By Mekialaya White

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – The sounds of a skillful DJ spinning song after song flooded an Arvada parking lot on Saturday morning. At first listen, you’d never guess the musician behind the beats was only 9 years old.

“I’ve always found a connection with music but I never knew DJing would be it,” Annabelle Suoots told CBS4’s Mekialaya White.

(credit: CBS)

Suoots is a student at a brand new Arvada-based music school, first imagined years ago by Musician Joel Zigman. It’s called “Deeply Rooted Music School.”

Co-owners Zigman and Sam Goodman officially welcomed the public with an open house this weekend.

“It felt like a real culminating moment. Very excited and very nervous, like a metronome back and forth between the two feelings and occasionally both at once,” said Zigman.

DRMS is a five-room community music school and kid-friendly recording studio. Founded in 2020, its goal is to create a safe and inclusive music community. Zigman says he was frustrated by the climate of current music education, which was the catalyst for it all.

“I am transgender and as a previous elementary school teacher in JeffCo Public Schools, there were ways that the public school system put boundaries around that,” said Zigman. “We have LGBTQ youth where music for them. It really can be a safe space. It’s where I found my confidence and self-esteem and my sense of belonging. We not only value their identities but want that to be part of their creative outlet.”

(credit: CBS)

Zigman also encourages a diverse curriculum.

“We want our students to have role models like Carlos Santana or Florence Price or Nina Simone.”

Students like Suoots say they’re grateful DRMS exists.

“It’s a place I can connect with people. When I come here I feel like people understand when I talk about keys. It’s always been like a safe place. I feel like it’s a way to let my soul kind of, just forget about everything and get lost in what I love,” she said.

DRMS is currently accepting new students.

Mekialaya White