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MC’s Fedex Contest Entry:
Florida budget cuts have drastically decreased, and in some circumstances eliminated, music programs in our public schools. This concerning trend is especially detrimental because music education has been proven to enhance and improve student performance in many other areas of their education and their lives. To alleviate this problem, the Music Compound (MC) provides music education to individuals of all ages, including all skill and interest levels. Our mission is to Inspire you, provide an opportunity to Collaborate with others while, all while enhancing your music Education. Our goal is to transform musical dreams into reality by offering a holistic and contemporary approach.
Tell us about your business. What inspired its launch? What do you offer? What makes your business stand out? How does it impact you, your community or the environment?
After observing the profound problems associated with cutting music education budgets in our schools and the number of educators losing their jobs, Sarasota businesswoman Jenny Alday Townsend decided to take action. She founded Music Compound in January 2016 and she started with just one teacher and four private studios. Faced with an overwhelming demand beyond the original capacity, just five months later Music Compound took over a 6,500-square-foot facility. This same facility today employs 30 people, contains 10 private studios, a 1,000-square-foot music lounge and a 3,000-square-foot state-of-the-art concert and event venue. In October of 2018, Music Compound launched a second location, which includes four teaching studios.
Music Compound provides access to a wide array of learning opportunities intended to not only build music skills, but also enhances confidence, communication and social interaction abilities. MC offers one-on-one private instrument lessons, group lessons, performance ensembles and workshops.
What sets Music Compound apart is our onsite Music Lounge and Performance Venue. Our Music Lounge allows members to explore instruments, collaborate with other individuals and enhance their music abilities before or after lesson. It’s similar to Starbucks, without the coffee. The performance venue provides a stage onsite for musicians to craft their stage presence, artistry development and private lesson experience. Upon completing years of market research across the country, it was clear that the other education facilities only offered a small lobby with limited seating and small teaching studios. Jenny wanted to offer a second home for musicians looking for inspiration, education, and to be part of a community.
Music Compound is a dream come true for Jenny and the music community. She designed the business plan in 2009 while attending college. In January 2015, after years of traveling, working in different sectors, and growing professionally, Jenny finally decided to “86” the corporate job, and her pay check, to pursue her dream job. Her dedication, drive, and passion for music and people has proved to be a successful formula. With 350 dedicated members, dreams are becoming reality on a daily basis at Music Compound. The most amazing and rewarding part of our job is to watch shy musician’s blossom into show-stopping performers with remarkable stage presence and confidence.
In 2017, Music Compound gave $12,500 back to the local community in form of fund raisers and donations. In 2018, it was nearly $20,000. Most of these funds are used to provide access to instruments and music education for underprivileged youths. Music Compound has partnered with local schools and non-profits by providing the gift of music. MC provides music education in two schools and also provides summer camp scholarships to foster children.
How would you use the Fed Ex grant money to make a significant impact on your business?
As Music Compound continues to grow, plans call for a third location to open in August 2019. The expectation is to exceed the success of the existing studio spaces. Funds would be used to facilitate this goal, specifically for marketing, construction buildout and new instruments. This grant would be key to Music Compound’s expansion and its ability to continue serving the needs of the community.