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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! 


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