The hills are alive with the sound of music... Or at least Kingsville is with the help of Kingsville School of Music!
Along with his army of musician teachers, James Daniel, owner of Kingsville School of Music, is taking an unfortunate situation for small businesses like his and turning it into lessons for the now... and the future! James gave us a wonderful look into how he is helping students of all ages continue to learn music even in the toughest of times:
Tell us about your business and why you decided to open.
Kingsville School of Music is a home for musicians, from beginners to advanced, to develop their knowledge and skills in the art of music. We offer private, group and band lessons year-round and special music programs/courses (ie. our popular music introduction class: Stomp Clap!) throughout the year. Our students have ranged in age from 3 to 80 years young! We also sell some instruments, music books and other accessories.
The music school actually started in 2011 under the name Rebel Cowboy Music opened by John and Michele Law. After teaching there for over 4 years, I took over the business at the end of 2017. I’ve been playing music since I was young and graduated from a music program as well. Music has been a passion of mine since I was young. My hope is to continue spreading my love for music to enhance our great community and provide quality music education. I’m really proud of our team of music teachers as all are well-trained and experienced musicians in their respective fields. In August 2019 we officially rebranded to Kingsville School of Music and since then we have been working hard to provide the same great service under a new brand.
What was business like before COVID-19?
Awesome! 2020 was shaping up to be our best year yet. The town of Kingsville is filled with so many musical individuals just eager to learn! We were slowly reaching our goal of turning all of Kingsville into one giant musical group haha. We had an increase in students from all ages and skill levels. Our schedules were full and we had to start a waiting list for some lessons and looking at our options to make more time/room for the additional students. We were preparing for our upcoming recital and getting ready to plan summer programs/courses. Then, of course, this all had to suddenly stop. Our students are extremely important to us and retaining their music education is important. Which is why we decided to reopen the school with virtual music lessons only and have been so excited by how great it has been going so far.
What has business been like since the outbreak of COVID-19?
It has been difficult. Since our business is in-person lessons the music school has been closed since March Break. We took that week to figure out how we could survive this difficult time. We thought about riding it out and just waiting to reopen when things went back to normal, but of course, no one knows how long that might be. At Kingsville School of Music we always talk about how important consistent music education is which is why we only operate on weekly lessons, with some students even taking lessons twice a week.
Unfortunately, we have less than half our students in for virtual lessons which has been a challenge. All 6 teachers and myself have been teaching one-on-one lessons through Skype for the past few weeks. It’s great to see students answer our video calls with their instruments ready to learn. We’re quickly discovering the advantages of virtual music lessons right now. We are now able to record personalized material for students to play along with and it has been very helpful for students. It seems like with all of the extra time and resources our students are learning much faster than they were before.
How will this impact your business long term?
We are definitely expecting a slow growth, depending on when we can operate in school again. We also will have to put a hold on some of our future plans until we are financially stable again. However, we are trying to stay optimistic and think this opportunity to learn more about operating virtual music lessons will help us in the long run. If a teacher or student can’t make a scheduled lesson, we try to offer make-up lessons but this is often difficult to coordinate. Virtual can be an easier option for those in the future.
How can people help?
Anyone hoping to support the school can help by staying safe and staying home as much as possible. Likes, comments and reviews online are also a great help. They will help us grow our online presence and connect with anyone looking for music education. Also, sharing our information with a friend will help us during this period. We’re really grateful for the community support and the technology allowing us to connect and grow musicians in Kingsville.
To anyone that wants to learn something new consider using this time at home to learn an instrument! Playing music is a very powerful tool and it’s one of the tools I use to lift my mood and make myself happy. At a time like this I can’t recommend it enough. Kingsville School of Music is teaching guitar, drums, violin, piano, vocals, ukulele and much more online. Whether you’re a complete beginner or just want to brush up on some skills, email us to get paired up with the perfect music teacher to help you reach your goals in the comfort and safety of your own home!