Those who are interested in learning how to play an instrument and helping people in need can check out Heavenleigh Music School and Internet CafÃ&Copy; in Exeter.The cafe is located on Route 422 across from where Fegley's Restaurant used to be. It is also located in the building where Wesley Snyder, who had an investment business and stole money from his customers.
"We're taking a negative and turning it into a positive," said Dennis Walters, a business partner and voice coach at Heavenleigh.
Heavenleigh Music, which has been open for about 50 days, was started by Will Butler, also known as Brother Will. Will is originally from south Philadelphia and now lives in Exeter.
Heavenleigh Music and Internet Cafe is a non-profit organization. Community members can take music lessons there and about half of the proceeds go to feeding the homeless in the Reading and Philadelphia area.
"We are a God-focused ministry trying to deliver needs to the community," Butler said. "We aren't trying to shove religion down people's throats. Our main goal is teaching music."
Another partner is Kevin Bean, of Bean Funeral Home. The building is owned by Bean.
Butler said once a month, he and some other volunteers will travel to area churches that provide meals to the homeless and give them a donation for the program.
He said all of the music teachers are volunteers and receive a small donation for coming in to teach lessons that helps to cover their gas or traveling fees.
Butler will be teaching piano and drum lessons.
A 2008 Exeter Township Senior High School graduate and valedictorian Dan Li will be teaching violin lessons.
Students are also able to take voice, guitar, clarinet and saxophone lessons. Lessons cost $20 for an hour.
"The phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting lessons," Butler said.
The building contains a recording studio so bands and artists can record their music onto a CD.
Walters who is in charge of Artist Repetoire Production will be helping to develop artists and contacting record labels, Butler said.
Walters said he released a song back in the 90s, "Missing Children." He has also worked with some of the major recording labels.
The cafe hosts an open mic night every Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. The public is invited to attend open mic night but must call ahead to reserve seats since the building is small.
The open mic night showcases students' talents, Butler said.
Walter added that the open mic nights have been a hit. The room where they are held has been full week after week.
He said that he is happy that parents, children and teens have been supporting Heavenleigh and that parents feel the cafe is a safe place for their children.
The cafe also offers a place for people to play chess. Butler said that people can come in and play chess from noon to 9 p.m.
He said Exeter and Daniel Boone chess clubs play the game every Thursday at 7 p.m.
In addition to helping out the poor and homeless, Heavenleigh also conducts an American troops program by sending care packages to the military overseas. Butler served in the United States Army and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War.
In the near future, partners of Heavenleigh are planning on starting up dance lessons.
For more information about Heavenleigh, call 610-779-0102.