Can Setster help you sing? I can’t carry a tune, but to find out more about how this might be possible, we spoke with Jayne Carmichael Norrie, Founder and Director of The Forte Music School. Home-based in Aberdeen, UK, Jayne runs an impressive — and beautifully designed –website and outlet for lovers of singing, piano, and theory. Led by Jayne & fellow-community musicians and workshop leaders, Forte is the only music school in the North-East of Scotland that will let you book and pay for a lesson online!
Tell us a little bit about what your company does, and what you do within it.
We are a small private music school based in Aberdeen, UK. I started my business in October 2009 with no money, teaching from my bedroom. Our tutors teach in converted studio spaces that are part of tutors’ homes; this keeps our costs down and helps us to re-invest more regularly to improve our facilities.
The Forte Music School is a business built on small-but-mighty home studios. When I first started my business I thought about getting a business loan to secure our own premises. But then I realised that people would be happy to visit you at your home if they were getting quality tuition, and I was right.
What brought you to start-up this business?
I wanted to start this business to help me gain more experience of teaching. It has also helped in my own aspirations to become an opera singer. I sing a lot during my lessons as it helps my pupils to find their voice; it also has the added benefit of keeping my voice in good condition. A singer has to keep singing, even if it is just singing scales.
What is the ‘need’ or ‘void’ you are trying to fill through the service you are providing?
We are the only music school in the whole of the North-East of Scotland that provides an online appointment booking system and online payment options. We are filling a void for a music school that has a good online presence, and that is easily accessible for our customers.
How did you find Setster? What attracted you to it?
The Forte Music School has used Setster since 2009 and it has been a great tool in making us stand out from our competitors. Located by searching for an online appointment system, I liked the idea of Setster being easy to use for business owners like me that don’t know much about coding. The fact that it loads over your existing site really appealed to me.
How does Setster help your business?
Setster helps us manage our tutors’ calendars and show their availability to prospective clients. Setster helps us to stand-out from our competitors by having a great online presence, a booking system that is really user-friendly and tools which help with our SEO.
This year we have developed a library of rehearsal materials for our pupils; this will make us one of only a handful of music schools in the whole of Scotland that offers complimentary rehearsal materials as part of their membership.
Where do you hope Forte finds itself a year from now?
In a year’s time I’d like to expand my businesses into offering private music tuition in workplaces, creating workplace choirs and offering private lessons, with a bigger library of rehearsal materials for my pupils.