Wendy Cottingham: The Visionary behind Colorado Music Institute, Inc.

In the world of music, there are those who are born with natural talent and an innate passion for melodies and rhythms. Then, there are individuals like Wendy Cottingham, who may not have a musical background but possess the resolve to make a difference. Wendy is the current owner of Colorado Music Institute, Inc., a family-owned business that has been in operation since 1996. Her  efforts have transformed the struggling institute into a thriving musical hub, earning numerous accolades and a reputation for excellence.

In 2018, the institute faced an uncertain future, with Wendy’s husband and mother-in-law struggling to keep the business afloat. Despite their efforts, the business was on the verge of closure, just two weeks away from shutting its doors forever. However, Wendy refused to let her family’s legacy fade away. Armed with an unwavering determination, she made the bold decision to take charge and save the institute.

Music was not Wendy’s primary field of expertise, but she quickly learned that her love for people and building relationships could be the driving force behind her success. Wendy quickly immersed herself in the world of music, learning the intricacies of running a music institute and understanding the needs and aspirations of students. She realized that music is not just about learning notes and scales; it is about the joy it brings and the connections it fosters.

Under Wendy’s leadership, Colorado Music Institute experienced a transformation. The once-struggling institute flourished, expanding its reach and impact within the community. Wendy’s commitment to creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere resonated with students, teachers, and staff, resulting in a diverse population that reflects the vibrant spirit of Colorado. Wendy’s dedication to ensuring that music truly is for everyone is evident in the wide range of lessons offered, catering to individuals aged 18 months to 96 years old. Regardless of age, instrument choice, genre preference, or level of experience, Wendy and her team strive to provide the guidance and support needed to nurture each student’s musical journey.

One of Wendy’s greatest achievements is the exponential growth of the institute. From a modest 190 students, she spearheaded its expansion to 1,200 students. This remarkable increase is a testament to the trust and confidence that students and their families place in Wendy and her team. She has created an environment where individuals of all ages and skill levels can pursue their passion for music and find their own unique voices.

Wendy’s dedication to excellence has not gone unnoticed. In 2022, Colorado Music Institute, Inc. was honored with the prestigious title of National Music School of the Year, recognizing the institute’s outstanding commitment to music education and its remarkable impact on students’ lives. In 2023, the institute received another accolade, being named the Best of Mile High, further solidifying its position as a leading institution in the region.

One of Wendy’s guiding principles is that if Colorado Music Institute cannot meet a student’s needs, they will go above and beyond to find them the assistance they require. This commitment to individualized attention and finding the right resources has earned Wendy and her team the trust and gratitude of countless individuals seeking to explore the magic of music.

In the realm of music education, Wendy Cottingham’s journey is a testament to the power of determination, passion, and an unwavering belief in the transformative nature of music. Her resolute efforts to rescue and revitalize Colorado Music Institute have not only saved a cherished family business but have also created a sanctuary where individuals from all walks of life can discover the joy and fulfillment that music brings.