The Musicologie Story

The story of our founders and our brand

Musicologie was founded in 2014 by husband-and-wife duo Kay and Joseph Barker. They were both musicians from a young age, starting piano at 5, met in college and quickly became seasoned performers, traveling the country together in their folk/pop band Bella Ruse, opening for acts like Walk the Moon, Heart, and Sarah McLachlan. Between tours, they worked teaching private music lessons and immediately became as excited about music education as they were about performing. In an interview with Columbus Alive, Kay said “The goal has always been to make music, but when we started teaching lessons to supplement our band income, it became obvious teaching was our passion.” Kay’s psychology degree and Joseph’s experience working at College Nannies and Tutors (another great education franchise) helped as well.

After working for a variety of studios in Minneapolis and Columbus, Kay and Joseph saw there was a huge opportunity to offer an exciting, student-focused music education experience. Music lessons have been around forever, of course, but music schools and independent teachers weren’t keeping up with what kids and parents wanted. Local studios just weren’t equipped to deliver a great service, and it was an afterthought to most of the national music stores.

In March 2014 Kay and Joseph registered the name Musicologie. In August the first studio opened its doors in Grandview Heights, a small, picturesque suburb of Columbus, Ohio.

This first studio was a small, quirky combination of house and commercial space, where they built a recording studio and performance space out of a one stall garage. It was all bootstrapped. Kay and Joseph, along with friends and family hauled pianos, painted walls, and even cut out the first acrylic sign by hand.

It was clear from the beginning that the studio was special. Kay and Joseph held community events and performances, hosting artists from around the country, planning masterclasses, and throwing parties. They focused on building a like-minded team of teachers who were passionate about music and excited to share it with their students every day.

In 2018, they opened up a second studio, brought on a partner, Kyle Lamoreaux, and totally reorganized the studio operations, positioning the company to grow sustainably. In January 2019 they opened their first joint-venture studio, following it quickly with another in June 2019.

Then came 2020. While most service and education businesses were struggling or closing indefinitely, Musicologie thrived. Joseph, Kay and Kyle built a contingency plan for COVID, transitioned to online lessons, training teachers, rallying the team, and continuing to demonstrate the value of music education to students. The result? Two new studios added in Cleveland and Cincinnati within the year.

Musicologie is now positioned for national growth, reimagining what private lessons can be like for thousands of students.

Enter you. You’re part of our story now. Part of our history. The piece you write, the mark you leave, the impact you make, that’s all up to you. We believe in you, your vision and your team. We can’t wait to see what you build. 

A teacher in a group music class

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