We had the good fortune of connecting with Wyatt Coleman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Wyatt, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my college career with plans to become an orthodontist. College is expensive, so I found a way to pay for school through a music scholarship at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. However, after taking organic chemistry my junior year, I had the epiphany that the last thing I wanted to do was spend my life in other people’s mouths. Music is what I love, and it always has been. I had been teaching private lessons throughout my college career, and noticed that it was very difficult for private teachers to find jobs that provided benefits and a good salary. So, I set out to open the American Music Academy. My goal was to provide a place where teachers were provided for so that their focus could be solely on the students.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started playing violin when I was four years old, a few months after my twin brother began his studies at the local Suzuki program. We always performed together, playing in quartets and working as wedding musicians. We attended international music festivals and competed in chamber competitions in high school together. When it came time for college, he was set on attending a conservatory, and I decided to keep music as my passion but not my career. Even then, I knew that working as a musician could be difficult, and that is what we are trying to help overcome at the American Music Academy by providing support for all of our teachers.

The journey began my junior year, when I decided not to pursue a career in dentistry. I had majored in music to keep my scholarship, so the switch seemed easy enough at first, until I realized I knew nothing about owning a business. So I spent the next few years working at schools around Houston. Some schools treated me well, while others made me and all of the other teachers feel completely expendable. I learned what worked, what did not, and came up with a few new ideas of my own; so I started writing my business plan. The main principle remained the same, if I was able to give teachers a stable work environment where they felt appreciated and provided for, then their focus would be on helping their students succeed.

After the business plan was finished, I started looking for investors and secured our startup capital. Everything was set, and then covid hit. Fortunately, we had not signed a lease and we were able to put everything on hold until 2021. We opened on July 4th this year and welcomed our first students that week.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Anytime my brother comes to visit, we always make a pilgrimage around Houston eating everything we can. We start the day at Grinder’s Coffee Bar on Kirby, then make our way to Truth BBQ for lunch. Nobie’s and Toasted Coconut are some of our favorite haunts in Houston. If you are looking for great Oaxacan food, stop by Xochii and make sure you say hey to their sommelier, Sean Beck. Menil Park is a great spot for a picnic outside. The Rothko Chapel is right next door, and we love the Cy Twombly exhibit across the street too.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It is impossible to accomplish anything alone, and I could not have started the American Music Academy without the love and support of my wife and co-director, Laura Coleman. We also owe an immense thank-you to all of the investors who helped us turn this dream into a reality.

Website: www.TheAmericanMusicAcademy.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/american_music_academy/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMusicAcad/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFvzAKCwBvauufRXpCD2t7Q

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