We had the good fortune of connecting with Electra Barakos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Electra, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My husband Dan Welby and I have been music educators for over 20 years total and have worked for several other schools before. Witnessing the way they ran their businesses and the quality of music lessons provided to their clients, we both agreed that if we ever opened up our own school that there would be things we would do differently. We had ideas that we thought would make for a better music school and a better overall music experience. We had a dream of opening our own school and talked about it quite a bit. We had a hard time trying to figure out how to actually start the whole thing though. This was very daunting, especially in regards to getting start up capital. After some time of talking and dreaming, we started to feel defeated. It was really seeming like for us to do this, is going to take quite some time just to get to a position to start. Well, fate had it out for us it seems, and in a good way. Not too many weeks later we get a call from one of my friends who had been running a small music school in Canoga Park. She had some life changes occur and needed to get rid of the school and called us to see if we knew anyone interested. Well, we of course were interested and we went a few days later to check it out. Long story short, we decided to go for it. We had maybe a total of 15 students to start, most of which were my students that I was teaching at our apartment, and a few were students at the school that we took over. At this time we are so blessed to have over 100 students whose participation at our music school is helping us keep our dream alive and strive for an ever evolving amazing music education experience.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I, am a professional singer, songwriter and recording artist. I have been performing my original music for the last 15 years and have recorded 2 Ep’s, one full length album and a few months ago released my new single “LoveLike”. Being an artist in todays music business is extremely challenging. It requires lots of hard work and love for what you do. Persistence and patience is key and unfortunately sometimes you can lose some of that in the midst of things especially when the “break” you are waiting for doesn’t seem close enough. But what I have learned is that as a performer you must enter this business for the love of it and success will follow. Now the level of success can differ and perhaps not end up being the kind of success you had initially dreamt for. And that is kind of where my story lies at. I always dreamt of being a superstar and touring the world and even though I have not given up on that dream entirely I am content and proud of the success I have achieved as a local artist here in Los Angeles. I recently became a mom, yet I will continue to rock on stage whenever I can and be writing and recording new music.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would like to thank our wonderful instructors who are the foundation of what our business has to offer. Because of their hard work, loyalty, dedication, passion and talent we are able to grow our business and achieve the music education excellence our clients deserve.
Photos by Jo Nagle