Triumph Music Academy
, a Grand Rapids-based music school, has grown from four teachers to eight and from 80 students to over 200. The school has also doubled its space in just two years. James Hughes, owner, says this is just the beginning.
Originally, Triumph only offered guitar lessons. "It was me and three guitar instructors," he says.
However, to paraphrase an oft-cited quote, "no plan survives the first contact with customers," Hughes and his team quickly learned that the need for quality music education went far beyond guitar lessons. "We got a lot of interest in our services, but our clients wanted more," he says. "We've added drums, voice, piano, ukulele, bass guitar, song writing, and composition."
Besides adding more variety, Hughes says they have learned something else. "People get excited about playing with other people. No one locally is helping people form bands."
With that insight, Triumph has also become a business incubator for several bands with a focus on not only helping them become better musicians, but also better business people. "We can help bridge the gap from taking lessons to playing real gigs," he says.
Hughes says one of the bands recently had their first show and learned how to do everything working musicians need to do.
"They first came up with own name (There Goes the Neighborhood), and then they were selling tickets, collecting money, putting on wrist bands -- everything. This is how music works."
Hughes says he has several bands working through the academy in multiple genres including punk, modern folk, rock, '80s hair metal, and covers.
"Our school is for people interested in learning music as a hobby or going all out and making music as a career," he says. "Everyone who teaches here is a full-time musician -- the real deal. We can tell them, 'this how you can make it happen.' This is how to fill out self-employment tax (forms). You do not learn that in music school."
To learn more about Triumph Music Academy, you can visit their site here
or their Facebook page here.
Source: James Hughes, Triumph Music Academy
Writer; John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor