In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, sadly a lot of small businesses were impacted. But there are some who relished this opportunity to improve and bounce back better than ever!
Meet Mya Whatson, the 19-year-old hitting all the right notes teaching locals and the disadvantaged how to strike a chord in her music teaching business- Treble Notes.
Tell us how it all started, Mya….
I grew up surrounded by music. My parents exposed me to a plethora of genres from a very young age- Classical, Rap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul and R&B. I began studying the piano and cello at five and eight years old. Learning piano in the Young Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of renowned pianist Angela Turner, and my cello tuition under esteemed cellists Mei-Lee Stocker and Ann Huang. In 2017, I was offered a position in the Summer Program of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, and the following year (2018), upon graduating high school, I was offered a scholarship to study a double degree in both piano and cello at the University of Queensland. I am now in my 2nd year of studying a Bachelor of Music majoring in Classical Piano at the Queensland Conservatorium.
What inspired Treble Notes?
When music wasn’t playing in our household, it’s because my sister and I were practicing! Growing up, music was the glue that held my family together- we all shared a passion in it, and it’s what brought us so much joy! There was never a silent moment, and it’s that passion that I have for music which inspires me to pass it on in the hopes that other people can experience the joy of it too. Knowing that I have a team of staff who love music just as much as I do, and that they’d also like to share their passion with their students as well, also inspires me to keep pursuing this business, and to continue improving it in any way I can.
What classes do you offer?
At Treble Notes, we offer private classes for Piano, Voice, Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion instruments. Our teachers specialise in the instruments they teach in order to give our students the most insightful education possible. We offer Early Childhood Classes- these are offered to children aged 2-5, and offer an insight into the world of music, providing a strong foundation for the children, before they decide which instrument they’d like to specialise in. We also offer a Special Education program- Treble Notes accommodates for students with disabilities and believes strongly in teaching the arts to anyone who’d like an education. We have staff who are experienced and qualified in teaching special needs students, and they couldn’t be happier to pass on their passion.
How has Covid-19 affected you?
I actually began the business right before the Covid-19 lockdown began, and it had a really big effect on our students and enquiries. Many people felt like they wouldn’t get a valuable education from online classes, and students lost interest, so everything came to a halt. Having all of the extra time gave me the opportunity to think about where my business stood and how I could improve the services the students were open to. I ended up writing a program tailored to the musical education of students over video call and offered our services to people in remote areas. I really thought about how I could further improve our Special Education program, and how we could prepare for a post-Covid Australia, so we could enter it in the most effective way possible.
How did you cope with the pandemic?
As I’m only 19 and still live with my parents, I’m lucky that I don’t rely on the business as income for rent or food, so I was really glad there’d be no financial difficulties. I knew that there would never be a ‘normal’ post-Covid. I thought of post-Covid as a new beginning, a new opportunity- a way to start something new and innovative. I used my time during the height of the pandemic to re-invent my business. Covid gave me the opportunity to really think about how I can improve the business as a whole- I used the time to plan, organise and introduce new programs, and improve the programs we already have. Our website has seen big changes and as a result, we now have more enquiries than ever! It’s been really exciting to see the difference a break can bring to results, and how we can further improve the studies of our students at Treble Notes.
What does the next 5 years look like for you?
For me personally, looking into the future requires me to look into the past to see how far I’ve come. A year ago, I would’ve never guessed I’d be running a music teaching business. I don’t want to limit myself by having specific goals- I just plan to work as hard and be as creative as I possibly can be, keep dreaming big and taking all the opportunities offered to me. I’m very grateful to be in the position I’m currently in, and I don’t want to take the privilege for granted. However, I do aim to introduce the industry of music teaching to more technologically-enhanced methods at some point, and I aim to keep giving back to the community which has given so much to me, in whichever ways possible.
About the author
Kelly Boag has loved the written word ever since she was a child reading Enid Blyton. This love inspired her to study a Bachelor of Creative Writing with a Minor in Communications at University of the Sunshine Coast in 2010 after finishing High School. Since then she has worked as a freelance writer, as well as publishing on her own site https://kellyboag.pb.online/. Aside from writing, Kelly also enjoys attending events, baking, the ocean and collecting indoor plants.