Business Matters: Bach to Rock Music School
Learning music just got a lot more fun. Bach to Rock music school in Plymouth opened last month. So far the school, located at 4345 Nathan Ln N., has about a dozen instructors and 50 students. The school teaches guitar, drums, vocals and orchestral instruments. But it also teaches many others, including the mandolin, banjo and ukulele. There’s even the school’s “Beat Refinery,” which teaches student how to be a DJ.
“We’re still missing cello,” said Jake Shoulak, owner of Bach to Rock. “The way we’ve been saying it is we’ll teach anything that has a student and a teacher for.”
Eight-year-old Madeline Harren is one of the students. She’s learning how to play the guitar with instructor Eric Bell.
“They help you realize how much you do and don’t know,” said Bell about teaching kids. Bell has been an instructor for more than 12 years.
“It’s really rewarding to show up at what I would typically call work. But it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like I’m getting to teach guitar and teach something that I love to someone else that loves it.”
“A Dream Come True”
Jack Shoulak says he always had the entrepreneurial spirit. He also had a music background. Shoulak previously ran a recording studio. But he wasn’t quite sure how to put both together. That’s when his mother had a suggestion.
“My mom said ‘have you ever looked into a music franchise of anything?’ I started thinking. I didn’t really imagine a music lesson place as a franchise existed.”
It turns out there wasn’t a Bach to Rock music franchise in Minnesota. The Plymouth location became the first. The company has a total of 36 schools around the country. Shoulak runs the business with his mother, Judy, who retired from her role as executive vice president and president of Buffalo Wild Wings’ North America operations.
“It really was a dream come true,” said Shoulak.
Shoulak credits his guitar-playing dad for getting into music.
“So at night when I went to bed, he’d go down into the basement and play guitar, and I could hear his guitar playing through the vents. I fell asleep listening to my dad play.”
He has other influences too. Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers are to name a few.
“Those are people I did and still try to emulate,” he said.
Learning Takes Patience
Bach to Rock has students of all ages and abilities, from as young as 2 years old to a violin student in his 50s. Instructors say learning an instrument takes patience.
“We say stick with it a month. On most instruments, just give it four lessons at least,” Shoulak said. “If all it takes is time, then if you put in that time, you will get there.”