Mr C’s Music – 2017 New Business of the Year Award Finalist
An interview with Gabe Chowanetz – owner-operator
Why did you get involved in/ start your business?
After completing a music degree in Melbourne, I decided to move back to Euroa with the idea of running a small music tuition business to provide guitar and keyboard lessons within the North East region. I enrolled in the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) and completed a Certificate in Small Business, which was really helpful with the administrative side of my business. Over the past year, I have established a solid base of students and am now teaching out of Nagambie Primary School, Euroa Primary School, Peranbin Primary College, Notre Dame College and a small studio in Shepparton, Earth Child Music, while also offering private tuition.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your business/job?
I find it’s the relationship that I’ve developed with each student and watching them progress on and off the instrument that’s so rewarding. Having a good relationship and communication with the parents also makes a big difference. I enjoy the flexibility of choosing the hours I work and being my own boss. There is a lot of variety in the job – travelling to the different towns and teaching at both primary and secondary levels as well as adults. Passing on my knowledge and love of music is also very rewarding.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Keeping up enthusiasm for music in the community – kids have so many choices with after school activities that there may not be time for music lessons or regular practice. Looking after my students and making sure they are enjoying their lessons, progressing on their instrument and wanting to go further is an ongoing challenge for me as a teacher.
What opportunities would help you to grow your business?
Most of my opportunities so far, especially with the work in the schools, have come from personally approaching the principals or by recommendation from one of my contacts in the local music industry. Social networking has also been part of promoting my business and it has been encouraging to get a positive response to what I’m doing. I would like to further my knowledge of teaching music with some professional development. Plans for the future? I would like those students interested in going further with their music to work towards performing publicly, both at school and for the wider community. I am keen to hold a concert at the end of the year. I also have some ideas for a holiday music program and plan to get this up and running next year.
FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC: Gabe Chowanetz owner-operator of Mr C’s Music (centre) with four of his students from left to right Dylan Taylor, Anna Rowlands, Regan Taylor and Harry Palmer.