first, Yeager said her parents were wary about her decision.

“They didn’t know if I could handle it, with the taxes and the business aspect,” she said. “Now, they are very supportive and are glad I did it.”

Yeager loved the job so much that she plans to continue teaching through the summer until she leaves for college at Seattle Pacific University, where she plans on majoring in music. At that time, she said she plans on referring her students to another teacher, most likely her own teacher at Dungeness Music Academy, and temporarily ending her work.

Yeager’s hard work and initiative paid off — she received seven scholarships totaling $51,250, three of which were for her musical abilities. She received a scholarship from the SHS Choir Boosters, one from the Seattle Pacific University Fine Arts Piano program and one from the National Federation of Independent Business Young Entrepreneur Foundation.

For the latter, Yeager said she had to write “a huge essay” and have an interview with an NFIB member in Port Angeles, who recommended her to the selection committee.

Starting and running Northwest Notes has given her confidence, Yeager said. After college, she plans to start a private piano and voice school.

“I’m so glad I did this,” Yeager said. “I love it a lot.”

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