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Entrepreneur of the Month: Barrie Music School

Entrepreneur of the Month: Barrie Music School

  Entrepreneur of the Month: Barrie Music School

Each month we feature a new business, start-up or Entrepreneur in Barrie to learn about the challenges and rewards of stepping out on their own. For February’s edition we met with Nate, Kene and Rob of Barrie Music School.


How Barrie Music Studio Started

Barrie Music Studio is a studio run by three partners, Kene Hyatt, Nate Douglas and Rob Drake. They came together more by luck than it than was planned. Their studio offers a broad spectrum of musical instruments they can teach. Guitars (bass, acoustic and electric), drums, piano, cello, violin and even help in vocal training. Some of their skill is from the practical side as they are all accomplished published musicians, so they can do more than teach music. For us at BU, that is an excellent skill.

Rob had a music school R&B School of Music previously, and Nate was an employee for Rob. They then moved to Music Pro where they met Keene. Music Pro closed, and so the three of them decided that they would open their own studio. When they moved, they took a lot of their existing clients with them. As they say, the rest is history.

They do owe a lot of this to their secret weapon though, Patty, who is the receptionist, as we know in many companies it is the most important position! She secured the students from Music Pro, ensuring when they opened BMS, they already had students.


With such a small window between Music Pro closing and the need to open a new studio within weeks proved to be the hardest obstacle to starting up. They were lucky and found the office they are in now with all the rooms in place, and no construction was required. Their second challenge was they needed to add sound suppression as they were fairly loud for the neighbours. Rob also needed to dampen down the drums and had to change to synthetic drums.

At this time, they have no intention of expanding as their focus was getting the studio up and running. It seems Kene has been thinking about this, though, so we look forward to hearing some of his ideas. Rob is the business and money man who has experience from his last school and pays all the bills. Nate is the social media guru. Partnerships can be difficult because each person if different, but these three are very comfortable with each other. If nothing else the interview has maybe sparked a conversation about the future of their business.

Introducing Kene, Rob and Nate

Kene, who is influenced by Jazz, teaches guitar, drums, and do we see a trombone in the picture. Kene originally from Pennsylvania. He studied at the York University in Toronto and excelled in Jazz bass. A past winner of the ‘Bass Player of the Year’ award at the Central Ontario Bluegrass Awards. In his professional career, he has performed with Emory Lester and other bluegrass artists.

Rob is a rocker who is influenced by Canadian rock bands such as Sloan. He is a member of the group Zeus who have recorded three albums. Rob has the cool room from our perspective as it is full of drums. I am sure many a kid young and old would love to be set free in his office.

Entrepreneur of the Month: Barrie Music School

Nate, who’s favourite band is Radiohead, teaches guitar, their old stuff like Creep would be easy, but later tunes would be interesting to try and explain to a student. Nate has released two albums and has toured North America, now that he is a dad he tours a lot less and mostly performs locally around Simcoe.

Entrepreneur Advice

The advantage of going to Barrie Music Studio is that you get advice from artists that have played professionally. They are always there to advise students who have progressed onto playing in bands. For the younger student who starts as young as five, this type of lesson is priceless for the up and coming stars of tomorrow.

Their advice to future entrepreneurs is very sound and one we agree with, and especially when you are teaching. Be kind and be patient, encourage even when you feel frustrated with the student is not getting the point. Not only do we think that is sound business advice but sound life advice.


Hear the full podcast interview version of Entrepreneur of the Month: Barrie Music School right here! 


Find out more about Barrie Music School on their website and through their social media channels!

And if you’re a Barrie based start-up, new business or Entrepreneur who has been active for 3 years or less, we want to hear from you! We might tell your story in next month’s feature! 


Attention All Barrie Entrepreneurs

What We Are Looking For?

We are going to be featuring an Entrepreneur every month to talk to them about their experiences.  Therefore we are looking for new businesses that have been in business in Barrie for less than 3 years.  We need someone who can share their knowledge, good or bad and give other entrepreneurs some inspiration.  We know it is not all “milk and honey” but it can be worthwhile.  For this article, we are not trying ageist but we would prefer to talk to people under the age of 40, not set in stone as long as there is a good story.  If you feel you are in in this category contact us on [email protected]

We will come to your business and do a video interview with you and publish your experiences.  Hopefully, we get a good story and you get some free publicity!

Entrepreneur Challenges

Here at Barrie Uncovered, we understand the challenges that new entrepreneurs face every day in their quest to build a business.  We launched on the 15th of January 2019, but we worked on it for a year before we could launch.  We have found getting finance is near impossible, well in our case it was impossible.  All of our suppliers and “partners” want money upfront before they do anything.  Also, there are always unforeseen issues and problems, it never goes as smoothly as you would like!

So we understand the hardships and sacrifices new business owners have to make.  A lot of people see successful businesses that have been established for years and think “look at them making loads of money”.  This rarely happens and not in the first three years.  A lot of businesses make a living but not a lot more.  They have the stress of paying wages and taxes while trying to maintain enough to feed and clothe their own family.

Entrepreneur Rewards

This is not a sob story as we love what we are doing and you can’t buy getting up in the morning looking forward to going to work.  There are benefits for those who chose this route and not all monetary.  Freedom to make decisions, feel in control and if you succeed you know you did it your way.   For us, we love doing what we do and want to continue and improve our site and help the community of Barrie in any small way we can.  What we found helps is to surround yourself with good people.  Barrie Uncovered started as one person’s idea, but it took a team to get us to where we are now.

Resources for Barrie Businesses

It helps to talk to as many different entrepreneurs as you can.  Go to the likes of the Barrie Chamber of Commerce to meet fellow business owners.  Try to find a BNI network your business fits into.  Also, Barrie has another great resource called The Sandbox downtown.  So you never have to go it alone, we are lucky Barrie is a forward-thinking city, so use the available resources.

It is the entrepreneurs of these new companies that ultimately have a big impact on the future economy of Barrie.  We want to support and help in any small way we can.

January Entrepreneur of the Month

We did our first edition of the Entrepreneur of the Month in January and we picked a very positive person to start with.  We sat down with Krystal Rietkoetter the owner of Ceremony Bridal Studio at 178 Bayfield St, Barrie.  Krystal is fairly new to Barrie and decided we needed a new style of Bridal Studio.  We found her a very enthusiastic owner who is very passionate about what she does.  She identified a gap in the market away from what we would describe as conventional wedding dresses.  Ceremony Bridal provides a modern look, Krystal looks all around the globe to find the right look.  We loved it when she described her studio as petite.  They work with one bride at a time, giving them their undivided attention.  Krystal is a very good example of someone who is service focused.  She makes the future bride feel like she is special.  Click on the video for the full interview:

If you think you can be the next Entrepreneur of the Month get in contact with us at [email protected] with “Entrepreneur” as the subject line.