DIME Detroit: An easy decision when you want the best for your child

DIME Detroit: An easy decision when you want the best for your child

The question for Steven Showers was hard: What could he do to make sure his son, Jimmy Showers, an aspiring guitar player, had a chance to live the life he wanted?

The answer was easy: DIME Detroit was the only option to give Jimmy an opportunity to build a career in the music industry.

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Steve Showers, father of soon-to-be graduate, Jimmy Showers.

“As parents, we all want the best for our kids, but what are going to do to make sure they have the tools to be successful?” Steven asked before Jimmy’s 2017 graduation from DIME Detroit. “You have to live your life with urgency, try to live your dream and not go around asking ‘what if?’

“We knew the guy could play. We saw the spark. We saw the passion. We wanted to be able to say we put him in the right place to succeed in a long and sustainable career. DIME gave us that.”

Steven admits there was some uncertainty with DIME Detroit in 2014 because it was a Detroit startup and Jimmy would be part of the school’s first graduating class. Whatever it lacked in pedigree it made up for with buzz and substance from its founders, who had successfully started a similar program in the UK.

Showers researched the administrators and the instructors. He talked with them and came away with the same promise and enthusiasm for the future.

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“What sold us was the quality of the staff and the fact that they come from the industry,” Steven said. “They harness talent and teach students exactly what they’re going to do and what they’re going to encounter in the music profession. Other colleges aren’t doing that. This is career development. Now I get to say ‘that’s my kid.’ My son has a career in music.”

That’s the satisfaction that Lea Wiercioch is experiencing as well.

She sent her daughter, Ali, to DIME Detroit after the young songwriter and folk singer spent a year being unhappy at a theater performance school in New York. The situation at DIME Detroit has been the polar opposite. Ali knew within hours of a summer course that the family had found the right spot.

“They are so invested in each other and to every individual student,” Lea said of Ali’s experience with music professionals who serve as institute instructors. “They’re not going to tell you’re a star, but they are going to give you the tools to grow and be the best you can be. They’ll teach you at every step and cover all the bases.

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Ali Wiercioch performing with students at the “Louder than Love” event at the Detroit YMCA.

“I’ve been blown away.”

Lea had another takeaway as she had the benefit of watching Ali develop friends for a lifetime at late-night jam sessions. The Wiercioch home often served as a gathering place for Ali and her fellow musicians to play their instruments, sing and laugh together at all hours of the night.

“It was actually a really cool part of the experience,” she said. “You could hear and see them forming relationships with each other. They love to be together, and then you saw the change in their talent and ability. They progressed so far so fast because of what they were learning.”