Walking around her new Music Compound MAN in East County, owner Jenny Townsend envisioned the flurry of activity taking place once the facility opens for lessons Aug. 1.
Townsend looked toward the 13 studios in the 4,500-square-foot facility and thought about a student and teacher practicing scales on the piano in one room. She imagined the Kidz Rock program in full swing in another studio. She even visualized kids hanging out in the new teen lounge before their lessons begin.
“When I walked in, it reminded me of the feeling I had when I walked into the Cattleman location,” Townsend said. “‘This is home.’”
The original Music Compound location, which is operating at capacity with 500 members, is located at 1751 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota. Townsend thought she would open another Music Compound in Manatee County, closer to the many of the clients she has in East County. The original Music Compound has a mission statement of providing "an environment to inspire, collaborate and educate children and adults in pursuit of their love of music."
The facility gets a test run before its opening to the general public with a summer camp that opened July 18.
Townsend had been hoping to open a new location in Manatee County since 2018, but due to the pandemic and other circumstances, she hadn’t been able to make her dream a reality until June 2 when she signed the lease for the new facility.
“I'm finally getting to those milestones I wanted to achieve a couple years ago,” she said. “I’m excited for my team as well, and I’m excited for all the new people who are joining us.”
Townsend chose Manatee County because she wanted a location close enough to the Sarasota location so she could manage both locations while also serving a new demographic and testing a franchise model.
Of Music Compound's 465 members, Townsend said about 100 of them live north of State Road 70. A portion of those members will attend Music Compound MAN, but East County members might want to remain at the Sarasota location because they like working with a specific teacher.
Townsend said her new facility at 4740 S.R. 64, Bradenton, in the Braden River Business Park just west of Interstate 75, was practically move-in ready. All she had to do to prepare the new location was add carpet and paint the walls.
“There’s no massive startup loan, there’s no massive startup expenses, there’s no build out,” she said. “With everything going on with construction right now, you can’t get supplies, you can’t find contractors, everything’s really expensive. Instead of taking a massive loan, we’re actually self-funding this expansion, which is super cool.”
In 2020, Townsend had considered a 10,000-square-foot space that would have required a significant build-out. Finances would have been tight.
“It would have been very, very risky,” Townsend said. “I was OK with the risk. I love taking risks. However, this, I feel, is where we’re supposed to be.”
The main differences between the two locations are the East County location will have a sound therapy room and a teen lounge and performances will be in a music lounge with a coffee shop feel.
Sound therapy uses sound, music and special instruments to provide a place for people to relax and meditate.
“I envision that being for people who are either on a spiritual or healing journey, those who are looking for a meditation class or moms who want to attend something while their kids are taking classes,” Townsend said.
The music lounge was designed to give students an opportunity to socialize, make friends and relax before going into their lessons. Instruments such as guitars will be available for students to grab at any time and start playing. There will be games, crafts and activities for students to do as well.
A portable stage will be put in place in the music lounge for performances.
The rooms at Music Compound MAN are much larger than those at the Sarasota location. The rooms also have windows to provide natural light.
Music Compound MAN will have a Kidz Rock program, which is a beginner band for 4 to 7 year olds to learn team building, confidence, stage presence and how to play various instruments and music techniques.