Like many musicians, Dan Spencer started teaching music as a side gig in college. After teaching for different companies, both online and in-person, his sideshow soon became his leading act. In 2018, he started the online music instruction company Best Music Coach.
“I find so much joy in music, so to inspire that joy in music in others and also to see that joy in music in others, is absolutely what gets me up in the morning and keeps me going,” he said.
Since teachers and students don’t have to travel, online instruction can save time and money, Spencer said. The student signs into a half-hour lesson through an interactive video chat, and at the end, he sends an email with practice instructions.
Often Spencer and the student will have the same piece of music in front of them. His audio comes directly out of the student’s speakers because he uses a microphone and plugs the guitars and basses into the computer. It actually doesn’t matter that you’re not in the room with them. They’re able to deliver the same quality experience to you as you would [get] in-person,” he said, explaining that he could teach a student by listening only.
Last month, Gov. John Carney announced that Best Music Coach was among 10 companies to receive the EDGE grant from the Division of Small Business. Spencer was awarded $35,829 to do things like produce a more advanced website that includes internal video chat, offer a 15% discount for military families and publish three instructional books.
He first heard of the grants while perusing the Division of Small Business’ website and applied shortly before the first deadline. After he didn’t get accepted, he worked with the Delaware Small Business Development Center to apply again, revising his application and meeting with business experts.
“Putting the money aside, just the business experience of working with these people, it’s worth going through this process whether you win or not,” he said. “Going through that process can bring so much clarity and so much insight into a business.”