OK This is going to be a long post! Monday was a blast! And what a year it has been!
On Monday, 11 October 2021, Intan Kartini and I officially opened our Music Mountain studio at Emporis, Kota Damansara. The app and portal that we have been working on has been submitted to the app stores today by our app developers and we hope to see some results for that soon. But the journey has been such a learning experience for both of us.
Looking back, the idea of Music Mountain was conceived prior to Covid times. However the idea did not really translate to what we have now as the end product.
It all started in the end of 2019 when Intan asked me to create something with my talent on the drums. Something in relation with education. We ended up deciding to open a music school (brick and mortar). But we had to put that idea on the back-burner when MCO was announced in March 2020.
We took a step back and reevaluated our plans. We needed to pivot. We gathered that we could still forge forward but we had to do it differently, mainly online. We wanted to future proof this. That’s when we started researching and examining music education ecosystems that exists in Asia and around the world. We then decided to create a portal which people could subscribe to, and watch video-on-demand lessons to learn a musical instrument of their choice. For us , the first course we would be rolling out is surrounding the drums.
Now at first, we didn’t think how challenging it could be building a course. We thought hey, lets get some great tutors and just wing it. Well we found great tutors, Jimmy T. Jamz and Ryan Lee Bhaskaran BUT after a lot of discussions, we realised we couldn’t just wing it.
It had to be done proper with lots of tender loving care. First, as a team we all contributed in our own ways. Jimmy had loaned us his studio in Shah Alam to film our content; he also became our audio engineer; safe to say we spent a lot of time there figuring things out. Ryan kickstarted our syllabus journey and we formed a format that we could work with, which is now ever expanding. We used our own camera and lighting gear (fortunate to have quality cams from my photography days and also from Ryan’s stash), some of which we purchased new. Intan and I had to make sure the other aspects of the business like funding, branding and marketing were done in a tasteful manner.
Anyway in terms of content we spent hundreds of hours writing and filming each lesson, from scratch, to the point we have materials for a book!
At the same time, we were also looking for working partners and funding for the portal and app development.
We started pitching and one of the pitches was with Swee Lee, Asia’s biggest music store. I met up with Ee Yang and Alex from Swee Lee. These two guys were a blast to work with. They understood what we were about and what we wanted to do. They graciously supported us with a drum kit and hardware to get started. I have to give a shout out to the people Ludwig Drums Singapore/Malaysia as well.
They are just great drum makers and we are proud to be using their line of drums for our studio and lessons.
We also did another pitch for an ecosystem grant with Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia, KKMM (Ministry of Communications and Multimedia). All I can say is that we felt very fortunate and honoured that the evaluating committee found value in our proposal and decided to give us a chance. The committee panel were made up of people who have been in the industry for a long time, and some who are still active in the scene. And so, it was refreshing for us to see that they wanted the education side of the music industry to really grow. There is a need for a training ground for talents and we figured we could fill that gap in an educational tech way. That was our narrative which we hold dear to our hearts. Anyway, we were very fortunate that we were amongst those chosen to received a grant for ecosystem development. This was back in the last quarter of 2020. And I have to give kudos to the Ministry for being very flexible with the completion arrangement. Because of the lockdowns, our filming of the content had to really take a pause and it was pretty challenging curating, filming, editing the footage as well as managing the development of the app during pandemic times.
In May 2021, we decided that we needed to have a place to call home for @musicmountainco. We needed a place where we could film our content regularly, have music workshops, stream live content for our subscribers, etc. The gyst is for us to be an educational hub for anyone who wanted to pick up drums/music. At the same time, we want to be able to connect with drummers/ musicians around Asia and get them to contribute content on our platform so that we can pass this knowledge on to the next generation of musicians. Remember, a big part of our civilisation is built on art and culture; without it, where would our identity be?! We believe music unites people and brings us closer together. At the same time, we want people to find the ability to create music in a magical way, but by learning the foundations first. Therefore we want to be able to provide that foundation to people.
Hence the opening of our studio yesterday. Kudos to David Ting for the reno job done, i must say! Fast and also quality job.
In our business model, the studio will very much be the facility, which provides us everything we need to prepare the content needed to be uploaded up into our platform. The platform is thus the delivery mechanism to our subscribers.
Everything we did was a step into a certain direction. We met many wonderful people and many opportunities. We are grateful for that. Shoutout to my bandmates from POP SHUVIT and our networks across Asia who have been supportive of this from day 1. We hope we can involve them in our content soon.
I also want to say thanks in advance to our future working partners Visionary Solutions (Visionary Solutions) (Pei Yan Ooi and Kah Hin Ooi) who we are working with on an arrangement to ensure our studio is safe and comfortable for our tutors and guest musicians during these times. We share similar passion in embracing these pandemic times with care for our clients. Looking forward to this relationship!
In the coming week/s we will be looking forward to launch the web portal, iOS app and Google Play store app. That will be another milestone for us. We look forward to gaining some traction on subscriptions for the course. What we do know, is that we will continue to provide great lessons for anyone who wants to pick up the drums. Our student review function will of course be the personal touch point between the tutors and the student on our platform. Everything is done online. Most importantly we hope to see many people picking up the drums soon through our platform. And hopefully soon, other instruments in the near future.
Lastly I would like to credit my significant other @intanrazk who is co-founder and my partner in crime for continuously pushing ourselves to do our best. She is very much the visionary here and truly have amazing ideas. People always think I am the one with the ideas but the truth is, she does, and when we come together and work on something, we get results. Music Mountain is truly a result of teamwork, perseverance and family values. And this mode of work will continue to make Music Mountain be the best it can.
Thanks again to everyone who had our backs. We did some webinars as pre marketing a while back and it was great! Thanks to all those who contributed like Jake Abdullah Rithan Vijay John HD Ahmad Izham Omar Pot Amir Vince Chong Vanessa Venlee Chong Izal Azlee Rahul Kukreja Mooky Obs Narmi Johan Ishak Idzrona Azrani Mohd Idrus Moots Shuvit JD Wong AJ Popshuvit Uno Popshuvit
Also to my family especially my parents who gave 100% support. You guys are the best! You have been behind me and the drums since I was young.
We hope to be able to grow this business in an ideal timeframe. We are continuously looking to work together with working partners who share the same passion as we do. We cant predict what is going to happen tomorrow, but we can assure you that we will work our as* off for success.
Rudy and Intan