We received a Facebook notification yesterday about one of our “memories” – a Facebook post you’d created on this day at some time in the past. The memory was from 2016 and was all about the time when Louise first started branching out and taking on staff.
Lots of our Students joined us after this date, and perhaps don’t know the story behind Sweet Symphony School of Music. By 2016, Louise was the only Teacher in Sweet Symphony. She’d set up home in our current building, Speculation House (we were originally based in what is now our Waiting Room!) and had around 60-70 Students. This was getting a bit much for just one Teacher to cope with, and so Louise began recruiting for an extra pair of hands. Several very competent Teachers applied for the position, but after meeting with all of the interviewees Louise couldn’t decide on just one applicant. So, she decided to take a bit of a risk and take on two new Teachers! It was the start of Sweet Symphony as you know it today. With the extra lesson availability that we could offer, our Student numbers quickly swelled and that year we topped the 100-Student mark for the first time.
There’s been so much gone on since those balmy days of 2016! We quickly added more Piano Teachers to our studio, and when enquiries began coming in for instruments other than Piano & Keyboard, Louise decided the time was right to try and realise her dream of building a multi-Teacher, multi-Instrument music Studio. Gradually, we took over the bottom floor of Speculation House and began offering Guitar and Ukulele Lessons, too. When the opportunity to lease the entire of Speculation House became available, Louise entered into negotiations and in March 2017 we took over the entire building!
Once we had the extra space, we brought on board Flute, Saxophone, Violin, Clarinet & Singing Lessons. Each day, the rooms are full of Students learning all kinds of instruments, and the building has become a busy hub of musical activity – which is fantastic to see and hear!
There have been plenty of growing pains. In just three years, we’ve gone from being a solo-Piano Teacher to a 10-Teacher organisation with almost 300 Students each week. Running a building as well as managing several members of staff takes it toll, but Louise tries her very best to try and keep things running as seamlessly as possible. Her job description nowadays is almost unrecognisable from that of three years ago, but she loves what she does and always has the Students’ best interests at heart.
This got us thinking, how much has your life changed in the past three years? Have you changed school, moved house, got a different job? Perhaps you’re now married and/or have children and your life is completely different from a few years ago?! When we’re in the middle of change sometimes we don’t appreciate how life-changing something can be; it’s only when we look back and compare things that we realise how far we’ve come. There’s a very famous saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and we’re a very firm believer in that. So many times over the past few years, things have seemed about to come crashing down and unravel. But we’ve stuck in, worked really hard to steady the ship and each time we’ve come out the other side, stronger than before. These things are sent to try us, and if you can learn something from every negative situation then the next time you’ll be better-equipped to handle things and it won’t cause you as much stress.
Saturday Student Focus
Once again, it’s the time of the week to reveal our next Saturday Student! We always randomly choose a slip from the box to ensure it’s fair, but this week the first two slips we picked out didn’t have any names on! Don’t forget to put your names on your slips if you’re going to post one for us – otherwise we won’t know who we’re talking about! Anyway, the third slip DID have a name on, and so this week’s Saturday Student is…
Ben F. (Piano)
Ben has been with us for a long time now – almost 6 years, in fact! He really likes the fact that his Teacher is very enthusiastic in lessons, and his favourite piece to play is Waltz Mystique, from his upcoming Grade 4 Piano exam! Ben’s fun fact is that his rowing coach often comments on his great timing with his rowing, something he attributes to Ben being a keen Piano player. Excellent – we’re glad it’s helping you in other areas, too!
Ben is the latest entrant to our prize draw which will be taking place at the end of March, to win a whole month of tuition absolutely FREE! Well done Ben, and good luck for your Grade 4 exam which is coming up in April! If you’d like to be featured as our Saturday Student, don’t forget to fill in a slip the next time you’re in our Waiting Room (don’t forget to put your name on!) and pop it in the box. Then keep an eye out on our Facebook page each week when we reveal our weekly Student.
Want to read more about life as a Music School? Check out our other blog posts right here on our website.