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Mississippi Small Business
Development Center
Transforming Mississippi One Small Business at a Time

Rock U 2

Posted December 5, 2016
Rock U 2
Ocean Springs Academy of Popular Music
624 Jackson Ave.
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Rock U 2, the Ocean Springs Academy of Popular Music started operations in 2011 by Barbara and Tim Alamsha. The company’s primary mission is to teach children to play and perform popular music and provide them with regular opportunities to perform in local communities. Services offered include private lessons (guitar, piano, bass, drums, voice, saxophone, flute, clarinet & violin), Rock U 2 Band Programs, Vocal Performance Group, Vocal and Guitar Jam Sessions, First Steps in Music Discovery - music for infants and toddlers, and Summer Music Camps designed for 5 – 18 years olds to learn to play and perform in a band. Their primary customers are 5 to 18 year of age, but also have programs for toddlers and adults.

Before opening Rock U 2, Barbara and Tim owned a production company for 12 years and had both been working musicians for many years. In addition, they have experience working in executive management positions for large companies such as Disney, Universal Studios,  Marriott, Beau Rivage Resorts. Barbara has over 20 years of performance and entertainment experience in a wide range of musical styles. Tim has decades of experience in the entertainment industry. He is a music producer with knowledge in engineering, arranging, co-writing and composing all styles of music and video production.

However their journey has not always been easy, their largest hurdle to overcome was a lack of a blueprint to go by when developing our business model. Most new businesses can start to formulate their business idea based on what similar companies are doing. Rock U 2 is the only business model of its kind, thereby creating many unique challenges.

Rock U 2 has significantly grown their number of students doubled between 2015 and 2016. Due to increased visibility and capacity afforded by their new location, we expect to see a 50% increase in students in 2017.

When Barbara and Tim were asked what advice would they give to other entrepreneurs, Barbara commented: "do what you love." Tim responded, "try to be sufficiently capitalized when starting your business, taking into account both business and personal financial requirements in the first few years of operation."

The Mississippi Small Business Development Center is an accredited member of America's Small Business Development Centers and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration through The University of Mississippi. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or The University of Mississippi. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and limited English language proficiency will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.