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16th Feb 2023
2hr 45mins

Episode 11 | Jack Thomas | Performer's Collective

Jack founded Performer's Collective to prepare learners in instrumental/vocal performance across various styles of music and dance.

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Djagmo: Welcome to the Knowledge Entrepreneurs Show, where we celebrate the innovators driving change in the education industry at Edison os. We've worked with over 500 knowledge entrepreneurs to turn their EC ideas into profitable businesses. In today's episode of the Knowledge Entrepreneur Show, we have Jack Thomas.

Djagmo: Jack Thomas is the founder of Performance Collective. The performance program at Performance Collective prepares learners in instrumental and vocal performance across Western contemporary rock, park, jazz, et cetera, Western classical and Indian classical forms of music. In dance, the school also prepares those who choose up here for music exams conducted by various international exam boards such as Rock School, London, Trinity College, London, associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and.

Djagmo: So Jack, uh, before I begin, first of all, uh, thank you very much, uh, for, uh, accepting the invitation to be your guest on this, uh, uh, little show that we're doing. It's a very, it's a show in it's very nascent stages we just started and, um, we are looking to, you know, distribute it as far and wide as we can.

Djagmo: And, um, as I was telling, you know, just before we started this off, I'd just like to reiterate just for the sake of a business that this podcast is, the purpose of this is to, uh, understand what it takes to run a knowledge entrepreneurship business. It's not about teaching, but it's, you know, how do you get your students?

Djagmo: How do you grow your business? How do you make a living out of it? Is it easy? What are the ups and downs? Uh, you know, uh, when we kind of talk about these things, people out there who are listening can probably realize if that is, um, you know, their strength or weakness. And it can probably, if it can help them decide, okay, they can give it a try or not.

Djagmo: Uh, I think that's the whole purpose of this podcast. And, uh, let's, with that being said, let's get started. Uh, Jack, here's my first question. It's a very open-ended personal question. Um, I just want to, this question is mainly to help you connect with the audience and, you know, even me, uh, to get to know more about you, um, about, you know, your journey so far.

Djagmo: Uh, and when you tell about how you run your business, it'll have so much more context, uh, when you answer this question. So, Jack, if you can walk us through, um, you know, you can go back as. As, uh, you know, as much as you want from your childhood, probably. How, how was your growing up and, um, what's your journey like?

Djagmo: How did you, um, come to this position where, you know, you're running Performance Collective, uh, which is a music academy?

Jack Thomas: Uh, thank you Jack Mohan and teach Edison for having me over. It's a pleasure and, uh, a pleasure, you know, to be here and to have been working with you. So it's been a wonderful experience so far.

Jack Thomas: Uh, music kind of happened to me in my teenage, before that I was mostly into sports and, you know, way back in school, I kind of, you know, from high school I was, so, I started playing when I was 13, 14, the guitar on my own. And I kinda knew that, you know, Music is what I wanted to do with my life, though there was, there wasn't a lot of clarity on what I would do, but I love playing music and, you know, compared to what I could see my colleagues who wanted to, I mean my, not colleagues, my batchmates who wanted to, you know, do NBA and, you know, I, and everybody was trying for I am and I was thinking, I'm gonna play music and how am I gonna make this work as a living for me?

Jack Thomas: So obviously at that age, you don't think too much. You just, at least, you know, at least I knew my direction at that point. But, uh, being, you know, doing things for myself was something that had been there quite early on, kind of in my family we had a lot of, you know, people who were essentially in different teachers, salaried, you know, and I had my one uncle who's a businessman, I always looked at him and kind of was enamored by him, you know, so I liked that idea of, you know, making something of your own.

Jack Thomas: So they kind of came together at some point in my life, you know, and, uh, so I post my school, I started, uh, both teaching home to home lessons. So I was studying as well, music more further, because still then, at that point it was mostly self-taught. And, you know, I had to get myself a good level of experience before even I thought what I would do.

Jack Thomas: But since I had already been playing quite a bit, I started the home to home teaching as a means to make some money while I. Myself studied further and I was studying at the Deli School of Music and I specialized in classical guitar playing there, though contemporary music was my, as such, my love. But I fell in love with classical music and continued playing both.

Jack Thomas: And so my first, uh, you know, kind of entering into this entrepreneurship was actually being self-employed, going house to house teaching. And so the first money I used to make from teaching was I think 150 rupees a class. This was 1999, probably.

Djagmo: Wow, okay.

Jack Thomas: Right. So that's, that's, and uh, subsequently I got a faculty position at Deli School of Music.

Jack Thomas: Okay. By the time I was 19 years old. And I started working freelance at, uh, quite a few private schools as well as my mainstay was of course Daily School of music. Right. Cause that's where I both studied and, and had become faculty at that point. Right. So for about five years, you know, I kind of bought the experience of going home to home, teaching, teaching with public schools.

Jack Thomas: So I didn't pick up a permanent position anywhere. I was, uh, you know, visiting faculty. So quite literally I was working seven hours. You know, and at that age you have the strength and the drive to be working 10 hour days, seven days a week. So I mean, now when I look back, it looks like what, you know, I couldn't possibly do half of that, but at that time it seemed like the national thing to do.

Jack Thomas: Right? So five, five years, you know, I was teaching around in the industry and I, you know, permanently had, why couldn't this be done better? Why can't this be done better? And, you know, me always picking, you know, conversations with management to, you know, change things, which incredibly never happened at that point.

Jack Thomas: And I thought, heck, you know, somewhere in 2003 I met a, another piano player, young piano player my age, who held similar beliefs and we happened to bump into each other at school music and we talking and said, you know, why, why don't we, we do things the way we want to do it, right? So that, that, that pretty much sparked so that, you know, we then started discussing it further.

Jack Thomas: Uh, we had to raise obviously, some amount of capital we had. Literally no knowledge base and running business. Maybe it was a good thing, maybe it was a bad thing. You know, the the good thing is that you don't, you, you don't let things fluster you easily. You know, you go in with full gusto, you know? Right.

Jack Thomas: So I, I borrowed at that point, which probably was a large amount of money, a lack and a half. And so did, uh, my partner at that point, and, uh, we rented a, you know, small shop in the, I mean, where the school is, it's all within a hundred meters in the market. We rented a shop and started, you know, teaching, but we kept our day jobs of course, because, cause finally the business needed working capital, you know, to, you know, continue growing.

Jack Thomas: And, uh, so in 2003, it was a partnership between two of us and, uh, the business, I mean, from the business perspective, it just exploded. Okay. While we, we had thought that, you know, of course, you know, we should be doing things differently. You know, this is not enough. We didn't realize that the market was gonna resonate with it so well.

Jack Thomas: Right. And we had opened this branch in dlf, uh, phase four in go.

Jack Thomas: In any case, I was outside of budget to be able to open. Or, you know, rent a premise at that point. And we knew was a good, good place where, you know, I, I think similar to Whitefield in Bangalore, where, you know, the ne the new generation were shifting in and, you know Yeah. The baby boom was happening. So it kind of hit hit.

Jack Thomas: And we, that first four years was a rapid amount of growth. I mean Okay. And, and I think we were not ready for it. We were nowhere ready for, because, because little did, we realized that, you know, it's like a baby. Once it starts growing, it needs even more money, and it's even more time and it needs even more money.

Jack Thomas: And it's even more time, you know, it's just, it's, it's just like catching the tigers tail, you know? Right. So we, we didn't have, but I mean, of course that five years of, you know, working for others and kind of meant that, at least from an academic perspective, we kind of had a good amount of experience, you know, to know what needs to be there and what, but yes, it, it, it, it was quite a learning experience those first five years.

Jack Thomas: We went from a small room to, uh, five, you know, classroom building two or 12 classroom building to three branches all within a period of four years.

Djagmo: Wow. Okay. Quite a growth that Jack, Jack, uh, a lot of, uh, interesting things, but I'd like to, you know, start off with, um, you were just 19 when you were offered a faculty position at School of Music.

Djagmo: Yes, that's correct. Isn't that a little young? I mean, uh, you were still studying, but then, you know, you had, uh, but you were visiting faculty, not a permanent,

Jack Thomas: uh, no. In the sense that Delhi School of Music also had, you could pick them number. In fact, it was hard to get a day there. Let me, let me be more honest.

Jack Thomas: Okay. So it's not that, uh, so the structure was that you kind of decided, I mean, based on what they offered. Okay. You could go in a certain number of days mm-hmm. Which you had to then reserve for then. Okay. Okay. So I was, I was doing, uh, two days there. Okay. Which my teacher recommended me for. Okay. So that soon grew to three days and, you know.

Jack Thomas: Got

Djagmo: it. Is this like a, is this a government organization, the Delhi School of Music?

Jack Thomas: Uh, no, it's, it's, it happens to be, it's a private trust, which was set up by the German ambassador and uh Oh wow. Okay. Uh, Rajiv Gandhi's mother at that point. Got it. So one of their houses in China, Paris was, you know, given for this project, which is in the smack, in the middle of the diplomatic enclave, a huge compound.

Jack Thomas: Got it. So that house was converted into what you know, as Delhi. So it's not a private entity. Okay. But it's a private trust and it's Delhi's oldest music school. I think they've crossed 50 years now.

Djagmo: Got it. Wow. Uh, and, uh, Jack, uh, so you, after your, uh, 10th standard, you know, in India, 10th standard is a very important milestone.

Djagmo: And then, you know, there are two years of, uh, your pre university, your 11th and 12th. Yes. Yes. So what was your 11th and 12th like? What was the conversation at home like? I mean, what, uh, it was just a smooth thing. Uh, there was not a problem about you, uh, focusing on music full-time and stuff.

Jack Thomas: Uh, though my parents supported my music.

Jack Thomas: My dad bought me a guitar and an electric guitar. Mm-hmm. But, you know, they did, they did not believe that music would make, you know, uh, enough money to put, you know, bread and butter on the table. Right. So when I decided after 12th not to go through with it, yes, they were intensely worried. Okay. But like I said, when I later decided to, you know, go into it, my dad only lend me the money too

Djagmo: that you spoke about.

Jack Thomas: Yes, yes. But, uh, were they worried? Yes, yes. They, they were worried as hell and, uh, you know, great. But, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't really in my 12th I had done commerce with maths, which was pretty much the only choice in our, there were two choices. Either you took medical and Right. Oh, in science, either you took medical or non-medical and in commerce you took with math or without math.

Jack Thomas: So I kind took with maths.

Djagmo: Okay. And after.

Jack Thomas: School? Yes. Yes. I worked for a short time as a salesman at, uh, for Citibank and Nike and interim period of year earning some money. And then after your 12th, that money I, yes. Immediately after my 12th.

Djagmo: Oh, okay. What was the idea behind, uh, taking up a job after your 12th?

Djagmo: Uh, Jack,

Jack Thomas: it was to kinda, uh, you know, since I, I had intended not to go to a regular college. I wanted to, you know, get some money together before I, you know, went and asked my father to, you know, support me through it. So I wanted to show him that I am in this

Djagmo: some commitment from your side to kind of, you know, it's like paying a small amount of down payment to buy these days, you know?

Djagmo: Yes. Uh, yes. Got it, got it. Interesting. Yes.

Jack Thomas: That I'm dead serious

Djagmo: about this, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. To show that commitment from your side Yeah. That you're dead serious about. Yes. Great. And, uh, you know, another thing, uh, that was, uh, striking me through the story that you were telling is that yours didn't come across like a typical musician story because what, okay.

Djagmo: I mean, I may be wrong, but, you know, from whatever we've seen in popular culture, a musician's journey is something like, you know, they try to, uh, you know, be in a band when they're studying and then, you know, uh, well you, you must have seen the movie Rock On. I

Jack Thomas: didn't see the movie, but some of my friends did play in it.

Djagmo: Oh, ok. Ok, ok, got it. So, uh, I was, you know, kinda imagining Okay, you know, uh, you would've probably, you know, had a band and you might have tried your luck at becoming a musician, like release music, produce and stuff like that. And then you would've, but then, um, uh, in your story, right, there seems to be this, uh, weird clarity.

Djagmo: I'm sorry, I'm saying it's weird, but, you know, there is a very, uh, straight line sort of a journey that you told, you know, you finished and then you worked as a faculty. Um, you were also very much in tune with the practical aspect of life while you were pursuing music. Right? So, uh, how did it come about? I mean, uh, did you, uh, did you undergo something and you decided No, no, you know, what practically, uh, looking at it is very important, or were you not inclined towards, uh, producing mu uh, music?

Djagmo: Were you clear about you just

Jack Thomas: wanting to touch? I, I, you know, in school I had been part of bands playing contemporary music and, uh, come, I mean, through this probably I oversimplified it. I didn't speak about, you know, so I enjoyed playing music. I enjoyed playing music with others also periodically. And during my time with Deli School of Music, I kind of completely, you know, went from being a hardcore rock music to a music, you know?

Jack Thomas: So I fell in love with music and guitar, per se. It's like a piano. Okay. Right. So, so in my experiences with, you know, performing, I kind of realized that I, I wasn't particularly, it didn't bring me great joy to be performing for people. Okay. Interesting. To be honest. Right. Okay. So for, for me, the, for playing for myself and being able to be with music was great.

Jack Thomas: Right. But the, it didn't get me the kind of enjoyment that I saw in most other musicians. Right. I enjoyed teaching. Yes. Right. So that's how I kind of, you know, went, because I knew that I didn't want to be in a nine to five where the only reason I'm working is to get a paycheck at the end of the day.

Jack Thomas: Cause I knew that this is something I would fail at doing properly. Right. Cause I, you know, I tried and realized that if my heart wasn't in it, I never gave it it's due. You know? Right. Whatever. I made up excuses for myself to not do a great job at it. Right. So, you know, and with classic music per se, it didn't have an audience in Delhi.

Jack Thomas: Mm-hmm. Cause I was used to international classic guitarist playing here for you pound tickets and here, you know, sponsored by x z line, empty. Right, right, right. So, you know, looking at, through this process of looking at, I, I did performances as well. I did. Play solo. A it didn't give me that kind of joy.

Jack Thomas: And when I looked at the flip side of, you know, how artists were making money mm-hmm. It was finally not playing the kind of music they like to play. Right. Right. Because you're going to do a corporate gig, you're going to do a wedding gig, or you're going to do, right. So when I measured all of that together, I was very happy teaching.

Jack Thomas: I like, you know, that, you know, the joy it gave me, being able to teach Right. And I'm still in touch with music and I'm playing and performing wasn't, you know, it didn't seem to me after a while, like a great, something that I really, you know, got it, got it. Move forward to as, as a day-to-day lifestyle, you know, it just didn't.

Jack Thomas: Got it. We finally had to compromise on the kinda music I played as well. It just didn't make any sense of,

Djagmo: it didn't make any sense. Yeah. Might as well, you know, go do anything else. Right. Yeah. Great. Uh, so, uh, Jack also, was there a point, you know, when you had to sit down and, you know, or was it like, you know, did you always know that, uh, you were not interested in, uh, performing for others?

Djagmo: Or did you give it a try and then realize through experience?

Jack Thomas: It's, I, I, I gave it a try and realized it through experience. Got it. I, I did play quite, quite a few shows. Got it. In different, different capacities.

Djagmo: Got it. Jack, just, you know, just for my, uh, you know, outta curiosity, um, let's say, I mean, uh, We, uh, Indians.

Djagmo: For us performance means, at least for me, I would like to talk on behalf of myself. I see, you know, probably some singers, some movie singers that I have exposure to and then, you know, that I'm exposed to. And then, you know, some, uh, cricketers cricket is something that I see an India is a cricket watching nation in terms of volume.

Djagmo: And then, you know, the, uh, sports people involved in this sport and the musicians involved. I've always, you know, heard them when they, when they talk right, uh, in interviews or beat anything. They say that the biggest hire, the biggest kick that they get is from the applause or the response that they get from the audience.

Djagmo: Um, uh, you know, and that's the core reason why they are in that domain, and that's the reason they perform, play a sport. That's what keeps them motivated. Uh, now when I, um, you know, when I'm listening to you, it's very interesting that you don't feel that way and you feel otherwise. I would like to, you know, just, uh, get into that thought process.

Djagmo: Like what exactly, uh, what is different here? Could you just walk us through that thing? Uh, if at all, you know, you realized it in that detail.

Jack Thomas: Yes, because I realized that the people I played with there was, there was a very big difference between how I felt. You know? Right. You know, cause even in the teaching field, I was with people who were also teaching and also, you know, doing shows.

Jack Thomas: Right. I somehow it didn't gimme that high and I, I know exactly what you mean. Right, right. And so I realized that the fun, the fundamental difference was that for him, he's playing jazz. That's what he's most interested in. But for him, even going and playing something else. Right, right. Gave him a high Right.

Jack Thomas: For me, it, it wasn't that, you know, it didn't give me that high, to be honest. Have the audience. I, I mean, sorry to say it somehow, I, it ended up with, for me, realizing that for me, the joy with music wasn't necessarily associated with the outside person Cause or the audience at all. Yes. Interesting.

Djagmo: No, no, no.

Djagmo: I mean, you don't, no, it's not about why. It's just to understand that, you know, there are people like this also because it's easy to relate. And then, you know, today in the world of social media, the validation comes through likes and comments and engagement and stuff like that. Right. And, uh, when there is a person who can easily have access to all those things, but then chooses otherwise.

Djagmo: I was just a little curious as to, you know, what exactly how your mind was working and, uh,

Jack Thomas: To be honest, the access is not that easy. You know, it's, it's a tough life being a musician, you, I mean, a performing musician, right? You, you get, you know, a new set of things to learn that you may or may not want to learn.

Jack Thomas: You have to figure out how to practice, get everybody together, spend nights practicing, then go through the rigmarole of going for the show, waiting around, doing the show, finishing at midnight, coming back, and then some guy having to run behind the event guy for the money to come, you know, and Right. So, so, and, and it's a very un, I mean, in season you get, you know, 20 shows and then suddenly you don't have any for a while.

Jack Thomas: Right. So, you know, so that it, it is, it's a very hard life in its own way, you know? It's, cause, you know, for us as, as biz, you know, I mean, and that's what we, musicians are finally performing. We are showbiz. Right, right, right. At the end of the day. So you'll not see any of that, you know, and, and, correct. If I was a performing musician, you, I would not have said any of this.

Jack Thomas: Probably, you know, other than maybe passing references to it. But reality is that,

Djagmo: Got it. Uh, Jack. So, uh, Jack, uh, you know, uh, so what is your, uh, thing? Okay. You teach right? You teach, you said that, you know, you also enjoy teaching and you know, it, it also meets your financial requirements, uh, for that is needed for a living.

Djagmo: Um, what about, how do you quench your, uh, thirst for, let's say your, you are passionate about music, that's why you're here. So what is it that you do, uh, that also gets, uh, sorted via teaching? Or is there anything you sit by yourself and you play on a weekly basis, or how does that go? I

Jack Thomas: sit by, I, I sit by myself and play as often as I can.

Jack Thomas: Okay. The second high I get is from actually seeing, uh, you know, the second high I get is from actually seeing, I mean, because now I've been teaching for 25 years, you know? Right. Seeing somebody through and seeing them grow from, you know, join you and see them grow all the way to become being a good, you know, music player that gives me a high as well.

Djagmo: Got it. Got it, Jack. Great. Um, so, uh, You've been teaching, uh, from what I, you know, what information I got from your, uh, internet presence. Uh, you've been teaching now for about 17 years, am I correct? Uh,

Jack Thomas: roundabout, uh, I personally have been teaching for 25 years

Djagmo: now. 25 years. Okay. Performance Collective is about 17 years old.

Jack Thomas: Performance Collective is now 20. You must have seen that 17 couple of years back. Probably posted maybe the Performance Collective was set up in 2003. Got it.

Djagmo: Got it. Okay. Uh, and this is where, you know, you had a co-founder with you and then you started off, uh, at a small shop. Yes,

Jack Thomas: yes. Got it. Um, it was this partnership initially in 2005.

Jack Thomas: Uh, we parted ways and I, I mean, by then we had made it a private limited company as well. Mm-hmm. So in two, and we had three branches. So by 2005, six, I mean, sorry, 2008. Mm-hmm. You know, we had, uh, serious differences on how to grow or how to take what we did forward. Right. You know, he, he was very, uh, impressed and convinced about the franchisee method of growth.

Jack Thomas: Mm. And I, I was not at all keen. Okay. And it, it became a, you know, it became big enough that we had to. We split ways. So I, yeah, so I bought, yeah, so I bought out the remaining shares and, uh, gave one of the branches in the part of the settlement process. Okay. So at that point, uh, in 2008, it was valued at about one cr the business at that point.

Jack Thomas: I mean, our, our CAS did the valuation at that point and mm-hmm. Uh, so one branch and, uh, whatever, you know, we had to, I had to pay to Got it. Basically

Djagmo: spliting that percentage.

Jack Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. Yes. So that, and then we had two branches for the longest time, and, uh, one of them shut down during Covid, which is the one we had rented in South Delhi.

Jack Thomas: Okay. So now we work out of our own, uh, premises, which we in, I mean, where we started, it's within hundred meters of there. So that's a building we have of our own four floors, 8,000 square feet, you know, 15 classrooms we have, and we teach all Western, contemporary and Western, you know, uh, classic music.

Djagmo: Amazing. Um, Jack, usually, you know, this question about, you know, did you have a co-founder and are they still traveling with you on this journey? All these, all these things come, uh, you know, towards the end of the thing. But then, you know, here, given that it's come up now, I'd like to like, you know, uh, ask a few questions surrounding this because today, uh, you know, when entrepreneurs start a business, it is about having co-founders also.

Djagmo: Not many of them start off solo. And then, you know, everything solo partnership has its own pros and cons, and having partners and co-founders has its own pros and cons. And, uh, you started performance Collective in, uh, 2000, uh, one, three.

Jack Thomas: 3,

Djagmo: 3, 2. Okay. 2003. And then you parted ways in, uh, 2002 eight. Two eight.

Djagmo: That was like for five years you ran it together, right? Yes. Um, uh, 2008 is when you parted ways, but still, you know, you managed to run the show together for five years during which you said, you know, you saw some rapid growth. And, uh, you also said that you started off as a small shop that is, uh, near the Delhi School of Music itself.

Djagmo: Am I correct?

Jack Thomas: Uh, no, no, this is in Delhi. School of Music is in Delhi.

Djagmo: Yes. Yeah. Got it. Okay. This is this. Okay, got it. So now when you say small shop, what was the business model? Were you going to teach or were you selling musical instruments?

Jack Thomas: No, no, we were just teaching it. It has always been purely at school.

Jack Thomas: Yes.

Djagmo: Okay. And when you started off right with the small shop, whatever you're talking about, how many students could it accommodate?

Jack Thomas: Could accommodate. We, we just could manage it. It was like a, if you've seen some of these shops that have two levels, it's like a half a floor extra. So we kinda crammed in one classroom there and like a meine floor. So we crammed one classroom there and one below, and the front four feet was like our reception, so where one person could sit.

Jack Thomas: Right. So, so there were two classrooms. So effectively we, I mean with two teachers, you know, the max you could go is 40, 50, 40, 50 students. Not at the same time, of course. Because see, in instrumental training, yeah, we're not seeing them every day. We're seeing them once or twice a week for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on,

Djagmo: okay.

Djagmo: Okay. And it was one-to-one classes?

Jack Thomas: One-to-one. At that point we had one-to-one and group lessons as well.

Djagmo: Okay, got it. And, uh, this partner of yours, he was a pianist, right? Yes. Okay. And you taught and you taught both, uh, guitar and, uh, piano. Guitar

Jack Thomas: and piano.

Djagmo: Yes. Okay. Now, uh, I think for guitar classes, students would bring their own guitars, uh, for piano also, students would bring

Jack Thomas: their own piano.

Jack Thomas: We, no, we would have pianos and keyboards at the campus. Okay. We had guitars as well, but the reason why we asked students to get their guitars is more to do with making sure that they're in tune. And, you know, each guitar has a slightly different feel. Right. So all of those, and we also wanted to make sure that they, they have an instrument at home.

Jack Thomas: Got it. You know, because sometimes people try to learn things without having an instrument and it never reaches anywhere, you know?

Jack Thomas: Oh my

Djagmo: God. Okay. I can't,

Jack Thomas: unbelievable. I, I, I, I still get this question, by the way. You know what? We'll, we'll invest in the instrument Okay. Once we see whether the child is interested or not, and a month or two, and I'm like, that's never going to happen. Unfortunately,

Djagmo: this is up. Seriously. I mean, unbelievable.

Djagmo: Okay. Oh my God. Okay. Okay, great. Um, okay. I lost all my train of thought because of this.

Djagmo: People learning music or guitar without having a guitar, uh, has to be some of the most, uh, ok. Interesting things that I've come across of it. Ok. Uh, so Jack, um, when you, uh, started off this, um, you know, what was your, uh, student acquisition strategy? I mean, did you print pamphlets or was it word

Jack Thomas: of mouth?

Jack Thomas: We, we, we used to print pamphlets and put it in the morning papers. So we used to go at 3:00 AM where the paper distributions happen and get you pamphlets designed every and put it. But, uh, going ahead gradually, we also soon realized that, you know, The word of mark plays a huge, huge impact into our growth.

Jack Thomas: Right, right. Because we also realized that was a new place, new people are coming. So at that point it was still, you know, pamphlets kind of did a way of reaching out to people, letting them know you're there. Right. But, uh, but always through the years I've noticed that the word of mouth is very, very, is a very strong contributor to our growth.

Jack Thomas: So invariably people who come, who come in through even advertisements or, you know, always have some point of reference, they know somebody who's advised them as well, that that's the place to go. Right.

Djagmo: Got it. Um, and uh, Jack, a few questions on this. Right. First of all, I wanna like understand you said, you know, you started off as a rock person and then you moved on to traditional, uh, G guitar or classical GI guitar, I'm sorry, Western Classic.

Djagmo: Western Classical. Western. Western, classic. Western, Western Classical. And then, uh, you know, uh, you also had, um, your suggestions, uh, or you know, the changes that you wanted Delhi School of Music to kind of implement. But then, you know, that also led to you starting up with your partner so that you could have your ideas implemented and run it the way you want.

Djagmo: So you must have had some differences between how things were going on and then, you know, how you take it forward. Now my question is, how many. You know, where joining guitar classes back then, uh, what was the percentage of people who would just come to, you know, just a casual thing just to impress people, just to have another hobby, um, versus how many people were like taking it seriously just like you did.

Djagmo: Um, uh, did that play a role, uh, in how you taught and, you know, how your business shaped up, especially in this music domain, right? Because, uh,

Jack Thomas: yeah, the, the, there are very few, very, very, it's very small percentage of people who come to us who are looking to be, become professionals. Mm, right? Who, you know, are looking at a career in music, right?

Jack Thomas: So typically what tends to happen is, you know, you come thinking, okay, I'm gonna learn some, you know, but we were very clear that if you are coming to learn with us, one of the criteria is that we are not just going to be teaching you three, four songs, right? We're going be teaching, teaching you how to right.

Jack Thomas: Do music properly, which is, you know, focusing on your technique, your musical skills. So we get you to the point where you can play as many songs as you like, because you understand the, you know, and you have good technique. You understand the underpinning things that work to it. So, so from that point, you know, we got students who wanted to learn.

Jack Thomas: Initially, maybe to a hobby level, but then like all things, once you achieve a certain amount of success, you know, and you're doing well, you want to do a little bit more. So while they, you know, most of them didn't go on to become, uh, right musicians, but they, most of them ended up, you know, crossing into the amateur stage.

Jack Thomas: A lot of even reach the, you know, pre-professional level stage and then carried on with their lives doing many, many things. But, uh, but, but, but we have 30% of our faculty has, you know, come from here.

Djagmo: Got it. From our own school. Interesting. Um, okay. Was that, was that ever a concern for you, Jack? Because, you know, uh, the reason I'm asking you this question is you come across as a person, you know, who's very, uh, you know, you have your, uh, own way about things, for example, you didn't wanna perform due to whatever reasons and all this, taking all these easy countries, uh, you know, consideration.

Djagmo: I was thinking, uh, was it ever a concern for you that, Hey, you know what, these are not the students I wanna be teaching, man, you know, who's just coming to just learn it for a few months and then, you know, leave it and go, I wanna, like, teach serious students. Uh, was this ever a point of, um, concern for you?

Jack Thomas: No. No. I, uh, on, on the country, I, I thought that, you know, as a teacher, your job is to help people achieve where they want to go first, and in that process open their eyes a little more to what. All else they could do because that, you know, even though I had, I wanted to become a professional, the process of my teacher teaching me finally, that's what it did to me.

Jack Thomas: Right. You know, op opened my eyes to a lot more of things than I ever could have probably learned on my own. You

Djagmo: mean to say that you strived more to become that teacher? You know, if somebody is even coming very casually, you, you explored a space where you could kind of, you know, inspire them to go a little bit more.

Djagmo: That's what you're trying to say. Am I correct? Yeah. Interesting. Yes. The reason I asked you this Yes, yes. But yes. Yeah, go on. You were about to say something. Yeah. So No, no, no. I was listening to you. Uh, the reason I asked you this question was, you know, uh, a couple of similar, uh, situations that I had in my previous podcast where, you know, there was this because, uh, in, in, in your case, it is the students, you know, who just came to learn a few songs.

Djagmo: Maybe you are just for, just to impress somebody. And then, you know, in the past there were, uh, other trainers and teachers, you know, who didn't have the 90% of the audience's attention to them. And then, uh, most of the responses could have been like, you know what? I'm here to contribute something and students are not interested.

Djagmo: I'm not gonna do it. That is one attitude. But, um, there is this other attitude, you know, where, um, teachers take it upon themselves, uh, and, you know, uh, act like it is our responsibility to kind of bring them. You know, get them more interested. Uh, this is, this has kind of been a recurring theme, um, among a few people.

Djagmo: And, uh, the reason I'm stressing on this point, and I'm bringing this point, is to all the people that are listening to this show, you know, there are a lot of trainers and teachers and stuff, and, you know, if they're coming across students where they think students are not interested, it is also partly to do with the kind of teacher that they are.

Djagmo: So this is the point, you know, I was trying to bring out, and that's exactly what you also said, and that's why, you know, I'm just repeating this Great, um, Jack and uh, through this, right?

Jack Thomas: Another thing, you know, as, another thing as a teacher and as a school, what we make sure is upfront, we are very clear about the effort and time that is required from them, right?

Jack Thomas: Because see, learning music is not merely a mental activity, right? It, it, it is kind of like a mix of sports and a theoretical subject together. If you don't have the time to practice every day, you're not going to succeed. If there is, you don't have the time to be regular with your classes, you're not going to succeed.

Jack Thomas: If you're not going to give it a year effort, without expecting great shakes in return, you're not going to succeed. So, you know, we kind of called. A little bit right there, so that somebody who thought I have an anniversary coming up, I'm going to impress my wife by playing a song, kinda immediately knew that we were the wrong guys feet.

Djagmo: Got it. Yeah. Yeah. That is, yeah, that's a good balance as well. You don't have to go, uh, all out again, you know, taking it upon yourself. I think it's a good balance to have between culling some of them, uh, at an earlier point as well as, you know, going to a stage where, you know, you also grow as a teacher, um, and then, you know, because of the teacher that you are, you see people probably going a step ahead than they would've initially planned to do so.

Djagmo: Great. And, uh, Jack, uh, at this point, let's say, uh, all this journey that you're talking about, uh, were there with your co-founder, right? Uh, my, uh, whole point of thing was, you know, the relationship between two partners. Uh, did you have any frequent, um, disagreements on how you wanted to run the business or teaching methodologies or accepting some students and not accepting students on all these points?

Jack Thomas: Uh, by and large, academically we were, you know, for the time we were together, we were pretty much more or less along the same lines. Okay. But, uh, once we parted ways, I mean, there has been, uh, quite a difference in, you know, I think it's him growing as well. Me growing as well as, you know, because when I initially started the school, I really did not think of segment, you know?

Jack Thomas: Right. Because I thought more like a teacher. Right. You know, and as you start to do this and this, you know, this small thing becomes a big, you know, animal to manage, you know, different aspects of it. So you re you know, it took us a, me a while to realize that we had to kind of decide on where we wanted to be as a service.

Jack Thomas: Right. We had to find a place. Right. And we were trying to be everything. Right. And, and when you try to be everything, what happens is you start being mediocre at most things. Right. And I saw that point approaching, you know, and I, I could clearly see that, you know, somewhere I had to draw line on because see, you, you can't have something great quality at a very low price.

Jack Thomas: You know, it, it, it, it usually doesn't work out. Right? Of course, if you can, and that's a breakthrough thing in your industry, but by and large, you know, if you go to any industry why somethings cost small, there is a reason why, right? Because if it's not that reason is not there, that will stop to exist because why will I pay more money for something that's not providing me greater value?

Jack Thomas: Right. And, and as a school we realized we are pretty much, you know, it's, it's all we have is finally our, uh, reputation, right? Which is that, you know, when you come here and when you leave here is, is there a measurable difference in what you came to achieve and right. What you left with, right? And so, you know, the quality of the faculty you have the kind of class structure that you keep, right?

Jack Thomas: The kind of activities around the learning that you organize, like concerts, opportunities to play together, all of this, you know, has a cost attached to it. I mean, that was one of the, like, I stopped doing, uh, group lessons for practical lessons altogether, though it was financially much more profitable, you know, uh, lucrative.

Jack Thomas: Yes. Because you can handle multiple, uh, children together, right? So your, but your teaching cost is not, you know, going five times up, right? If you have five students in a class, neither is your infrastructure going five times up. Neither is your marketing going five times up, right? Right. And the customers getting something much, much more affordable, right?

Jack Thomas: And therefore, your potential market size increases. But I noticed that in our kind of right teaching, right where students are coming once a week, Right. The homo disappears very soon. Some are going fast, some are going slow, some are missing classes. So essentially what ends up happening is the quick and the fast get something from it, the slow get left behind, or the teachers trying to make a compromise between all of it.

Jack Thomas: Right. So having personally seen it experience, we realized that one-to-one lessons, when it succeeds, it succeeds much higher than groups, a group. So we kind of eliminated the group lesson format altogether because I didn't see any other reason to keep it other than the economics of it. Got it. And because in a group, chances of, you know, one of one out of the five or two outta the five succeeding were good and the rest were not, which also meant that our reputation is at stake here.

Jack Thomas: Right, right, right. Because for the two who succeeded Sweden, yeah.

Djagmo: There's a, there's the majority who are not succeeding, only the minority succeeding. And then, yeah. Um, that is, yeah. Got it. So, uh, you mean to say this was one major point of disagreement between you and your partner?

Jack Thomas: Uh, no, this, this was not this, this, uh, I meant in terms of, you know, how at that point, apart from the strategy of his strategy of he wanted to go, he had inquiries.

Jack Thomas: Uh, people asking for franchisee ship and I was dead against it. So that, that was pretty much the primary reason why we parted ways. Got it. Otherwise, otherwise we had a fairly good, you know, we had a fairly good and then I, and I think that was, I mean, that's why we succeeded so well, because we could, at the end of the day, you know, after the business shutdown, we'd be sitting and discussing things and implementing them the next day on, you know.

Jack Thomas: Got it. And we never had any disagreements that were that big that it affected. Got it. Jack, you know, we all, we always found a way to work it, make it work. Got it.

Djagmo: Uh, Jack, um, this is, you know, uh, in the journey, but you know, when you, uh, came together, when you decided that you're gonna partner up to do this thing, how long did it take for you to decide you're gonna do this, and, uh, what were the angles in which you gave it a thought?

Jack Thomas: I think within three months of us meeting, we had decided, taken a call, and within three months, uh, the school was up and running. Okay.

Djagmo: Got it.

Jack Thomas: Six months. So within six months from the point when we've, yeah. Within six months from our first conversation.

Djagmo: The school had opened. Um, was it, you know, just an intuitive, uh, decision?

Djagmo: Was it, you know, your intuition saying that, yeah, I could partner up, or did you do a very strategic analysis of, you know, can I partner or not? If yes, what were those, you know, uh,

Jack Thomas: intuitive, but, uh, we were very young and new to it. College, you know,

Djagmo: looking back, would you say, uh, you know, would you have any suggestions?

Djagmo: You know, if two people are looking to partner up, would you have any, uh, things that you would advise, okay, look for these things? Or what is a key thing that you'd advise for people to look for before getting into a partnership?

Jack Thomas: Uh, I mean, the first thing I look for in a person is integrity. Right? In all, you know, and that's usually my first, because that's the, the first driver. Because you know, you when you're on in the trenches, right? Yeah. Trust is what keeps you going. Cause you know, life gets difficult. Being an entrepreneur is probably one of the hardest things I've done.

Jack Thomas: You know, it's, it's, it's, but it's also been enjoyable because you get to see so many different sides of, sides of, from, you know, the front desk to, you know, to marketing, to accounting. Cause at, at least in our size, we didn't have the money to be hiring. Got it. You know, People we couldn't afford professionals per se.

Jack Thomas: So all we could do was read up as much as we could try things. Right. See where it succeeded and outsource, where we knew that we needed real expertise. And, you know, you know, DIY was not going to work out. Accounting was one of them. Right. So right up front we started making sure that our accounts were audited and done by an external, you know, chartered accounting agency.

Djagmo: Got it. Uh, so you're saying, you know, the only thing that you would suggest or you would look for is integrity in a person? Especially because I, I

Jack Thomas: mean, I'm looking at, I'm looking at from the point of view that, you know, I was 23 at that point, so, so I wonder whether, you know, I mean, of course now it would be a completely different, right.

Jack Thomas: Right. I would be looking at integrity, that historical and, and, and really looking at whether we share the same kind of vision down to detail. Right, right. Not just overall, but, you know, down to detail. But, you know, when, when I started out, I really didn't, didn't know that, you know, the whole entrepreneurship journey was going to be so colorful and so exciting and that I would be learning so much right through that itself.

Jack Thomas: Right. I mean, rest everything aside. The, the, you know, the, how an organization is set up, how you make it work, how you run it, how you look at the different stakeholders. And how you make sure that everybody's in it happily, you know? So I, I had absolutely no clue, you know, so it was all on the fly. So now probably I would look at a lot more at the person, very, very, you know, and, and see whether our mindset matches in terms of, you know, because currently for me, for, I mean, from the point I started really thinking strategically about our place in this and what is it that the school actually wants to do more carefully, is that I, I want, I mean, what performers collective I want to do.

Jack Thomas: And what we strive to do is maintain a very high level of integrity to what the teaching that we do. Which means that if we think something is not going to work, we will not do it irrespective of money because we are going, we want to make sure that we are known as people who are above board when it comes to Right.

Jack Thomas: Teaching you. Right. Because when you come to teach, you're at your exposed most, you've come with very little knowledge about something and you've come to gain knowledge on it. Right. And trust is really important. So, and I, I'd like to think in the last decade, it's worked really well for us while we, while our numbers have, you know, went down from, we were handling 450 students at one point.

Jack Thomas: That was your peak. It it, yeah. That was our peak. Okay. And I mean, it was around then that, you know, I looked at the problems and realized that we really needed to, you know, focus on what we wanted to be, because at four 50 we were making money, but I felt that we were not doing justice to the quality of our output.

Jack Thomas: I mean, how many people were we succeeding with? And I looked into it, tried to see, you know, is it a teaching issue? Is it a class structure issue? What are the, you know, what all got in the way of, so, and from then on we kind of changed, focused on the fact that first we look at how we can deliver a great service, then we look at how can we reduce the price, right.

Jack Thomas: To get more people. But, but nothing gets, you know, called from the quality part to make us more affordable. Got it.

Djagmo: So,

Jack Thomas: so we came down the numbers, we came down, but, uh, I mean, from a point of view of success rates, we, I think doubled our success rate. And I think today we have a much better, you know, reputation in the market.

Jack Thomas: Got it. And where we are, I think we, we, we are some, some, you know, we. People aspire to be rather than, you know, just another one of the choices.

Djagmo: Got it. Jack. Jack. So, uh, you spoke about, you know, uh, when you were at four 50, you had to look at how many were succeeding and then, you know, you said that the success rate is double now.

Djagmo: I mean, uh, what, uh, how do you define success for your students?

Jack Thomas: Uh, we look at, uh, where they join, what level? Okay. So typically we benchmark, uh, I mean whether you're giving exams or not, since India doesn't have a policy level framework for recognizing western music, you know, development. Like let's say if you were going, you're sending your child to study maths, right?

Jack Thomas: Right. A you down the line, you would want to know like, I mean, what is being covered? Yeah. How much does the child know? Right. So we have that C b C system of class one, class two, class three. So like that there is a graded system right in the uk. So that's what we use as our benchmark to be able to communicate with each other, you know, what level is he at, right?

Jack Thomas: So we look at how many joined at what point there and when they leave, what point there are they at? Got.

Djagmo: And uh, you said you were at 4, 4 50 at your peak. Uh, what is it now like? Yes. What are the numbers like now? How many students?

Jack Thomas: Before Covid, we were doing two 50. Covid took a big, big bite out of our, uh, you know, entire revenue model altogether.

Jack Thomas: Okay. So we lost about 50% overnight. Okay. Because we kind of are, uh, one of the most expensive schools in our locality. Got it. You know, if not one of, we probably are the most expensive school in our locality. Got it. So, so affordability itself became an issue. Right. Because, you know, music is not con it's, it's, it's, it's something you do apart from your studies.

Jack Thomas: Right. So it tends to, you know, finally when you're, when the market is, everybody's losing money. It's, it's, we we're kinda the first casualty Right. To, you know, plus being on the, on the higher end. So in, during Covid, we, I made a very, uh, uh, conscious decision not to lower the prices, keep all of our staff on as it was.

Jack Thomas: Right. So, because finally we had to go, you know, digital and, uh, Teach Edison was one of our saviors at that point. Cause you guys came in and helped us actually get organized rather than, you know, just frantically exchanging meeting links and you know, as an organization not knowing what's going on other than, you know, pure trust.

Jack Thomas: I hope you are handling this right. So, so, but, but however, we, 50% of our students still stayed on. We managed to make a, I'd like to think with the help of teacher this in a seamless transition Okay. To, because our teachers were still, you know, tech savvy. They were able to immediately switch. Right.

Jack Thomas: Children were always tech savvy to start with in any case. Yeah. As we got lucky. Cause a lot of teachers are also into, you know, the recording part of, so they were kind of already, you know, everybody had a laptop and they knew they had been used to working with, you know, online things quite well already with it.

Jack Thomas: Technology wasn't a fearful factor for them. And, and cause by the time Covid hit, we had already were one-to-one lessons in any case, you know, and, and for music group lessons online, I know it just doesn't work. Right.

Djagmo: Um, and uh, I think it goes without saying that before the pandemic you were a completely a brick and mortar model based.

Djagmo: Teaching center No. Online. Yes, yes, yes.

Jack Thomas: Was there Yes, we, we, we gave it a lot of thought. We were doing research here, there, but actually nothing, you know, nothing sub nothing had been done about it. Got it. Though the, there was tinkering with, because, you know, we realized that while we are following a high quality model where we are going to, no matter what, make sure that the quality of our service is the best that is possible, you know, within the market that is here, you know, uh, we realize that, you know, you have a certain reach.

Jack Thomas: Being a brick and mortar means, you know, somebody can only study within, like I used to say, you know, it's either 10 kilometers or 10 to 15 minutes of drive. Good. Yeah. We can pretty much put 90% of our students there. The rest that we like to post about the 10% who come from take a train and come from hundred kilometers away, but that does not solve the, you know, that's not the bread and butter of Right.

Jack Thomas: Because it's, people are busy. They're busy world, either school or work, you know. So for them to go through the traffic, reach a place, do a class and go back means that that day is over. Then apart from their regular, you know, so it wasn't feasible. I mean, so the market was pretty much, so I saw online is the.

Jack Thomas: You know, we could then leverage the high quality that we have here. Got it. And try to have students come from afar who value it as well.

Djagmo: Got it. So, uh, Jack, you know, uh, you hear you at, at, at four 50 students, you kind of, you know, reduce it by 50%. Uh, you came to two 50 before the pandemic, your success rate was good.

Djagmo: Yes. Two. And then pandemic took away half your students. That would've left you about 525. And then you continue, you sustained five through online. But when you were at say, two 50 or about there, uh, and it was brick and mortar model base, you know, they used to come down to your center and learn. You had only students from around Delhi, probably, as you said, 90% were 10, 15 kilometers.

Djagmo: And then, you know, a 10, 15 minute drive, and then 10% went from a little far place. Yeah. But, uh, going online would've broken that barriers and boundaries for you and then, you know, and the entire country would've become your market. Right. Didn't that help you? Didn't you get back to being two 50 very soon?

Djagmo: What was, can you throw some light on

Jack Thomas: that? Uh, No, we didn't go back to being two 50. There. There's been a lot of, uh, flux in the market. There's been a lot of large players like White Hat Junior and lots of other names who have come in with big investments and big money into the digital teaching space.

Jack Thomas: Right. And, uh, the, we are also, it was around at that point that the company had made big investments into, you know, actually we own our own premises. Right. And it's for a music school, it's huge, huge. It's a thousand square feet, fully soundproof. We have, we have a 50 seater Audi, we have a staff room separately.

Jack Thomas: We have a band practice room. Wow. We have three waiting lounges. We have an elevator that runs across the building. Wow. So it was a huge, I mean, for, at least for a music school, it was, so we were, anyway, financially very, very tight, which meant we had little money for marketing against these giants or, or a very custom solution that would, because as far as our digital strategies concerned, I, I still believe we are on the back foot.

Jack Thomas: We're probably just scratching the surface of it, primarily because we right now cannot afford the investment required to actually take it to that level. Okay. Interesting. Got it. But we, but yes, the good thing is that it's giving, giving us, uh, a foot in the door. Because now when students leave us, and let's say they're shifting a city, Right.

Jack Thomas: Uh, earlier it was a total loss. Now 80% of them continue their lessons online. Right. You know, someone's gone to Canada, they're still studying, someone's gone to Bangalore, they're still studying here. Right, right. And occasionally we do have, so it's, it's, it's, it's, it's growing very, very slowly. But I believe that it's also because what requires to be done in full, to actually realize that potential, we are still to be able to implement it.

Jack Thomas: But however, in the meantime, it's, it's, it's working very well as an add-on to the brick and mortar model. Right. Because there, a lot of times the students are un enabled. I mean, they're the usual brick and mortar students who are coming here to learn. But, you know, there are a lot of times they would miss classes because, you know, the transportation is not arranged or, you know, the exam times are going, whereas they could make it for a 40 minute lesson, the idea of wasting that entire evening.

Jack Thomas: So, so what we've now done is we've made it hybrid. So all our students who come to school automatically have a link for a online lesson saved. Got it. So they can convert to an online lesson at will. So it's kind of helping us do more than we could do earlier. And we also moved our entire, uh, music theory part to online permanently.

Jack Thomas: Mm. Okay. Got it. Which is a pen and

Djagmo: paper lesson. Got it. Jack, so before pandemic you were a hundred percent, uh, in-person training during pandemic, you must have obviously become hundred percent close, hundred percent, 90% online, hundred percent online, hundred percent, yes. And then after the lockdown where, you know, relaxed and all those things, uh, currently what is the percent is split between in-person and, uh, online.

Jack Thomas: Uh, it's about 85 and 15, 85 in

Djagmo: person and 15% online. Oh, interesting. That's correct. Okay. So after the lockdown was relaxed, right? Was it, uh, you know, what was your mindset you, did you think that, you know what, Hey, uh, I think online is the way we need to do it online, because I am assuming you had your 8,000 square feet, uh, physical space before the pandemic itself.

Djagmo: Right? And, uh, did a thought ever cross through your mind that, you know, after the pandemic, when you were doing hundred percent online, did you think, you know, why am I having that 8,000 square feet space? Uh, should I liquidate that and probably focus on online? Did you think about that? Not, you know. Okay.

Djagmo: Uh, no. Okay. No. You always thought about, uh, online. Is it during the

Jack Thomas: pandemic? No. I have also realized that when it comes to the online, you know, there are differences in how success is going to happen in. Both the cases, they're going to be very different. And it was, and I still felt that, you know, even if we are going to do online major, let's say incoming years, right?

Jack Thomas: They're still going to be broadcast out of a soundproof, good classroom environment. Great, great. With great, great connection and good control over the environment, right? And how it happens, right? Not to, not to put throw shade on anyone, but, you know. Great. That's a you wanted to maintain teaching out of your bedroom is No, no.

Jack Thomas: Yeah. Teaching out of your bedrooms, you know, with, with its associated issues was never, never a professional solution to me. Right, right. It worked well for the time It did. So even when I'm thinking today of going online, I'm not thinking of hiring teachers from anywhere and connecting them online because I would want control on the space so that the quality of the sound that we are capturing and delivering audio, video, all of that needs to be right top notch.

Djagmo: Got it. Uh, Jack.

Jack Thomas: Which is, which is very difficult to do, you know, even with me having a studio, and my wife is also a musician, I have my kid breaking into the room at times. You know, the neighbors drill going off at times, you know, so it, it, it requires a professional space to deliver a professional experience.

Djagmo: Got it. And, uh, in that case, you know, who are these 15%? Are they your ex students who moved on to other places or they've been online always.

Jack Thomas: They were, they, they, they actually represent the ones who joined us and remain online during the covid. Hmm. Right. So a lot of, a lot of the covid learners, this is what I like to believe has happened.

Jack Thomas: Not that we've done a survey, Uhhuh, a lot of the ones who are not in town move back to learning from somebody close by physically. Okay. Because what I've realized is that, see, when I, when this, when it started as a teacher personally, I was also skeptic thinking how much of a quality loss is going to be there in my classes over time, you know, because of this medium related issues.

Jack Thomas: Right. Uh, over time I've come to think that there is lots of pluses, there's lots of ways around, lots of things. Right. But it requires intelligence and planning and a well, you know, well thinking teacher, somebody with experience. Okay. Right in into teaching itself because you've gotta really work your mind at it.

Jack Thomas: So, but uh, so once the pandemic thing started, you know, coming down, I could see a gradual shift in the inquiries itself. Okay. Okay. Moving and even the ones who were leaving, so a lot of outstation ones I believe left and joined physic classes. Cause they always thought of it as music. When it came to music classes.

Jack Thomas: They always thought of it as a compromise.

Djagmo: Got it. Doing it online is some sort of a

Jack Thomas: compromise. Yes, yes. I mean, to be honest, I think they believe it's more of a compromise than it really is, to be honest, because Okay. We have students who are learning and reached a high level of, you know, proficiency in the last three years.

Jack Thomas: So they literally started during the pandemic. So if it didn't work, it would not have been the case. Of course, there are certain things for which, you know, you realize there are, the hardships are more and are going like for drums. I mean, I could go into depth about why it is, but I can just tell you trying to do drums online.

Jack Thomas: No, no, no. Yeah. Un unless, unless the party at the other end is willing to invest some serious money into it, it's, it's a waste of time. You know, beyond a certain point, which means I can teach you to some degree beyond that, the practicality of me being able to see everything, being able to get a decent audio and for you to also.

Jack Thomas: You know, it requires soundproofing of the room. It requires multiple cams. Yeah. It requires multiple microphones and all of that. Going into a, you know, you can expect a professional guy to do that. You can't expect somebody who's starting out to have that kinda, you know, so, so I think what's happened is a lot of the people, so what I mean, so most of the people I think are not really convinced about the value for money proposition because a, we haven't, when it comes to online.

Jack Thomas: Yeah. And we haven't kept separate rates, which are the same, whether we ah, same charge online. So like I said, you know, for online, I think going ahead the strategy needs to be different. How we approach it needs to be different. A lot of things that are unique to that model and how it will work. So right now, 15%, yes, they are online, they're doing well.

Jack Thomas: And some, some are in the city itself, you know, they're not even outside the city. Okay. So, okay.

Djagmo: That

Jack Thomas: okay. With online. So yeah. So we are hoping that the same thing that worked for us, you know, the word of mouth that has worked for the brick and mortar till we can, you know, bring more money into a r digital setup itself, be able to invest more into, you know, a custom solution.

Jack Thomas: Right, right. In terms of the plat, I mean, how we are interacting, right? There is a so into that, the technology aspect of that particularly, right? The, the, the application that lets us, you know, manage and do this. Yeah. It needs a lot more frills, you know, and bells and whistles around it, I think, to make things easier.

Jack Thomas: Got, and, uh, and the second is I think, uh, the fact that there are 15 person goes to show that there is a, I think a decent amount of goodwill, word of mouth working, because I would've thought it would've disappeared, but it has not, you know, I mean that, that sharp fall that I initially saw, I was like, is this going to disappear?

Jack Thomas: Or, you know, because I still wanted to keep it because I think it's, it's, it's, it's great, you know, someday my student can't land up and instead of missing a class and missing the growth, right. He can log in online and we can still, yeah, yeah. We can still do it and, you know, keep, keep going with things.

Jack Thomas: So,

Djagmo: Yeah, no, uh, Jack, not only that, right? I mean, because you were just talking about a while back you told, you know, you probably do not, you're not in a space where you can invest a lot into your digital transformation or, you know, digital expansion, uh, for you to kind of, you know, go from 15% to maybe say 35, 40%.

Djagmo: It's gonna take a lot, is what you're saying. That means, you know, you probably have somewhere in your head that, you know, I would like to expand this online and then, you know, probably widen my

Jack Thomas: market. I personally think that, you know, there should be at least three times the potential for online then, then what, what we are doing on campus than what you're doing.

Jack Thomas: Yeah, great. Okay. So if you're doing a hundred and, you know, 25 on campus, I think getting to 300 online students Yes. Yes. Because see, the market size is so much larger. So much larger. Yeah. Yeah. It's, and, and, and because we can literally, yeah. Because when we focused on quality, what happened is the price went up, right.

Jack Thomas: And then again, right. It, it reduced the number of people who could afford us, you know? Right. Whether they recognize quality or not, is secondary just being plainly affordable? Is this like, you know, every time I buy cheese, I don't always buy. The cheese I want, you know, buy the cheese that I can afford.

Jack Thomas: Right? So, right. So while, you know, on one hand you think of affordability the other hand, how do I get through to more? So I, I personally think that it's a, I mean, I know that I'm not cracked it, but I, I'm, I'm sold on its potential because having potential, having seen it through Covid, having taught myself and brought up right.

Jack Thomas: A set of learners across this period, I certainly right know where the problem areas are already. So I think Right, whether it was a forced learning, I'm glad that, you know, that learning happened.

Djagmo: Got it. Jack, interesting. Jack, uh, you know, you spoke about how, um, you know, for example, you took an example of drums and then you said, you know, it's gonna take a lot of money and, you know, a lot of, uh, effort from the learners side also to kind of invest and, uh, learn online.

Djagmo: Um, now you've used the platform, you know, whatever platform you're using online for teaching. Do you see that technology can also contribute? To solving some gaps that are existing for teaching online, uh, music, uh, if you think there are gaps, what those gaps could possibly be.

Jack Thomas: Uh, could you, could you rephrase that?

Jack Thomas: I'm not certain I understand. Yeah.


Djagmo: so, uh, from a, uh, from a software perspective, right, for online, you're using, uh, say teachers platform now or, or let's assume any platform that you're using, right? You're using some sort of an online platform to teach, you said for drums, from a hardware perspective, it takes camera, it takes soundproofing for the students and all those things.

Djagmo: Understood. Do you think there are gaps in the software for, uh, you know, a hundred percent proper teaching to happen for music especially, or you think No, no software is fine. It's No, no. It's just that the hardware

Jack Thomas: No, no. There is, there is, there is gaps in software. So when I meant about it, it'll take a lot more investment from the way I look at it.

Jack Thomas: What I meant is the software, and by and large what I meant is the software.

Djagmo: Can you, uh, can you just, you know, on a very high level, what are these software, uh, gaps that are, uh, your, uh, you, you think there are Jack, right now?

Jack Thomas: See l let, let me see if I can explain this. So right now Yeah, yeah. Right. Now's give it, right?

Jack Thomas: Yeah. Right now the software we are using is not custom built with probably the things that I want to do with it. It's been made for a larger purpose from a Right. Okay. Now what happens is when you try to do things with it, and for music, and particularly music instruction mm-hmm. At a practical level, right.

Jack Thomas: The things that I foresee and I've learned from the last three years, it requires a very custom solution, which I don't think exists. Okay. Which, which means being able to commission somebody to literally write it out for you. Right. And that's where I see the cost factor coming, because it's not, it's not that I can use somebody's existing and actually, you know, it's, it's falling far short of, and particularly with the learning I have gotten, it, it, it falls a lot short of what I would call ideal from my current understanding.

Djagmo: Got it. Jack, interesting. Uh, probably, you know, I'll take this offline with you later. Just a suggestion, but, you know, uh, it's an interesting point, uh, that, you know, I think. I have here. So Jack A. Little bit, uh, tangent from here because this, uh, kind of, you know, it was there in my head always, but I thought I'll get back to this a little later.

Djagmo: See, you said you started off with a small shop, you know, where you had a four feet reception and then, you know, you had a mezzanine floor. That's how we got separated. Two classes. But then you're, now you're talking about, uh, 8,000 square feet, uh, campus, uh, with, uh, a lot of, uh, fantastic, uh, facilities that you said soundproofed, you've got elevators, you've got, uh, lounge areas and stuff like that.

Djagmo: This literally sounds like, uh, fairy tale, right? From a business perspective, you know, uh, in 20 years you've just grown like that. Was it, you know, I mean, did you, uh, have to get funding for it or was it all, you know, just multiplication of, um, students and then just growing organic? What did it take you reach this stage

Jack Thomas: growth has been mostly greenfield.

Jack Thomas: We've not received any, you know, equity funding of any kind. The property was finally bought on, uh, through banks. Okay. Okay. So the, so we don't, we don't have any traditional investment per se. I'm open to it. Got it. From the right quarters, from the right mindset. Right. But, uh, currently, so the building is itself is collateral for itself, you know, for the, so we, the, I mean, we have liabilities vis-a-vis banks, but equity wise not, I mean Got it.

Jack Thomas: Currently we free of any, nothing. Nothing. Got it. And it's all green. Like I said,

Djagmo: business, you're profitable

Jack Thomas: at this point. Yeah, yeah. Across the years we've just, it's, it's been just greenfield growth, you know, one year's growth, financing the next, the next, the next.

Djagmo: Got it. Great. So, uh, Jack, it's, uh, interesting, you know, I'm just gonna dig a little deeper here just to understand the principle with which you operated, you know, because when you say that, you know, the building itself is a collateral for it, um, uh, you know, through the banks and stuff like that, I'm sure, um, at one point you had your profits and you did not desire to kind of, you know, have fun with the profits.

Djagmo: No. Rather, you've reinvested the profits into the business and you've grown, right? Yes. But at the same time, it's a, it's a balance between, um, uh, reaping the, you know, I mean enjoying the profits a little bit, and at the same time using the profits to grow as well. And, um, you know, how did you kind of balance it out?

Djagmo: You know, was it just common sense or did you use, um, expert advice to kind of chart out this plan? How did it all

Jack Thomas: happen? To be honest, I mean, a few years into doing the work, you know, we realized that, I mean, a I'm, I, I don't have very, uh, let's say expensive taste or, you know, you know, or, or, I'm, I'm, uh, you know, I mean, I have a few things that I probably would spend a lot more money on than most people would, but by and large, I'm, I'm, I'm kinda not a very, I wouldn't say very materialistic person.

Jack Thomas: I drive ato, that's my second. Wow,

Djagmo: okay.

Jack Thomas: It's the first one,

Djagmo: uh, kinda

Jack Thomas: and then to the ground, and then I got another one. Right. So that kinda, just to give you an idea of, you know, it, it, it just gets me from point A to point B, you know, when I had too much work Right. I got a driver and I'd sit behind and, you know, get my work done, you know.

Jack Thomas: So, driver for an alto. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because I could sit behind and use those, you know, the times I, I had to be on the road for nine. Yeah. You know, three, for three to four hours I was on the road. Cause I was handling multiple businesses that time and I was looking after the marketing for the school as well, so.

Jack Thomas: Okay. So, so I mean, yes. I mean,

Jack Thomas: are the margins great? No. Are you going to. Become a billionaire. I don't know. I mean, maybe you, you are smart enough to do that. And, and for me, that was never a big Right. But yes, I mean, I'm very, and and I'm very glad that, you know, uh, I've gotten to this point where, you know, at least I can see some of the things, you know, I thought about 10 years ago coming through, uh, some of the decisions we made in terms of keeping our finances of our board, you know, paying taxes, right?

Jack Thomas: Getting audits. I think all that really paid off when we went into the market to raise a loan, you know, because our entire history was there, audited to be seen, you know? Yeah. Yeah. So even though there was a lot of music school, right. But there was still enough people look after looking at the finances to say, okay, okay, this one.

Djagmo: Okay. Okay, got it. So, uh, Jack, if you don't mind, you know, can you briefly walk us through what are these other businesses? Because look, first of all, it's a little bit of, um, as I said, you know, it's uh, uh, pretty, um, as you know, I termed it weirdly linear, weirdly clean, uh, for a musician to have this sort of, uh, thing.

Djagmo: And you add, not only did you, you know, steer clear of these performances and all that drama, you just went into a very neat way of teaching and then, you know, starting a school and then growing it to the level that you have so far. And not only this, you're talking about running a few other businesses as well.

Djagmo: What are these few other businesses? How did you manage, uh, from a time perspective?

Jack Thomas: Uh, I was, I mean, like I said, it must have been age. I, I can, I cannot for the life of me think of ever doing it again. Uh, so there was, there was, in 2000, uh, nine, I started an artist management firm called Gig Support.

Jack Thomas: Mm-hmm. So, okay. The idea was that, you know, I mean it was also because I saw an overlap in Right. Because a lot of our teachers were performing musicians and I could clearly see that they were not running their, the business of their work well, right? Yeah. And those who were there were not really in it for.

Jack Thomas: The artist at all. At all. Right. So, you know, I could see that the artist was making a pitance compared to the entire deal that was happening. So we thought, Hey, why not? We bring some of this experience, right? So, and then, right. We did a music festival. We did a, did production for a few music festivals, managed a few artists, but it, I mean, the company did work for a while and then, you know, uh, I shut it down because AI didn't have the time to actually be doing it full-time.

Jack Thomas: I realized, and b, the market was very different than what I had imagined it to be. Right. Right. So that is something I did from 2000, I think eight, nine to 2012. Mm-hmm. So it used to call gig support artist management, but it, it, it, it, it gave me a good insight into the performing industry and how it works.

Jack Thomas: We were a team of three and we had exclusive artists under management, and our job was to make sure that the artist doesn't, is marketed well, is strategized well, is seen at the right places and get the billing up. Mm-hmm. And the bookings up. So this is, and at the same time, make sure the, you know, the, the actual show itself is, Managed well as well from, from, from the slice of art that is the performing part.

Jack Thomas: So that was what essentially that company did. So we did that for a couple of years and we even ended up, you know, producing for people because people would say, okay, I want to do this, but I don't know how to do the sound or this or that. Can you do that also for us? We'd end up doing the whole shebang, including the stage, the sound, the engineers and the artists.

Jack Thomas: But then that, that right, that shut down in 2011, 2011, I mean, so 2011 also had, uh, if, if you're aware of uh, like we briefly spoke the UK government, like grade one, grade two. Yeah. Yeah. So based on that, there are certain exam bodies that are in India. If you've heard of Trinity College. Trinity I've heard of.

Jack Thomas: Yeah. It's a common thing. It's a contemporary of Trinity is a b s. Okay. And Rock school was the third player. And what is special about rock school or a Ursula Awards as it's known now? They were the first to bring these graded exams to contemporary music. And we've always been a contemporary. Music is a large part of what we do.

Jack Thomas: Even though we have am trained in classical, a lot of our teachers are trained in classical, but contemporary music. So, I mean, we were also instrumental in starting those exams in India. We were the first school to put up students. For rock school and rock school's, international business was managed by Trinity.

Jack Thomas: Mm. The network of how they will send out these examiners and conduct these exams was writing on the Trinity Network. So in 2011, they parted ways and they contacted me to grow their business in India. So I literally took over as the role of their CEO in India and then grow that business between 2011 to 2017 from five cities to 25 cities.

Djagmo: Wow. Okay. You played the role that Trinity played for Rockwell

Jack Thomas: Rock School? Yes. And I helped them establish their own office. Yeah. So in India, I became their CEO and set up office and ceo. Yeah. I set up their, I was called the director, but the job was essentially that of a ceo, not so much of a director as Right.

Jack Thomas: It was, I mean, of course from the strategy perspective it was that of, but there was an executive part also, which is that I had to literally see the setting up of the whole, you know, go going from five to 25. So deciding where to, how to what to, and going around and, you know, doing workshops, meeting people.

Jack Thomas: But that, that I, I believe was great. Cause I got to meet hundreds and hundreds of schools across India. Right. Thousands of teachers. So it kinda gave me a insight into, You know, classrooms and teachers, the music scene in India, the music education that I could not have education ever, ever gotten, you know, on the ground what's happening.

Jack Thomas: You know, you still, you still know a little bit about what's happening around you, but never across the country sitting in one place, like, you know, sitting in a place like in a, in a locality, in Guga. How, how do you know how it's being done in Chennai? How many schools are there? Who's doing what, what are the standards?

Jack Thomas: So for me that, that was exciting. So from, I mean, apart from the, the whole entrepreneurial side of Strateg, you know, strateg strategically having decisions to make that have big impact on big money and, you know, the expenditures, which are all going show up very soon, you know, on your bottom line. So it was Got it as a teacher as well, it was interesting as, because it added to my experience of running the school as well, because I could Right.

Jack Thomas: Fairly good look across the country, what, what was going on.

Djagmo: Great. Cool. Uh, so I mean, uh, I thought, you know, it's, yeah, now it makes sense because all the businesses that you spoke about, it's all linked to music. Yes. So it really doesn't feel like, you know. Yeah. So there is a little bit of there, and I think it should been little bit effortless for you.

Djagmo: And I'm sure you know, you also enjoyed. Uh, or, you know, uh, probably, uh, helped you understand, uh, from a wholesome perspective Yes. As to like what music is apart from just teaching. Uh, you know, after you spoke about this entire c e o stint of yours, uh, Jack with Rock school, you said, you know, you had a great opportunity to meet hundreds of music schools and thousands of teachers.

Djagmo: So what, uh, is the music, uh, sorry, what is the music education in India like? Uh, if you have to, you know, give a brief summary as to what's going on, where are we heading towards, where are we? Because I have no idea as to what the music education in India is like.

Jack Thomas: Uh, we are at a nascent, disorganized stage right now, by and large.

Djagmo: Okay.

Jack Thomas: Okay. I'm by this, I'm not, I'm, I'm not trying to say I'm, I'm taking a overall country view. Not, not, I mean, I mean, if, if you look at just certain pockets, you can as well as say that they're quite good. They're up there with Right. Some of the best. Right. But I'm, I'm talking if I had to literally count every teacher in every school that I met across India, right.

Jack Thomas: We are at a na stage nation disorganized, nascent stage where right now it's, it, it's not gotten organized enough to be called an organized industry yet. I mean, all the, it's, it's all, all the right signs are there, but we are not there yet.

Djagmo: Okay. Okay. Okay. Uh, Jack, you know, uh, help me, help me give this, uh, perspective, you know, I I I, I would like to understand, okay, you, right now you're saying it's at a nascent, disorganized stage.

Djagmo: Okay? Let's say it's at its best state. Let's say it reaches its full potential. How would that, uh, you know, as, as a common man who's not, who does not have any music, uh, inclination or, you know, who doesn't? I mean, I listen to film music that come out right, uh, in what the most people do. That's about it. I don't know much about music and stuff like that.

Djagmo: I follow some musicians, some singers I follow, some favorite, some songs and stuff like that. But if, uh, the music education in India were to reach its potential, it's as good as say, uh, the tech education in India. What different, uh, you know, what difference would I be seeing, uh, you know, how would it change things in India for the music, uh, space?

Jack Thomas: Uh, from the perspective of the learner, or are you from the perspective of a no, shall I just give my perspective on it? Of

Djagmo: a consumer, of a, of a, you know, from the perspective of a consumer, for a consumer, what difference would it make?

Jack Thomas: Uh, he would like for a common man like me, if we def defined the common man as you.

Jack Thomas: Uh,

Djagmo: yeah, I mean, uh, you know, who's not

Jack Thomas: a musician basically. Okay. Uh, lemme try to answer this the best I can. Okay. So typically in the uk right? A teacher Right, right. Who teaches music, uh, okay. Charges you about an average teacher. We are not talking about like, one of the best, we are not talking about a new bi.

Jack Thomas: Okay. 30 to 40 pounds a lesson. Okay. Okay. Which is about 4,000 rupees a lesson. Right. Okay. If

Djagmo: a lesson you may, you mean per hour, right? 40 minutes per

Jack Thomas: hour. 40 minutes. 40 minutes, yeah. Right. Okay. So, okay. A what tends to happen is in any industry, you know, the best talent also comes in when, you know, the pay also gets sufficient for you to, you know, be able to mm-hmm.

Jack Thomas: Right. There is, there is a correlation cause Right, right. Even if you like to do something. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. If it's not going to be enough to just maintain the lifestyle that you've had or used to, it makes a difference. Right. Right. Right. It's, it's difficult to, I mean, like we spoke about the scientific brain drain at one point in India.

Jack Thomas: So unless we are purely dependent on patriotism to, to, you know, work the industry, it's, it's not So a, the stuff that you probably, consumers are going to, I mean, so like I'm talking about, so if you look at that in UK, and now if you look at China, right? Mm-hmm. Uh, there are music schools with a thousand students.

Jack Thomas: Okay? I, I, I mean, because, you know, rock school is, works across 130 countries, and we'd have international conferences, which would happen in Shanghai, Singapore, and then you got to meet, like, I'm the head of this country. You, you know, we hanging out with all the, the top guys of who are handling work for rock school and, and China was a very good example of, you know, there are music schools like ours, which are like, they have 500 drum students, okay?

Jack Thomas: They teach only drums. They have 500 students. Uh, so I, I, I, that's, that's why I felt that, I mean, both the pressures will be there. One, the, because as quality increases, you know how much people are willing to pay for it will finally determine the kind of quality that is possible, right? For example, we have teachers here who've gone to Berkeley.

Jack Thomas: You know, to study and come back. And that's an exp that's three years and an expense in excess of a corona and a half to study there and come Wow. Who are teaching. But I know for a fact that he's never going to recover that money from teaching his entire life. Right. Right, right. So if, if you can think a little more deeply around these things, you'll realize that the fundamental problems in great quality coming at, because A, you need a higher level of interest.

Jack Thomas: You need people to be able to, you know, because finally, see, if you, as a layman, you go to a school and you want to study. Right? Right. Now, if you don't do your research well, or you don't have good advisors mm-hmm. Chances of you finding a teacher who can actually knows this work enough to guide you in the best possible way are very low.

Jack Thomas: Right. And as you reduce your spend on it, it's almost impossible to find somebody who all are. All you gonna find is somebody who actually didn't make it as a performer and is trying to survive by teaching, but doesn't really love teaching. Or, you know, some new year of college is trying to make money.

Jack Thomas: Right. Because education is a thing in itself, right. And it's something that I've had to work as hard as my music to be able to be any good at it. Because knowing how to play grade does not mean I know how to teach that grade, you know? Yeah, yeah. Right. So people A how many of us probably, uh, yeah, sorry.

Djagmo: No, don't go. Go ahead. A how many us, how many of us, so I, I was, you know, I was also thinking, you know, I'm sorry, you know, you should finish that. How many of us, yeah. There's a little bit of

Jack Thomas: lag. Like, see how many of us who go into a field also enjoy teaching enough to actually sit and work at teaching, learning about teaching.

Jack Thomas: Right, right. Right. Now in India, we are not even at the point where there is this, there is a proper place where you can go to at least get your first beard up type, you know, in teaching itself, teaching music. Right. Which I think is, is a very right. Different ballgame than teaching a theoretical subject, a purely theoretical subject.

Jack Thomas: Mm-hmm. Right? Because it involves a lot more of the hands, your poster, your mental state, right? Because in performing arts, you need to get it the right, the first time over in front of your audience. There is no. It's not like applied art. Right? So your mental strength is also one of the things, right? So, so I'm saying as a teacher, if you gotta be in this space and me as an entrepreneur running a school, right?

Jack Thomas: When I'm looking out for people, I'm looking out for people like this. Cause I think that's where the real value add comes to the education. Right? Right. In India we don't even have a proper teachers training

Jack Thomas: yet. Correct. But, but I think it's a matter of time. You know, when the Chinese econ economy became five times of ours, it, it did have differences in how things work there. You know,

Djagmo: girl. Got it. Jack, you know, it's interesting that you spoke about the Chinese, uh, you know, there's a school in China that has got just for drums, 500 students learning drums, right? Um, probably, you know, what I was getting to at is this now why do people go and, you know, go and fall behind learning software engineering or, you know, computers.

Djagmo: That's because they get hired by a company, huge company like Google or Facebook. And then, you know, it's money is the biggest motivation. And very few people, you know, they're passionate about something they want to create, build products and stuff like that. That's there always in all the fields. But when it comes to music, right?

Djagmo: Music, probably the first thing is passion. You know, it's, uh, it's probably a luxury, uh, for you to be an artist. Um, you know, because, uh, it's, it's, this is how it is, right? I mean, uh, as a human being, uh, we gravitate towards art and other things when basically our food, shelter, and clothing is taken care of.

Djagmo: Yes. And then most of us are probably still lying in that space, you know, where we are looking for food, shared clothing, and hence we don't have the time nor the mindset to go behind art. So when somebody is, you know, pursuing art, they're already in a certain state of lifestyle and, you know, even their, um, probably their, uh, mental wellbeing or spiritual wellbeing is, is a little bit, uh, uh, higher.

Djagmo: Okay, let's say, uh, you know, they're not, uh, the basic things are taken care of, survival is taken care of. So they're, uh, aspiring for something that's a little more than surviving alone. It's a more finer, you know, uh, they're, uh, seeking for a deeper satisfaction than most others. And, uh, when, so is that, you know, so when you say 500 drum drums, students are there, is it that those 500 people are, uh, you know, are living at that lifestyle enough to kind of forget about survival and go towards deeper satisfaction?

Djagmo: Or where are they heading towards, uh, once they finish the drumming? You know, is their industry waiting for them waiting to employ them? Or is it for just for their satisfaction or that's where, you know, I was trying to come from, I think basically when I was asking you

Jack Thomas: what would happen, I think it goes overall step by, you know, in hand, right?

Jack Thomas: Because when, when you, let's say, I mean, this is what something I tell performers as well when I meet them, those right, that right. You having high paying jobs depends on what we do today. Cause these are going to be your audience. Right, right. 90 of Right, right, right. Now they're going out with a music education, which means that they will demand to see better entertainment as well.

Jack Thomas: Got it. Got it. So, so, so I believe all of this goes lockstep with each other, but on the outmost, I was just touching upon the fact that you so rightly pointed out that because it is finally not directly related to survival, right. So the economy has, you know, as we become more affluent as a society, it'll be able to support the arts better as well.

Jack Thomas: Mm. Right, right. Because right, right now, Delhi, there's one, uh, one place that makes money off primarily music as a restaurant. It's called the Piano Man Jazz Club. Okay. Right. So there's one that can, there's one that can say that we are primary, fundamentally reason for being is music, and people will come here to listen to music.

Jack Thomas: And right now, now this is going happen for every little thing, not just for, uh, to be honest, for, uh, it's a very interlinking thing for Bollywood. It's already happening. Bollywood music is already happening. There are probably eight places in Delhi right now, which, if you're uh, doing, uh, Hindi music, Bollywood, there'll be a show every, every, every week at least.

Jack Thomas: Right, right. So it's interlinked. And I believe it'll get there, actually,

Jack Thomas: because when I look at Got it, got our economy, I think when I look at uk, when I look at us, when I look at China, I kinda, it feels like I'm seeing some of, you know, and other countries, some of India's past and some of India's future. You kinda get a link. Of course, the good thing is that cv, we have our own music as well.

Jack Thomas: Right, right. And if you see what's actually happened to it across the years is that most of the Indian instruments I've gotten replaced with Western instruments. Mm. Right now they're producing all that music on keyboards, find, they're singing in Hindi. There's a bass guitar, always. There's a piano. The strings, there's, if you see the arrangement of the music, let's say go back 40 as in now, you find a whole big difference in the way things are being done.

Jack Thomas: Right. Right. I mean, I mean it's evolving to, and the good thing about India is I think it tends to absorb things into, its.

Jack Thomas: And it seems to, it seems to be big enough for having space for a lot of variety.

Djagmo: Yeah. Yeah. I don't think there's ever going to be a shortage of variety, as you said. I think with, with some, as I think as things improve art is also going to get, you know, that recognition and that improvement and it's gonna go up there and then, you know, as, yeah, I think, and when you pointed out that, uh, one place in Delhi, uh, it, you know, kind of clicked for me as to how would it's all interlinked and, you

Jack Thomas: know, and, you know, I'd like to point out one, one more thing as well.

Jack Thomas: You probably should be really aware of, you probably would know this, and I'm originally from Kerala, so I have a fair idea of this, and I think so. Will you, when I discuss music with a lot of, uh, I mean, like I'm saying, it's partly cultural as well, right? When I speak to mm-hmm. People from South who are here, right.

Jack Thomas: For them, they seem to think that musical training is as important as maths, so, right. Yeah. Yeah. They, they get their kids, they put them into, into our music school, right? From, and for them it's, it's no longer a matter of, oh, I'm, this is not a, they don't look at it as hobby could learn some songs, and they're saying, oh, just like he's learning everything else.

Jack Thomas: He needs to learn music. Because it's important for his brain

Djagmo: music, correct? Correct, correct. Right.

Jack Thomas: Yeah. It's important for his brain growth. I mean, so no longer are we talking about whether it's, you know, it is a matter of luxury or not. It is a matter of whether you realize Correct. That it's a very important part of personality development, your ability to play music and do an instrument.

Jack Thomas: There are certain things that change your personality for good. And I've seen this in our school. Yeah. I mean, 25 years of teaching, I've seen how it, it changes people in how they speak and how they interact and how they express themselves, their confidence levels. So the North has not been so much like that, in my opinion.

Jack Thomas: Mm-hmm. The North has been more, right. Entered into it from an entertainment perspective. Right. Music was purely seen as entertainment, which is also seems to be changing this side as well. But like I said, but lot, lot from side, uh, I've had parents who, who can't even understand why would you be even asking, why you learning?

Jack Thomas: Because like, that's like you asking me, why does your child want to learn maths? Like Yeah. Cause he's gotta learn maths. Simple that,

Djagmo: yeah. Yeah. No, I mean a very important point. Uh, Jack, very sig, uh, you know, very important, very interesting because, uh, yeah, you could have probably, uh, answered my question in this one line bus. I mean, what is this big fusA you creating about, you know, 500 drummers or, you know, where are we gonna go? I mean, it's also, why don't you include music also part of the everyday curriculum in school, which, um, is definitely, yeah, because, you know, uh, interestingly, I had, uh, I had, uh, another podcast with another music academic called, uh, strats based out of Chennai.

Djagmo: They're about two years old now. It's been run by, uh, three youngsters, uh, in their mid twenties. And then, you know, they were talking about how music, you know, you don't have to think of it from a return on investment perspective. You know, if, if you do music, yes, there is return on investment, but not from a, it's a very indirect ROI that you're gonna see because, you know, it's a very important thing for a human development, you know, from, that's the point of view in which they spoke.

Djagmo: So whatever you said, I could totally connect with it. But Jack, uh, we're at five o'clock. Tell me something. Mm-hmm. Uh, do you, uh, did you plan, uh, to stop at five? Do you have something? No. No. Can you, is there any possibility you can stretch? Yeah, I'm free. Is uh, oh, great. Thank you so much.

Jack Thomas: I.

Jack Thomas: Let's keep, let's keep a good margin. Cause he seems very confident that he can speak for,

Djagmo: okay. Uh, I hope, uh, have you surprised yourself here? Yeah.

Jack Thomas: It's been so pleasant. So I didn't even notice stand fly by. So,

Djagmo: great, great, Jack, because, you know, uh, as in, you know, as in when you give a response, there are 10 questions for me. And I have to, you know, choose. No, I cannot go on asking everything I have to choose.

Djagmo: Okay, you wanna let me prioritize this, you know, that's why I'm coming, that's why I'm coming there. Because when you, when you are told about, uh, rock school, right? It was a very interesting that you said, you know, you have this inside about music education. And then, uh, I was like wondering, okay, where is this?

Djagmo: Uh, so another question I had, uh, Jack, you said, you know, taking the overall average, you said you are gonna use the words nascent and unorganized. But if you had to, you know, point out, okay, let me, uh, rephrase this question like this. As a learner, let's say, um, I'm looking at music as a very important part of my, uh, life.

Djagmo: And I want to pursue, uh, you know, things in music and I want, uh, most of my life to be about music. Uh, and, uh, and somewhere in India, where should, uh, which is the best place for this, uh, person to go live and, uh, study music from your experience?

Djagmo: Wow. Okay. Uh, can you, can you justify what are the reasons

Jack Thomas: Deli or Bangalore? Okay. Because, uh, see what you need at the point of training is the availability of good academics around, right? See, if, if you had said, uh, if I want to succeed in the perform, I mean in the music industry, right? I want to make money.

Jack Thomas: Where should I go? I would've said Bombay, but okay, that's, that, that's where you go to do your, uh, on the job training. That's not where you go to, right. Get your education right when you're going there to, you can't have problems working with Bollywood or the ad market

Jack Thomas: because Right. You're not, you're not going to succeed as a performer there if live gigs is your thing. Again, Delhi, right. Education, Delhi, Bangalore, and, uh, upcoming is, uh, the Northeast Belt.

Jack Thomas: Wow. Okay. They're getting fast

Djagmo: off. I'm, I'm, I'm a little. Okay. Okay. I'm a little surprised. I'll tell you why. Because I mean, I've lived in Bangalore all my life and, uh, you know, here everybody, you know, when they talk about music, uh, Chennai is what they say is, uh, capital of music and stuff like that, probably.

Djagmo: Are they referring to Kahar music? Is that, uh,

Jack Thomas: and uh, Bollywood connection that's there? Oh, that's Chenai, right? Huh? Because see, I'm very specifically speaking education within Western Contemporary and Western Classic music. Got it,

Djagmo: got

Jack Thomas: it, got it. Got. So if you gotta be learning, got it in this, and then you gotta be at, I mean, GU de Belt, you gotta be at the gu de Belt or Bangore.

Jack Thomas: I mean, if you have to maximize your charge, I'm not saying there aren't people elsewhere, but this is the hub,

Jack Thomas: so that's where you've

Djagmo: gotta be.

Djagmo: Got it, Jack. And, uh, would you, would you say the same, uh, for, uh, teachers as well? You know, if teachers want to make a good living, uh, let's assume, you know, there's no online as of now for music. You know, they'll have to go and teach face to face. Uh, where do you think is the most demand? Is it the same answers?

Djagmo: Is it, uh, same and del and bang? Is it ok. Okay. Got it. Great. Okay. Uh, Jack, um, thank you for, uh, you know, your insights on these things. Uh, now going back to Performance Collective, right. Uh, from, uh, you know, I wanna like, cover some topics about, you know, pertaining to the reason why we are here. Uh, you know, you started off, uh, primarily as a teacher mainly, and then, you know, you became involved in business and then, you know, the entrepreneur's, uh, uh, job and stuff like that would've taken over.

Djagmo: Uh, when you started off, you, you must have spent most of your time teaching. Yes. Uh, when you have to compare those times to now, do you even teach now?

Jack Thomas: I do teach. I do teach, I teach about 25 students currently. I like teaching. So in between, uh, you know, for a couple of years I had to stop teaching altogether because while setting up Okay.

Jack Thomas: The rock school offices and that exam centers, it was a huge portion of going from five cities to five within like a span of 12 months. So at that point, I was traveling extensively and, you know, I mean, I suddenly realized that my, I was taking fewer lessons than my substitutions were going to take off mine.

Jack Thomas: So I thought, that's not fair. That's, that's, that's not fair on the kid, you know, so, so I stopped teaching for about two years entirely. Cause you know, being a teacher means you have to be around. Yeah,

Djagmo: yeah, yeah, yeah. So post,

Jack Thomas: yeah, so post that, I was glad to get back to it cause it gives me a sense of satisfaction and, you know, it's something that I keep wanting to grow at, get better at, and personality, I, you,

Jack Thomas: you know, something new they learn. Right. And, you know, so yeah. So I do teach, uh, about 25 students. Like I said, that doesn't flush to me much. But yes, there's, there's a lot of, there's a lot of work that goes into being an entrepreneur and, uh, it's, it's, it's like having your baby. And, and I had, you know, I had a child four years ago, the closest thing I can tell you about it, it's like having a kid.

Jack Thomas: It's, it's right. Right. Because right, it's going to take up all your time and you might love it as much as you want, but it's, it's, it's going to rag the, you know, so, so, you know, there is, there is a big difference between, you know, when I used to go in to teach at different schools, you know, get my paycheck at the end of the month, you know, and at least for me, it was a, because I stayed away, started at the best place in town, so my paychecks were always great.

Jack Thomas: Right, right. I mean, for the, for those times. Right. But, uh, I can tell you that, you know, you are getting into entrepreneurship and I don't know about others, at least my experience is that it's a lot of work. It's a lot of hard work and, and it's a lot of learning that you have to constantly be ready to, you know, be ready to do.

Jack Thomas: Cause market forces change, things change, right? And you, you, you have to, I mean, a anything and everything you do is going to become, if, if you're good at it and it succeeds, it's going to become standard practice within 12 to 18 months. Thank you. Across the industry. So the only true way you can maintain an edge is to be always learning and applying it.

Jack Thomas: Cause after all, you, you're a teaching organization, right? So, yeah. Yeah. So if you, you gotta learn how to teach, then you gotta know how to learn as well and be constantly on the, and and, cause the, you know, the, in terms of the, if you compare to some countries, the amount of money that people are willing to spend on music is low in India.

Jack Thomas: Okay? Okay. Which means you have to be really creative about how you do, how you go about making that service. And you know, one where most of the resources go into the useful, the most useful things. And how you're going to, you know, do your DIY on everything else and how, you know, cause you still need to market, you still need to reach out to your audience.

Jack Thomas: You still need to like, cause we, we make videos of, uh, our children playing. Our students are learners, even adults, when they reach a certain milestone or a mark that we feel located, right? So we make a nice video of them and put, put it out, right? So it, it helps us in many, many ways. It's a documentation for us.

Jack Thomas: It's great for the student who gets to show off this work. It's great for our marketing and, and it's, and it's the cheapest form of marketing we have. Cause we, we don't need to sit and explain a lot of things to you. You see the end product, right? So you're gonna have to really look at how, you know, you're going to work on a very lean, lean management structure.

Jack Thomas: At least that's been the experience for performers. Cause most of the money goes into making sure we have, you know, the best of instructors, the best of infrastructure. Cause that's, that lies at the core of, you know,

Jack Thomas: are you, do you, do you have real educators with you? And are you making sure that you're enabling them to do their, what they want to do well enough?

Djagmo: Yeah. Got it. Uh, Jack, so, um, you say, you know, you teach about 25 students now, uh, let's say, I mean, approximately, you know, from a percentage point of view, if you were at a hundred percent when you started off, uh, now has that percentage come down, say for 25%? 50%? Yeah. Okay. Okay. Got it. Got it. And, uh, how much

Jack Thomas: it, it, it, it, it was even, cause once I started, I mean, once the business started to take off from a, you know, as a school, you know, right from that point it became obvious that, you know, it's between, you have to now take out time between the classroom and, you know, how are you going to do your marketing?

Jack Thomas: How are you? Do a lot of the other things that are required around the school, you know, from managing, checking quality to how,

Djagmo: you know. Right, right, right. Exactly. So I was, uh, my next question was gonna be that, you know, uh, you know, as, as a, as a company, as a, you know, performance collective, the way it's grown, uh, you know, you're definitely come a long way, uh, from how you started, uh, when you started.

Djagmo: You must have, you know, most of your time must have gone into teaching and, you know, building a brand. And then, you know, that's how you build a reputation. Now, I'm sure you have a bunch of, uh, teachers, you know, you have a huge network of teachers and then, you know, teaching about, uh, 200 students, uh, uh, you know, where does your time mostly go, and what do you think is the most non-negotiable thing for you as a, as a founder, as a person who runs which aspect of your, uh, business is, you know, non-negotiable?

Djagmo: For

Jack Thomas: you? The quality of the education is non-negotiable

Djagmo: quality. Yeah. Okay. Uh, so when I, when I talk to, you know, uh, people who are doing online education, they record all their classes and then, you know, they have a methodology to do some quality assessment. You know, let's say if a teacher is doing five classes out of every five classes, one class randomly gets, uh, seen by somebody because it's recorded.

Djagmo: But you know, you are doing a face-to-face in-person thing. I'm not sure that's being recorded all the time. Right. So do you, you know, uh, do you just enter into a session and you sit down and check? Uh, is that how it happens or, uh,

Jack Thomas: to be honest, I think see if, if one were to randomly walk into a classroom and, uh, expect that, that is a realistic example of what's happening, that's, I think, you know, uh, that's fooling yourself, right?

Jack Thomas: Because somebody who wants to show you a different face will show you a different face cause they know you're there, right? So, right. So for me, for me, it has never been about this. So I've always looked at it as from the point of, I mean, as an example, I'll take the medical profession, right? When you look for a doctor, right, to work in your hospital, right?

Jack Thomas: This is what I would imagine. You spend all your time looking for the right doctor, right? That you want to work with. Who has the skills, who has the experience, who, right. The reason is that, because when that professional is then doing his job, you don't want to go in there and tell him what to do, right?

Jack Thomas: Right. So, I strongly believe that because I'm a teacher and somebody who really, you know, is serious about this academic, you know, career. I know that I, my, each of my classes is different. When I was, when I started out, there was a formula. Right Now that formula is not their right. Their principles that I follow, they're no longer formulas.

Jack Thomas: Right. And what will happen in each class will depend on who it is, what we did previously, and what the state of mind of the learner is there at that point sitting in front of me. Right? Right. So my first go-to point is to actually get the right guy. So even if I have inquiries for students waiting, I will not take somebody who I do not have implicit faith in to start with.

Jack Thomas: But that does not mean that after that story's over, you know, you had a bad day, be terrible, be terrible in your classroom. No, that's not the idea. The idea is that, right. You gotta, you gotta, first of all, you know, at the entry gate, my theory is that you gotta look for somebody who shares your love for teaching, has some background experience, then meeting the person to see how they think about things.

Jack Thomas: Right. Right. How, how is the thinking process working? Which gives me a lot of insight into how good you're going to be a teacher. Right. Then the second step, again, so I'd rather than check every class, right. We do get feedback from parents or students themselves. Right. You know, how's your lessons going?

Jack Thomas: It, it's not so hard. Right. It's not so hard to do. Right. Uh, got it. A certain percentage of students appear for exams. So we have an external agency assessing these children and telling us what they think about the students claim. Right, right. We do regular concerts, which means we send these kids up to perform as well.

Jack Thomas: Right. We have a small in-house audit, so, so between all these things there's a fair amount of, you know, control, but at the same time, I believe that, you know, you, you gotta find the right guy because you don't want to tell the doctor how to do his job. The doctor should be competent enough to do his job.

Jack Thomas: Right. So, you know, since luckily we don't, uh, you know, it's not a matter of life and death. Unlike doctors. Yeah. Right. We have a little more leeway into figuring out, you know, whether something's is working or not. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right. But by and large, I've got realized that, you know, the, the best place to control quality is right at the in gate hiring.

Djagmo: Yeah. You get the right people and then you know your quality. Yeah. Then, then you don't have to worry

Jack Thomas: about quality, then you need to check on the periphery. Right. And the standard things. But, uh, but, uh, the processes. Yeah. Yeah. Because, you know, sorry. And, uh, it's like when my mom used to that guy, that guy, you know, looks like a thief.

Jack Thomas: And I'd say, mom, if he was a thief, he certainly wouldn't look like it. That I can guarantee you. Cause if there's a guy standing outside our house looking like a thief Right. He's not gonna be very good at his job. Exactly. Yeah. Right. So, so, so I'm, I'm not a big fan of micromanagement. Okay. Because it ends up, I think, throwing out the baby with the bath water and that doesn't work because I know how I would feel if somebody was trying to micromanagement.

Jack Thomas: Right, right. Yeah. But every, everybody is encouraged to bring up problems that they have with me, which means that you don't need to succeed with everyone. You need to know why you're not succeeding. Right,

Djagmo: right, right.

Jack Thomas: And that's all right. Failures are tolerated here. As long as you are open and clear about I can't get through to this kid, or, and I have had experience with teachers coming in saying, Jack, I don't know what's going on, but I'm just not, you know?

Jack Thomas: And I said, no problem. Let's, let's, let's talk to the parents and see what they have to say. Sometimes it's just a rapport issue. Sometimes it turns out the child never wanted to learn music. Sometimes it turns out he's lost in, you know, sometimes, sometimes it turns out right after school. He's been got here and he's too tired.

Jack Thomas: I mean, that's easy to solve. We just changed the time, you know, the weekend, so. Right. So, you know, the more open you keep it and you let people know that failing is not a problem, but not knowing why we are not, why we are failing. That is going to be a problem. Got it. Got

Djagmo: it. Jack, um, a follow up to this, uh, discussion.

Djagmo: You know, your teachers are on, uh, you know, are they freelancers? Are they working on early basis or, or are they on your payroll?

Jack Thomas: Uh, we are not on a fixed pay package. They decide the number of days they want to work. Okay. And based on that, right? And in fact, that is also something that I think, uh, post, uh, COVID, I'm having, you know, parts of changing it.

Jack Thomas: Cause there are two, I mean there, there are two, I mean, there are pros and cons to it. Right? Now what happens is there are some musicians who really good performers and right, they've also across the years, been genuinely good at teaching, right? Mm-hmm. Now, if I were to approach them and say, you know, I'd like you to teach with us, but I will, I mean, you're locked in with us, right?

Jack Thomas: Or they might have studio work. They do, and they're good teachers as well, right? But if I put a precondition that you can only work here, it'll not work out with them, right? So, correct. It was kinda why you're losing out whatever getting also, yeah. Cause that guy is willing to teach, you know, 10 to 15 or 20 or 30 students, but he still needs this time to produce music and I know where he's coming from, right?

Jack Thomas: Cause right. A performing musician needs to keep practicing as well. Right? So, yeah. So one aspect is that, the other aspect is that, you know, it's, it's, it's easier on the organization if we just hire them flat, right? Because Yes. Then they're available full-time, right? They're available full-time. And I like that idea as well.

Jack Thomas: So now I, I've reached the point where I'm open to. Everything and anything. If, if I find the right guy, okay, you tell me. You tell me. What are you looking at? And I'm willing to work with you for it. Cause, cause finding, finding the right kinda teachers is very, very, very, very difficult.

Djagmo: Okay, cool. Uh, Jack, I mean, if there are, you know, if there are, uh, uh, musicians listening and if they're looking for a teaching gig, I think by now they know where to, uh, head, uh, to, and, you know, probably you could, uh, be a person that they could talk to. Yeah. Um, uh, the, you know, uh, interestingly, uh,

Jack Thomas: yeah, current, the last thing that you spoke about, current.

Jack Thomas: Currently we have way more, uh, you know, people waiting to join our piano and voice lessons than we have teachers. And we still, like I said, we still looking for teachers. We're still looking for teachers because we have so many, and we don't have any free slots anymore for these two currently. But then, like I said, the problem is that, you know, we are so, I mean, I want to make sure that, you know, in, in, in, at the gate itself that it works for all of us.

Jack Thomas: Well, Yeah, yeah, of

Djagmo: course, of course. You have your, um, you know, you have your ways. Of course it is subject to certain conditions. Of course. I think that's pretty clear by now. Um, you, uh, you spoke about, you know, sometimes, uh, teachers coming to you and talking about, you know, somehow it's not working out with the student.

Djagmo: And it reminded me of one of the other conversations that I had with another person, you know, uh, he runs a company in Bangalore. He runs something called a school box.com. His name is, uh, Hubert e Mellow. Uh, I spoke to him last week. And then, you know, uh, he basically helps, uh, connect, uh, students and teachers.

Djagmo: He runs very, uh, something similar to Performance Collective, but then, you know, he's helping kids with maths and science. And then, you know, uh, I was talking to him about, you know, what's so unique about your business? Uh, a lot of people are doing this. And then, you know, he said, uh, because he himself has been a teacher for a long time, he realized that not all teachers are going to get along really well with all students.

Djagmo: Um, you know, so he's got a, uh, he's got a, a, you know, model or a test or some sort of a mechanism, you know, where, um, certain matching process happens. Uh, the teacher fills out a certain type of questionnaire. The student fills out a certain type of questionnaire, and then, you know, based on a certain personality type.

Djagmo: They get matched and it's worked pretty well for them. But, uh, not that I'm suggesting this to you, given that you already have a problem, you know, you have a shortage of teachers, so I don't know how you're gonna like get to a point where you have the luxury of matching students and teachers. Um, but, uh, yeah.

Djagmo: But you know, uh, another interesting thing is, uh,

Jack Thomas: yeah, no, that does happen and we do shift teachers at times. Okay. But, okay. But I mean, I mean, I'm, I'm very inquisitive about this, figuring out the personality and assigning them right in the first go. That sounds very interesting.

Djagmo: Great. I can, uh, you know, I'll see, I'll have a word with him.

Djagmo: I'll, you know, try and put you in touch with him. You can pick his brain Jack. Sure. That would be great. He's a, he's a pretty friendly person from what I've, uh, spoken. So I think he shouldn't have, I mean, he can share some insights, not, uh, it's based on Maya. Myers Briggs test is what he said. Okay. Loosely, based on that, uh, the personality types and stuff, M B I T is what he called it.

Djagmo: And, um, Jack, another point that you touched upon, right? Uh, you told that, you know, you cannot, um, lock in teachers because, you know, they also need to be practicing performers for them to be also, you know, good teachers and stuff like that. So, you know, are all your, do you, so, uh, for a musician, teacher slash teacher, what do you think, you know, we have fixed number of hours in a year, right?

Djagmo: Or in a month, say, you know, let's say it's about 200 hours, roughly, what is the number of hours that should go to go towards themselves practicing and what should be the split between them practicing and them teaching?

Jack Thomas: Uh, this is not, not necessary. It is from a teacher. You should have at least reached a level or two about the competence that you're teaching, right?

Jack Thomas: Because with performing arts, if you stop doing something, your ability to do that goes away, but not your right. Ability to teach it. Like a retired tennis pro still coaches tennis. Right? Right. But he's not expected to win even from a student. Right. In a straight out match. Right. Of course. Right.

Djagmo: And, you know, this, uh, reminds me of, uh, uh, you know, Those who don't play coach or something like

Jack Thomas: that.

Jack Thomas: Those who? Those who. But no, no, no. Those who can't play teach those who can't. Those who can't teach. Right. So thing when it comes to teaching music is that some of the best teachers I have known, they've already been too old. Right. Not necessarily playing like they were probably in theirs. And that's ok, right?

Jack Thomas: That that doesn't make a differe. Right. But you must, you should have seen that level of playing at some point in your life. Right. Because Right. Without that you can't. Right. But then it's his guess. Got it. That's his, guess what? That's not true. So typically you don't need, what I meant is that there are also people who have multiple things.

Jack Thomas: They do. And they're good at both. Like I said, no. Right. Like they, they're also studio work people. Right. But they're also like, I'm an entrepreneur. I love the whole idea of having big things and you know, so even with rock school, I was so excited cause it, it, it was building something out. You know, it wasn't just taking over and managing something.

Jack Thomas: I wouldn't have been so excited as it was. Right. It was right. So, so like that there are guys who do you know, jingles as well as they've been seriously teaching and I've known them for years. As Right. So, so when you want to accommodate in a, in a market where you don't have a choice of, there are lots of good people with teaching aptitude, wanting to teach.

Jack Thomas: In the absence of that, you have to look at, again, go for quality, right? So if this person cannot dedicate the 200, I'm fine with 30, right? Because I'm not getting it elsewhere in any case, right? I'm getting the 200, but it's not the quality that I want. Quality you want. Right. All the experience that I want, you know, so, so periodically, yes, we do take, take backs.

Jack Thomas: Just like, you know, at the Daily School of Music, somebody took a bet on me. I've also seen that. Right. You know, a certain percentage. It's important to invest in, you know, somebody who's going to become the star. You know, as well as we are concerned in terms of teaching, like how Nike used to sponsor the, got it.

Jack Thomas: The, not the big players, but they used to sponsor the like small, unknown upcoming guy, like before, so, so we also do a bit of that and that's been also Got it. I mean we, like I said, because internally where we had students who studied to a professional level, you know, and then wanted to teach here, We had such a great history on them already.

Jack Thomas: Right. We knew them since they age 12, 13. You know, their attitude, their ability to work together with people, their, you know, communication skills. Of course we taught them so we know what they know in terms of subject matter. Right. So, so, so we would take certain bets on that front as well. It turned out quite well.

Djagmo: Got it. Got it. Jack. Cool. And, you know, you also spoke about, uh, there was a situation, you know, where, uh, uh, a student probably wasn't really interested because after school directly coming to a class was tiring and then you might have sorted it out for a weekend. Uh, this kind of reminded me of another, um, uh, conversation I had.

Djagmo: Uh, you know, uh, and then, uh, I was, uh, having this in mind, but I lost it. And then this kind of brought me back to this. Um, so there is this, um, entrepreneur in, uh, west Bengal, right? His name is, uh, in Balot. He runs a company called His Champ for Life. And then, uh, he was a pro golfer at one point, and he was a number one, uh, ranked golfer in India for, uh, certain amount of time.

Djagmo: And, uh, he runs this, uh, champ for life, uh, academic, which helps people who are in sports, students who are in sports because. I saw a parallel between sports and music, and we also, you know, kind of touched upon it slightly. Uh, you said, you know, to succeed you need to practice so many hours and stuff like that, and you may not have the time for your conventional education.

Djagmo: And, you know, um, uh, it's not, it's not a given that, you know, if you finish so much of music and if you've, you're gonna make a living out of it. It's, it could be a Chancey thing. And, uh, not everybody, as you said earlier, may not have the thing for a teaching. They might only be a performer and, you know, if they don't click.

Djagmo: And so, uh, this academia, what it's done is, um, for all those people, you know, who, who wanna kind of have a conventional degree as an insurance in case, you know, they're not succeeding in either sport or anything that they wanna do apart from education. Uh, he's taken a curriculum from, uh, n I S, which is National Institute of Open Schooling.

Djagmo: And, uh, he's condensed that curriculum to just 10% of what it is, just enough for student to spend bare minimum time and pass and still be eligible to, you know, clear something and get a degree, like a BComm or, you know, something like that later in case, you know, things don't work out. Um, they can still get up a, you know, get a conventional job or do some higher education.

Djagmo: Um, I don't know. I'm just telling this to you, if at all, you come across students, you know, who are talented and if the parents feel, you know what, uh, he's talented at all. But then, you know, his education is taking a hit. There's, there's an option like this, uh, for you, Jack. And, uh, uh, the, the main reason for me mentioning this, has there been a situation like this where the student had to kinda, you know, give up music because, you know, their education was taking a hit?

Djagmo: I,

Jack Thomas: I know that this might sound odd, but even, I mean, when I look back on it, I, I find that to be a little strange as well. Okay. All of, if I, if I take from the music perspective, the top of farmers, right? Right. If I, and we compared their schoolwork, I mean, their standard Yeah. Their usual school, public school, the morning school they go to, none of them were in the, you know, in, in the bottom rung of their, I mean, some of them were in the top run Got it.

Jack Thomas: Education, and some of them are in the top rung of what they're doing in their studies. Mm-hmm. But even the ones who took it lightly were all in the middle rung. So I was, I couldn't really find an example where I'd say that, you know, the regular education was getting in the way of, you know, them. It's not been my experience.

Jack Thomas: I, I mean, I mean, of course I'm talking about those who are, those whom we would particularly notice as, okay, this is an unusual amount of work, interest and dedication that this learner is showing. There are almost always doing pretty well in their academics as well. Pretty well meaning they were not with topping, but they certainly were not in a place where, of course, we had parents who wanted them to top, top, top, top, top.

Jack Thomas: 97 is not good enough. 99 is, is the magic number. Yes, that's there. But if one took a reasonable right, none of them were doing badly.

Jack Thomas: Got it. I mean, because that would've been something that I would've remembered for sure. Because No, that because, no, no, no. Because looking at it, no. Cause you know, one would think, okay, this needs some thought. You know, because why should this, this person who's great at music suddenly not have a, you know, cause, uh, I wasn't graded academy either, which meant that the subjects, the subjects that I did, like, I was in the top 10% of the class and the subjects that I didn't like, I was in the bottom 10%.

Jack Thomas: So my school found it very difficult to flank me. Because outta the six in three, I was in the top first list, and the rest three, I was the, I was in the flunking list and, you know, giving reest. So they couldn't figure out that. In fact, the principal called, and me as well, I thinking,

Jack Thomas: I'm not really, not really found this example where, you know, no.

Djagmo: Got it. Got it. Jack. Uh, it's a, it's a, you know, it's a very insightful thing because I, there must be some correlation between, um, you know, IQ and music and Yeah. Could be. I'll probably,

Jack Thomas: you know, I mean I've, I've, I've tried to locate it, but I've also thought about it from the point of view that you succeeded music.

Jack Thomas: You have to have discipline, right? Right. You have to sit every day and practice. So, which means you're disciplined in your drive. If, if you didn't have it, you needed to survive this train. Correct? Correct.

Djagmo: So

Jack Thomas: if those two things are fixed, then those regular studies can't be such a big deal. Got it. I mean, I mean, knowing enough to pass can't be a big deal, you know?

Djagmo: Yeah. It cannot. Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. It's an,

Jack Thomas: it's an interesting, so I, I've not, I mean, to be, to be honest, while I've, while I've seen this conversation and heard this conversation, I've never seen where I can clearly say ok. Right. Huh. Whereas I think in sports it's common also. Cause I, I seem to see it in common for about, even in US where these 15 year old kids who are absolutely great at sports, but you know, I'm

Djagmo: sure there is some correlation because, um, about a physical activity and a mental activity.

Djagmo: Maybe.

Jack Thomas: In fact, I remember when Berkeley, Berkeley is one of the biggest music in the world for contemporary music. They're based outta the us Okay. And, uh, they did a audition here one time ago on their entire, you know, hiring team was here. Okay. Not hiring team. Their admissions team Right. Was here. Great.

Jack Thomas: So I remember speaking to one of the older gentlemen and, you know, so what is, so he said, Jack, do you know what is the most common double major? I said, no, software engineering and music. Ah. I was like, are you serious? Okay. I was like, are you serious? So this is, this is circa 2009. Right, right, right. So I found that very odd.

Jack Thomas: You know, he says, yeah, he says the most two com, I mean,

Jack Thomas: That Berkeley sees is software, software engineering. Which the, which they don't do. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But Boston is a educational hub, so they'll do a software engineering and a double major from the Got it.

Djagmo: This is a very new and

Jack Thomas: interesting. Oh, I don't, I don't know how it works. I don't know if it's the maths or the mathematical thinking you need with music.

Jack Thomas: I mean, though in music, I wouldn't, I mean, nothing is overtly maths, but fundamentally I think it's, cause it's based on frequencies. It's all math. It's just you're dealing with it another way.

Djagmo: No. Got it. Jack, this is, this is something that's interesting. I'll, you know, I'll just dig it up, uh, for sure. Um, another thing that I was, uh, gonna ask you was, okay.

Djagmo: Uh, so Jack, uh, you know, I think, um, I've come to an end of most of the questions. Uh, now that it's conclusion time, there are some standard questions that I kind of have, um, which is, you know, now you spoke about, uh, just going back, you told that, you know, uh, you definitely are sold. On the idea or you know, you definitely see potential of having, if you're having 125 in-person students, you see there should be no problems in having 350 online students.

Djagmo: And you said right now, probably digitally you are not, uh, up there. It could be due to finances and stuff like that, but, uh, that's temporary. Yes. But what is your vision, uh, for performance collective, you know, what's your goal in terms of the number of students, um, going ahead? Do you have anything like that?

Djagmo: You have a goal to reach? A number to reach

Jack Thomas: in, in, in the next five years, yes. We, I'm hoping to hit, you know, we are hoping to hit a 500 number. Got it. But, uh, and a big chunk of that 500 is expected from online. Got it.

Jack Thomas: But also, apart from the software, the other second level is having the instructors to, you know, enough talent to be able to handle that as well. Got

Djagmo: it. Got it. Chuck,

Jack Thomas: both, both are, both, are there, have you,

Djagmo: have you kind of figured out a method to getting there? You working on it? Working on, it's, uh, you need to have a marketing team in place.

Djagmo: At least digital marketing and stuff like that. I believe

Jack Thomas: we have, we have one person who looks after the digital marketing. Okay. Bit. But, uh, I think we'll need to scale it up to, uh, much larger scale, you know, a much more, a professional level of

Djagmo: Got it, got it, got it. Chuck. And, uh, you're looking to do that in-house or you looking to outsource it to experts?

Jack Thomas: I. I am looking to

Djagmo: outsource it to experts. Oh, fine. Um, I think, um, the reason I asked you was just to see, you know, what's your thought process because, um, a lot of people that I've spoken to seem to have the same, uh, approach towards it because, you know, if you want to have an in-house marketing team, you need to have somebody capable and knowledgeable with experience leading that.

Djagmo: And most of them are running their own marketing companies. And sometimes it's easier to outsource such things, uh, because it's also leaner on you. You don't have to like, you know, you can, uh, it's like a plug and play. If you think it's not working, you can unplug and then, you know, you can go onto somebody else who can do that.

Djagmo: But, uh, got it. Um, uh, the bigger, uh, theme or the big picture is that you're definitely looking at online as a major source of your revenue or, or a chunk of your students are gonna, majority of your students are gonna be online outta 500. Yes. It's not that it's new for you. You've already seen a peak of four 50, but those four 50, the only difference is gonna be they were in person, but this is gonna be online.

Djagmo: So I think that's the only difference. And uh, probably one last light question. You said, uh, you in the start, you spoke about, uh, you compared, uh, Google, um, uh, uh, to Bangalore saying Whitefield is probably something like that in Bangalore. I was like wondering, oh, okay, fine. You know, so were you in Bangalore for some time?

Djagmo: Like where,

Jack Thomas: uh, Uh, BA Bangalore was one of the cities that I opened offices, offices in my stint with. Yes, yes. Stop school. So I visited Bangalore many, many times over. So that's, that's where the connection is. Okay. Got it. Yeah, I have a, I have a cup, a few relatives in Bangalore as well. Great. Once or twice I've come over to see them as well.

Jack Thomas: So it's a beautiful city. Yeah. Except

Djagmo: for traffic. Uh,

Jack Thomas: well, well, when you have one long road connect, connecting one of the city to the, it's, it's, it's the what, the same problem Bombay has, except that in Bombay, it's fixed by the sea. Now they're trying to build little, little circles around it.

Djagmo: And, uh,

Djagmo: and, uh, rock school has a campus in Bangalore, even as of today.

Jack Thomas: Rock school. Rock school. Yes. It has rock school is a testing. It's a example. So it, it works with a lot of schools in Bangalore,

Djagmo: huh? No. Okay. For, uh, individuals looking to learn music. So Examiners, you know, what place would you recommend for them in Bangalore?

Djagmo: Uh, Jack

Jack Thomas: Bangalore. There are a lot of schools. Okay. As such. Okay. There are a lot of schools and teachers. So since the Rock school is per se, not a school. Got it. So, I mean, that's why they changed their name as well to a, so that there's no Ah, so it's, it's just like Trinity, like Trinity is not a school, it's a certifying board or

Djagmo: something

Jack Thomas: like that.

Jack Thomas: It's like, yeah. It's like C bse, you know, they make a syllabus. You, you know, you, you try to pass

Djagmo: their exams. Got it. Jack, Jack, uh, if, you know, if there are, you know, parents watching, you know, if they're, if they wanna have their kids join, you know, how do, because most of them do not have any knowledge about music, right?

Djagmo: Uh, how, what are the things to consider before, you know, enrolling your kid into a music school?

Jack Thomas: Uh, depending on the age. Okay. The first thing to understand, it's, uh, it's a three to four year process. Okay. Right. So if you're, if it's your first instrument, right.

Jack Thomas: If you blind, I mean, unless the child is very particularly interested in a instrument Right. You might want to wait till they're seven before you actually start formal training.

Djagmo: Mm. Seven years. Okay. Yes.

Jack Thomas: The, the, the kind of training that professionals schools like us give. Got it. Right. The one-on-one, you know, so, which are instrument specific training, right.

Jack Thomas: Unless the child is showing an unusual amount of interest, in which case you of course come with the child to the instructor of school to check them further out. But till seven, because you see these instruments are made with adult hands in mind. Right. So a, you don't want to start too early and have an, an aversion developed with the child.

Jack Thomas: So a you gotta be careful that it is hard, it's hard for anybody. Right, right. So you don't want to, so if it's about, I want my child to learn music, though, you know, the child is not particularly saying, I want to learn this or that, and you are wait till they're set. Right? Keyboards still work a little earlier, but otherwise it's safer to wait till seven.

Jack Thomas: You don't need to, you know, before that, the most important thing is what's in their environment, which means are you listening to music? Right? If you listen to music, your child will listen to music too, right. A lot of times people come and say, you know, uh, yeah, I do listen to music when I ask them, where do you listen to music or at parties, and let's not listen to music.

Jack Thomas: Right? I'm, I'm, I'm talking about, I ask you, do you play chess? It means do you play chess? Like only at your point, right? Do you watch movies? Right. There's no, so when we say do you listen to music means do you actually put music on, listen to it or not during the day. Right. Of your liking. Right.

Jack Thomas: Particularly. So you gonna have to do that kinda things to really, if you want your child to develop interest for something, they tend to do what? You got it. They tend, so you simply saying it'll not work. If you have an interest in music, you go to concerts or you listen to music regularly, raim me, you'll see the effect coming automatically.

Jack Thomas: Got it. Got it. From there. But don't be surprised to buy six, seven. They come and tell you that I want to learn this. Mm. Okay. Right. So short of that, I mean there is, there is nothing much you can do at that point. Don't force anything is my first advice. Don't force anything. It, it has to. Cause at that age they can't, like a guitar kids at six, unless they're very adamant.

Jack Thomas: Right. So I usually tell them to bring the child away when I say the seven. So I say, okay, can I meet the child? So I spend five minutes with the child, with the parent not in the room. Right. And you know, the level of interest, independence. Because a lot of times the pain, it pains the fingers and you're gonna tell it's a six, six year old child and no, no.

Jack Thomas: Keep playing. Pain is part of it. No, it's not gonna work. It's not gonna work. Right, right. But, but there are some who do. There are some who do. Right, right. But, but then, and those chances, I mean, you go with your child and make sure that it's the right environment as well. People who understand teaching young children is far more trickier than teaching older children.

Jack Thomas: Okay. It takes far more teaching skills. It takes a different type of teaching skills. Yeah. Right. Because they live in a very different world than you and maybe Yeah. It's at about seven or eight that they start being in a slightly more adult mindset. Mindset. Yeah. Yeah. Got it. Right. So you need teachers who can get down to that level and communicate at that level.

Jack Thomas: If you're a parent, you'll know when, when the teacher meets your child, you will know whether that person knows how to communicate with a child or not. Mm-hmm. That's why I said, take your child and go meet them. Got it, got it. Okay. Right. If they can't communicate right at the interaction level, chances are they're not gonna be able to teach them where either you'll, you'll see it

Djagmo: immediately.

Djagmo: Got it. Jack, uh, very interesting. I'm sorry. Have I gone

Jack Thomas: away from your question? No, no, no. You did not. Have I gone away from your new question?

Djagmo: No, no, no, you did not. Uh, I think, um, I think you concluded it by giving a summary because you say that, you know, just correct me if I'm wrong, this is what I understood.

Djagmo: Uh, take the kid to the teacher and then, you know, you'll see the way the teacher's gonna interact with the kid, and then you'll know whether that's the right teacher or not. And, uh, yeah. So,

Jack Thomas: so that's for the younger ages. For the older ages, make sure they understand that it's a long process. Right? It's going to take two to three years for you to reach hobby level playing skills for your first instrument.

Jack Thomas: If you're young, even if you're old, it'll take two. It's your first instrument means you're learning music as well as you're learning an instrument. Got it. Your second instrument becomes easier because then you're not learning music and you, right. You're learning how to control the second

Jack Thomas: instruments, the same thing, two to three years. It'll, yeah. Except, so two to three years, it'll take with an average of putting in a hundred and, you know, 180 hours a year, roughly half an hour a day. Got it. If you're putting lesser than that, that virtuous cycle of putting an effort, seeing a little progress, which drives you to put again, effort, never, that circle never develops.

Jack Thomas: Got it. If you're going to do less than half an hour a day. Got it. Jack, in most cases, that's been my experience. So then what happens is it's a spiral of, oh, I'm not getting anywhere. Yeah. I don't feel like going to class. Yeah. Uh, I'm no good at it. I quit. Right,

Djagmo: right, right. Makes sense.

Jack Thomas: Or if I practice half an hour a day, first week is terrible.

Jack Thomas: I'm not getting anywhere. Second week I'm not. Third week I managed to do a little bit. Fourth week I start practicing on my own. Cause then I got a little bit more better. So that cycle takes two to three months to start. And then it takes about three years for you to reach where you would say at this rate, reach, hobby level, playing skills.

Jack Thomas: Good. Which means you're, you're, you're learning it fundamentally properly. Like you should learn English. Let's say when you learning English, you should not be straight away. Okay. I'll just teach you how to ask away the, you know, how to, it might work, it might work for a very specific practice, but that's not the way run.

Jack Thomas: Yeah. You've gotta know what alphabet's, uh, you should know the grammar so that going ahead, you do things with it. Right, right, right, right. So, so next time you want to go to market and ask for a tomato, you're not going to ask the teacher back. Now how do I ask for a tomato? Good. Yeah. Right. So yeah. So if you're learning music the proper way, which means it's gonna stay with you for life, reaching a hobby level playing will take.

Jack Thomas: Got it. So look for a teacher who, you know, has experience, has at least a grade eight level, if you're looking for Western music.

Djagmo: Mm. Okay. Grade eight level. Got it.

Jack Thomas: Yeah. At least a grade eight level has teaching experience meet up with them. Right. And, uh, know that the best, the best teachers and the best performers I've met in my life are the humblest ones.

Jack Thomas: Right.

Djagmo: Got it.

Jack Thomas: So, I mean, if you want 1, 1, 1, 1 sharp way of look, look for how, how much they have on paper and how much humility they have. It's, it's, it's, it's a fair. Good.

Djagmo: Yeah. Grade eight on the paper and then, you know, how they come across and how much they promise or something like that. Got it. And, um, uh, one, uh, just two more questions.

Djagmo: One is, you know, uh, choosing a teacher when parents, uh, you know, do not have a music background, but they wish for their kids to get into music for, you know, the reasons that you said, uh, you know, not for anything else, but you know, they're learning maths. Let them also learn music. How do they choose an instrument?

Djagmo: Uh, Jack, uh,

Jack Thomas: What it, the owners of it. I always say that it should be left to the child.

Djagmo: Okay. What

Jack Thomas: are the, so that, how do you identify what the child wants when the, the child should say, this is what I want to learn.

Djagmo: Oh, okay.

Jack Thomas: At, at three, six or seven where probably that does not exist. The standard is cable.

Jack Thomas: Ha. That's what I doesn't hurt the fingers. Got it. It's, it's very easy and quick to make sense of it. Got it, got it, got it. So it's a, it's a good place to get your foot in. And lot of these kids will, that by the time they're seven or eight, may stick with that, go to piano or change, but however, none of that training would go to waste.

Jack Thomas: Cause they would've learned music. Music through a very easily accessible medium. Got it. But ahead of that age, you have to make sure that when the going gets tough, the child does not feel like saying, it wasn't my choice to start with. Right. Got it. Right. Because different instruments provide different levels of difficulties and each person will have different, but it's going to be there.

Jack Thomas: Right. Some will struggle with sense of time, some will struggle with sense of pitch. Some will struggle with being relaxed while playing. Some will struggle with. The violin, different struggles, finding notes. Right. It are different struggles. So it'll all be there whether it comes immediately upfront or later.

Jack Thomas: So you wanna make sure that the responsibility is taken right by the learner. Got it. Right. Because then the is also great. Got it. And, and, and as long as, you know, there are, there are times there are learners, teenagers will switch their instruments midway. And when the parents come to say, but you know, we've invested so much.

Jack Thomas: I tell them, has he been working hard? They say, yeah. I said, don't worry because it's not that it's anything's going to waste, you know? Right. It's, it's, it's part of life. You do something and sometimes doing a thing, you learn that this is not what I want. Yeah. And I said, and that's healthy. Exactly. And that's healthy to make that, I said, let him switch, let him switch to something else now.

Jack Thomas: Right. Because there's no point in forcing him to do this. His learning with this is over. But he worked hard and he's gotten everything he should have. And I said, now don't worry, let him switch. Cause if it was outta lack of effort, I would've said, you know what, sit him down and have a talk about why he wants to do this in the first place.

Jack Thomas: Right. But if, if they've been working hard, don't worry. Let 'em switch. Life is like that. You, you have to, you figure out what you want and what you don't want. All parts are straight. Yeah. Yeah. And yeah. And each, each, each step of that process informs you more. Right. Right. So if I didn't walk down the path of trying to be a performer for a while, I wouldn't know that I didn't want Yeah.

Jack Thomas: It wasn't something, I mean, it wasn't as attractive to me as it, and as it seemed like when I was

Djagmo: a teenager. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Right. Great. So Jack, uh, just a concluding question. Uh, what is, you know, uh, probably this is a question I must have asked earlier, but, you know, we've spoken around Performance Collective and everything, but, you know, for people wondering, you know, what is performance collective and, uh, what are the instruments you teach?

Djagmo: Some basic FAQs that you come across for people who might be interested to, you know, uh, check out Performance Collective, or if you, if you wanna add please, you know, over

Jack Thomas: to you. Okay. Performers Collective School of Music is a school for learning western contemporary and Western classical music. Right.

Jack Thomas: We teach individually only. We teach right from absolute scratch, beginner levels mm-hmm. Which we call foundation. Mm-hmm. To intermediate levels and to professional levels as well. Okay. Right. So you can, and they have different class structures and free structures, et cetera, depending on where you're at.

Jack Thomas: Right. So, We teach all ages. We don't have, our teachers are trained to handle, you know, uh, adapt handling. Whether you're in level or you're a young chap looking at, you know, our teachers are well equipped with teaching you individual lessons. Only we do, right? Music theory is a big part of our teaching as well.

Jack Thomas: And like you must have noticed earlier, our target is not to teach you songs but give you all the skills that you can go learn as many songs. Of course, we teach you songs as well cause we have to teach you how to apply them. But the primary ideas to enable you do things and hopefully that music stays with you for life, which we believe that learning one song after the other is not gonna do it.

Jack Thomas: Cause you then forever need somebody to, you know, right. Help you parrot. That's what I would call it at best. Right? Uh, we teach, uh, on campus at location as well as online. We have 15 specialist teachers. So if you choose an electric guitar, an electric guitar specialist teacher will be teaching you. Same for classical guitar or violin, keyboard, piano, western vocals, drums and violin.

Jack Thomas: Online for online lessons or on-campus lessons. You can contact us through our website, which is Performance Collective. And, uh, we'll be happy to get back to you. And if you're a teacher looking for.

Djagmo: Got it. All the fee structures and everything's

Jack Thomas: available on the website, all is available there. And if you write to us, we'll be happy to send it to you as well.

Jack Thomas: And if you need to talk to us, just leave a message and we'll get right back to you.

Djagmo: Sorry, you were talking, you were about to

Jack Thomas: say about Oh, I said, uh, there are teachers out there who after listening to me feel you're a good fit here. Please do feel free to contact, connect with us. Always happy to talk to musicians and educators.

Djagmo: Great. Uh, but Jack, um, uh, it was a, it was a pleasure talking to you. Uh, there was so much, so much that I learned. Yeah. Lot of insights. Um, we could probably have easily another couple of podcasts. I definitely have so much questions to ask you, deep dive, but yeah, probably, uh, after the first publishing, you know, we could probably meet again for a second season, uh, subject to your availability and, um, uh, yeah.

Djagmo: Thank you so much, Jack. Yeah. Thanks for taking your time out. Yeah. This podcast is brought to you by Edison OS a no-code EdTech platform to operate an online education business. Knowledge. Entrepreneurs can use Edison OS to sell online courses from their own websites. Manage online masterclass, launch mobile learning apps, sell online practice tests for competitive exams, run online learning communities, digitizing their offline tutoring business, use it as a learning management system, and a lot more cases in the domain of knowledge commerce.

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