While many businesses have struggled during the weakened economy over the last couple of years, a Knoxville-based music school said they've seen a steady uptick in business.
Allied Music Instructors in Farragut has been open since 2002. Owner Jeff Comas said they serve about 200 students. Over the last year, he said they've attracted 100 additional students and expanded their business.
"We took the plunge. We held our breath and had a little faith in ourselves and people and it's working," said Comas.
Comas opened a second location in West Knoxville one year ago, and he said he's gone from a handfull of teachers to more than a dozen.
Suhil Suresh, 9, is one of the students who started music lessons in the last year.
"It feels great and I like doing chords with my guitar," said Suresh.
Other students and their families haven't let the recession stop them from pursuing their passion.
Tim Monroe, 10, said he's been taking lessons for four years.
"It makes me feel good about myself, and I'm going to use it sometime when I'm older," said Monroe.
Benjamin Cox, 12, has been taking lessons for two years. He said he started lessons on his 10th birthday, right when the economy started to weaken. His dad, Steve Cox, said hobbies like music lessons are priceless even when times are tight.
"Once you start, you don't want to quit. You want to keep going," said Steve Cox.
"All of my family enjoys it when I play," said Benjamin Cox.
Comas said he might open a third location if enrollment continues to be steady. He said only time will tell if he's able to expand his business even more.
For more information about Allied Music Instructors visit their website.