What's the story behind the Music Factory?
It's been a dream of mine for a long time. I was trying to create an environment. It's supposed to be a holistic community where people can connect—a positive environment. It will be called the Art Factory. It will house the Music Factory as a school: bachelor's programs, six-month programs and twelve-month programs. We will continue to add. We already have a recording school and we offer yoga. Then we're going to add the Dance Factory, a health food restaurant, a coffee shop, a concert theater—like a whole package. The first stage of the whole building is the school, the recording and yoga. So there are a few steps we need to continue. It's going to be great. It's something that's not in Orange County or anywhere else right now. I would like to create an environment where people can go. They can go to a ballet that night, or they can record their band.
Where did you get the idea?
I think it's part of who I am. I'm an athlete—a professional cyclist. And I've always been a musician. I think it's a combination between art, and health, and body awareness. It's something we deserve. We deserve better-quality food, better-quality everything, and we can create it.
In its current stage what does the Music Factory do?
We offer pretty much every instrument. We teach drums, vocals, guitar, bass, violin, cello, piano, keyboard. We do have a rock school. It's called the Rock Factory. It's going to be conducted by Kenny Livingston, who is the drummer for Sugarcult. One of the teachers is incorporating yoga in her voice lessons, and the feedback I'm getting from the students is outstanding. Just last week we started our academic program. We hold workshops on music theory. Josh Partington from Something Corporate just held a songwriting workshop. Our thing is that we're a music school that places our students next to the industry professionals. We've also got Mike Jimenez and Clark Domae from Rufio and Clinton Calton from D.I. We have Evan Stone, who is one of the number one drummers in the USA for jazz and fusion drumming. We've got 22 teachers at this point. We're also doing something called the Discover Music Tour. We visit a local school and bring music to the schools because so many programs have been cut over the years. The Evan Stone Trio plays an assembly followed by a Q&A. Then they get the kids involved. We have lots of ensemble classes. If you learn an instrument, the key is to play with other people—to make music. And we do teach ukulele, believe it or not. If somebody requests something, I'm going to make it happen. Some people requested ukulele. If there's anything we don't offer at this point, we'll get it if someone requests it.
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