Today we’d like to introduce you to Sean P. Rogan.
Sean, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started playing guitar when I was 15 and played for 6 or 7 hours the first day. I had to stop when my fingers were bleeding. I knew that day that I would dedicate my life to playing music. After graduating high school, I attended Berklee College of Music. During my 4 years at Berklee, my friends and I started a band called Big D and the Kids Table. We played thousands of shows all around the world and it was a great 15 years.
After meeting my future wife in my home state of Rhode Island, I decided to leave the touring life behind and start a family. My plan for earning money after leaving the band was to be a professional skydiver at Skydive New England in Lebanon, Maine. I had been jumping there for about 8 years and had developed the skills to be a videographer. That was an amazing job and everything was working out really well…until I broke my foot!
With no income and my right foot and ankle in a cast, I Googled “how to make money teaching music”. I earned my degree in Music Education from Berklee and looked for some teaching gigs in local schools, but couldn’t really see myself having a boss. So, with a strong DIY ethic carrying over from my days in Big D, I started my own music school.
I found a couple of great books and other musicians that had started a teaching business. I followed their plans and learned to build a website (www.YouRockSchoolOfMusic.com), made some fliers and put them in everyone’s doors in my neighborhood. We started with one student out of my living room. Word of mouth, advertising, sponsoring and hustling led to another student, then another. After a year, we had too many people coming in and out of our living room. So, I finished our basement off and turned it into a studio.
After 3 years and over 100 people (kids and adults) coming in and out of my house every day, we decided to move to a storefront location two blocks from our house. We are now in our 7th year as a school, have over 250 students and are a big part of our community.
Along with my teaching and business owner career, I play guitar and sing in a Huey Lewis and the News cover band called Power of Love. We are based out of Boston and it is a very fun, rewarding project. The best aspect of my life is my family. I have been happily married to my beautiful wife, Emily since 2009, we have a 6-year-old daughter, Maggie, a 16-month old son, Van.
Living the dream.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think it has been smooth, other than breaking my foot! If I hadn’t broken my foot, You Rock School of Music may not exist! So many people struggle in life, and I feel like I’ve had my share of struggles, but overall, I am very lucky and the business has always been growing and always rewarding.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
You Rock School of Music makes music a bigger part of your life. That is our mission statement. We offer music lessons in guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, ukulele, and singing. We encourage students to play together. Music is more fun when playing with others. We focus on getting kids, teens, and adults into bands.
We specialize in rock music, whether it’s covering other bands’ songs or writing original music. We have a stage, lights and a PA in our school for in-house shows, I am most proud of the community that we have built. It seems like everyone in Edgewood (our neighborhood in Cranston, RI) either plays an instrument or is in a band. We have mom bands, dads bands, kids, teens…you name it.
What were you like growing up?
I always loved sports and being active. I also always loved music and playing music. I started playing cello in 4th grade but hated it. I liked being in a band but didn’t like my instrument. In 5th grade, I switched to trumpet because my dad played it. I never liked it. It felt weird on my teeth and I never practiced but was pretty good at it. I continued playing trumpet and French horn through middle school. After discovering Led Zeppelin in 9th grade, my life changed when I took my first guitar lesson.
- Address: 1802 Broad Street Cranston, RI 02905
- Website: www.YouRockSchoolOfMusic.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/yourockschoolofmusic/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/yourockschoolofmusic/