Word on the Street: Clovis piano school opens

The Fresno BeeOctober 14, 2012 

Allegro Piano School opened in Clovis, offering classes to kids, teens and adults.

The school, at 325 Clovis Ave. in the Saddleback Village shopping center, has seven keyboards and a grand piano.

Owner Laura Duncan Malone is a concert pianist who has taught piano for years. She outgrew her last space teaching in a private home and opened the Allegro school last month. Allegro is a musical term for a lively, quick and joyful tempo.

Malone uses a method of teaching that features classes -- instead of one-on-one lessons -- and emphasizes having fun.

She said she prefers the method because it's more social, and she can use games to teach rhythm, like having little ones gallop around the room on stick horses.

"It cuts years off their learning curve," she said, noting that students overcome challenges when they see their classmates tackle them.

Classes cost $79 per month for a weekly 50-minute class.

Details: AllegroPianoSchool.com.

Comcast store opens

Comcast opened its second interactive retail store in Fresno, but closed a service center this month.

The store opened Oct. 8 in the Food Maxx shopping center at 4952 E. Kings Canyon Road in southeast Fresno. Customers can test out XFINITY products including 3D televisions, Internet and wireless home phone service while they wait to pay bills, speak to service agents or pick up and return equipment at the store.

Comcast opened its first new retail store in late July at The Shops at River Park. The stores are designed to look like living rooms with leather chairs, hardwood floors and a home-theater area.

The company closed its service center at 1945 N. Helm Ave., on Oct. 6 to make way for the new locations.

The stores are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Franey's scales back

Franey's Design Center, which has sold flooring and window coverings for more than 55 years in Visalia, is scaling back its operations and getting out of the fine furniture business.

Annie Gilles, who had been the Franey's Fine Furniture lead designer for 22 years, is cutting back her hours to do other things, the company announced. That is prompting owners Dave and Mark Franey to concentrate on the business of window treatments and flooring started by their father, Roger, in 1955.

Franey's Fine Furniture has carried a selection of bedroom, dining room, living room, home office and entertainment furniture, bedding, lighting and accessories. "We're just stepping away from the furniture side of the business," Dave Franey said in a statement.

Franey's is selling off the furniture inventory at the 38,000-square-foot showroom/warehouse on Encina Street in downtown Visalia.

Once the inventory is cleared, the company plans to lease the 8,000-square-foot space now occupied by the furniture business. Three people are losing their jobs in the transition.

Bethany Clough, BoNhia Lee and Tim Sheehan contributed to Word on the Street. It was compiled by Clough. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6431, bclough@fresnobee.com or @BethanyCloug

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