It is with great sadness that I must inform everyone that our Gillette studio is closing at the end of this semester.
After attending local street fairs and falling in love with the Long Hill/Gillette community in 2018, Sam and I decided to set up our flagship location at the Valley Mall, which opened in January of 2019. We created a state-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind experience that the local community accepted with open arms.
Within only twelve months of opening, So i Heard Music Gillette was booked with over one hundred and forty students and we were able to start booking bands, open mic nights, Makers & Creator’s music production classes, multiple birthday parties, and early childhood classes, and more. Every month was our best month!
Within two months of COVID lockdowns starting, despite our best efforts to stay afloat via virtual lessons, we had lost more than half of our new student base. The shopping center has seen additional tenant losses, which has in turn dramatically reduced foot traffic to our store.
Since reopening after the government lockdowns ended, we have not been able to maintain enough students to start any group programs or performances. While our private lesson program is extremely important to the business, much of what makes So i Heard Music special depends on group interaction. If we don’t have enough kids, we can’t get groups together. If we can’t get groups together, the program is much less appealing for new students, and the cycle continues.
With each COVID wave, we saw additional student losses, which mitigated any growth we saw post K-12 vaccines. Additionally, we lost many of our amazing instructors and front desk staff due to enrollment losses, which only accelerated the cycle of losses, despite continuing to hire and train fantastic instructors and staff as quickly as possible.
My staff and I have been working hard to maintain the premier So i Heard Music experience, but unfortunately, we are out of time.
Lessons will continue through June 26th, after which time we will shut down the studio and move out.
Most Gillette instructors are moving directly to the Millburn location starting in July. In most cases, the instructor is able to stay on the same day, however, there may need to be schedule changes or adjustments for certain teachers. All Gillette students are welcome to and encouraged to stay enrolled in lessons at our Millburn location, just a short drive away. Otherwise, you can opt to take virtual lessons with your instructor. Of course, you can opt to withdraw as well, if traveling to Millburn doesn’t work and if virtual doesn’t make sense for you.
Please bear with me and the front desk staff as we navigate this closure. This is very difficult for all of us, and we will get through it together! It may take some time to sort out details, and I deeply appreciate your understanding and patience as we get through this.
Thank you for your patronage and for your support since January of 2019. I hope to see you all in Millburn!