Connie Cooper is the owner of Ballantyne School of Music. Find more information about the school at www.BallantyneMusic.rocks, or call 980-819-6998.
What inspired you to join Ballantyne School of Music?
I came into the business as the parent of guitar student, when it was under its former ownership. I became their “acting business manager” for a period of time. Within a year, there was an opportunity for me to invest in a Ballantyne “branch” of this business, which I ultimately purchased (May 2013) and rebranded as Ballantyne School of Music. I have a degree in business and a background in music, so this was the perfect marriage.
Tell us a little about the school.
Our core business is private music instruction in piano, guitar/bass, drums, vocals and, most recently, violin and brass. … We have played at venues such as Tremont Music Hall, The Chop Shop and Visulite Theatre. Our Spring Jam performance, which will feature eight student bands, will be on April 24 at Amos’ Southend.
How has the school evolved?
Our focus in the past had been on teaching students ages 8 to adult, but we have had a growing interest in music instruction for children ages 3 to 7 the past several years. In January 2015, we became the Carolina’s first and only authorized Yamaha Music School, which specializes in quality instruction for that age group. The beautiful thing about Yamaha Music Education is it captures the interest of young students when their listening skills are strongest and teaches them music the same way we learned our native language. Our classes have more than tripled in size in the first year.
What are your goals for the school?
We are focused on developing future musicians – especially songwriters – and are thrilled that we can now offer RealJams Academy Summer Camps here in Charlotte. These camps were developed by our friends at The Real School of Music in Burlington, Massachusetts, and give students the opportunity to write and record original music and create a professional music video. We piloted that program in Charlotte last summer, and our music videos are in the RealJams Top 10 most viewed videos on YouTube. We also performed at the Double Door Inn, which was a true thrill. Our goal now is to help every student find their own voice, regardless of the instrument they play. We’re bringing originality back.