Magi Kapllani was raised in a musical home. Her mother was a pianist, her father a composer, and she was inspired by their talent. She left her Albania homeland to pursue her master’s degree in piano performance at the age of 19. By Jessica Jones
Magi Kapllani was raised in a musical home. Her mother was a pianist, her father a composer, and she was inspired by their talent. She left her Albania homeland to pursue her master’s degree in piano performance at the age of 19. She found great success in the U.S., performing in Chicago before marrying, settling in New York, and starting a family. Focused on motherhood, she scaled back her performances and made a decision to return to musical education. In 2003, DEA Music & Art was born.
“My parents established a center for arts and culture in one of the most remote places of Albania,” Kapllani said. “They organized competitions, festivals and seminars because they had a love for the creative arts. That was exactly what I wanted to do here.”
Naming the school after her parents’ center, Dizdari Education Academy, Kapllani started by tutoring a group of eight students in her living room. When her numbers began to expand, she leased a commercial space in Staten Island, New York.
“I wanted to do more than just teach my students pieces on the piano,” Kapllani said. “I wanted to teach them about performance and the confidence it inspires.”
Within months, she expanded to a bigger space, hiring more educators and introducing additional courses. She then opened a second and a third location. Today, DEA Music & Art has more than 500 students.
“Our unique program is what has driven our success,” Kapllani said. “50% of the curriculum is classroom-based and the other 50% is on stage. Our students have numerous opportunities to showcase their work in a public setting.”
DEA offers individual instruction on the piano, guitar, violin, and drums. There are also vocal courses and syllabi for visual and performing arts. Because DEA was such a success in New York, Kapllani recently franchised the concept so she could take it nationwide.
“I believe the arts are so important, and that’s why I want to expand DEA to other communities,” she said. “We have something very special here and I want to share it with as many students as possible.”
For more information about franchising opportunities, visit franchise.deamusicandart.com.
– Jessica Jones