Someone asked me recently, when did I know that this was something I always wanted to do – this being own a music lesson studio and retail business. The answer is simple: I didn’t really, but now that Bella Musica is open and we’re off and running, I realize it is what I always wanted to do.
So, how did it start? Well, Bella Musica came out of a conversation I was having with my husband one day. I had just finished my master’s in vocal performance from Wright State University and was trying to decide what I wanted to pursue next. I had decided that performing would never be my main career – the demands of such a career just didn’t fit with our life-style. But, the great news is, I loved teaching more! I was slowly building a home-studio for piano and voice students while teaching as an adjunct for Stiver’s High School. So, my husband subtly pointed out that I was only one person and there were only so many “teaching” hours in a day.
True, I could make a decent living on my own, but I could also get more teachers involved and expand. I have an undergraduate degree in business management and worked for 7 years as a property manager for two local real estate companies. So, managing (or coordinating might be a better word) other teachers, was definitely within the realm of my skill set. So, in August of 2012 I emailed a handful of my musical colleagues to see what their interest was. They were all interested and excited about the idea. Thus, Bella Musica was created.
We began as an online resource for students to find qualified teachers. Teachers were responsible for finding their own teaching locations. This presented several challenges, including teachers who lived in apartments from which they couldn’t teach and students who lived South of Dayton and didn’t want to travel North of Dayton for lessons (as Google associated Bella Musica with my physical address in Miamisburg). Also, Bella Musica in the on-line only format lacked the sense of intimate community that I wanted for our students.
Therefore, just 7 short months after Bella Musica started, we were looking for a central location. Boy, was this hard! So many options, with even more challenges. We wanted to remain in Miamisburg and near the Dayton Mall vicinity (as most of our students were coming from this area). Also, while there are other lesson studios in Dayton, there wasn’t any other business meeting the musical needs of the community in this specific location. After much searching, we found a place that was the perfect location, and bonus, the space was already divided into good-sized rooms. We took possession the last week of June and managed to do all the necessary improvements (and there were many) to open in late August of this year.
We are pleased to announce that we almost doubled our student enrollment our first semester in the new location. But, we still have several slots left to fill, and will continue to look for ways we can reach more people who have an interest in pursuing their musical dreams.