Welcome to Spark Music’s first ever blog post. I’m going to start out our blog post series by telling you how this all got started.
I had just started studying music at York University when I landed my first gig as a guitar teacher. I was excited to meet my first student and eager to do a good job. Little did I know, this was the beginning of a pretty awesome journey into teaching music.
Growing up, guitar lessons were a very important part of my life. Before learning how to play guitar; I struggled in school, had few friends, wasn’t good at sports and I was constantly anxious. At 10 years old, I took my first guitar lesson. My teacher was insanely cool and genuinely cared about teaching me not just how to play the guitar, but how to be a musician. I was instantly hooked on music.
I remember a teacher in school who would often speak about the importance of figuring out your passion and finding “your thing”. At that point in my life, I didn’t have a thing. My self identity was being the kid who got bad grades, was overweight and terrible at sports. Music gave me a new identity. It was the thing that I was good at. It was the thing that I was proud of. It was the thing that no one could take away from me. Music was my thing.
Knowing how much of an impact taking guitar lessons had on me, I wanted to have a similar impact on my own students. I enjoyed working with my students and had some great experiences teaching but was constantly frustrated with the policies of the school. They had a very structured mandatory program that was centred around grades and exams. I had students who would come in eager to play music and excited to learn their favourite songs but I had to tell them that instead they would be following a one size fits all learning program that teaches them songs they don’t want to learn and prepares them for exams that they don’t want to take.
Over the next few years I continued teaching at this school as well as several other schools who all had the same philosophy. Music lessons were centred around grades and exams as opposed to enjoyment, performance and creativity. I decided to take matters into my own hands and start my own company that delivers high quality lessons and makes them fun.
Starting my own company was a huge risk. I had no experience in business and very little money to get behind the idea. While the first few months were a struggle; things eventually started to take off and Spark Music is now on it’s way to becoming a leader in music education. Seeing how much of a positive impact we have had on our students inspires me to work hard everyday to continue to grow this business and change more lives. It would not have been possible without the amazing team of teachers I am so privileged to work and grow with.
I am looking forward to what the future holds for Spark Music and everyone involved.