Rhapsody Music might be 12 years into providing music lessons, instrument rentals and more to the Anthem and North Phoenix area, but its next chapter is just beginning.
Last month, they were able to finally cut the ribbon with the Anthem Chamber to celebrate the opening of their new location, just south of the Anthem Outlets. But not without one wild story to get there.
“We had made the decision to move right as the pandemic was beginning in March 2020,” says owner Sean Maplethorpe. “It was such an uncertain time for everyone. As our doors were being closed, we were packing while redoing our entire business model to a virtual concept to stay in business. It was crazy. Once the move was complete in June, we had an exciting new building that was twice as big as our last location. But there wasn’t a single note of music to be heard.”
While the virtual lessons helped sustain Rhapsody Music through the rest of 2020, they still couldn’t wait to share their new location with the community. That day finally happened on October 23 where the community was treated to a re-grand opening of Rhapsody Music. Hundreds of people turned out to check out the new space with live music, food, giveaways, special deals and more, with many deals that are continuing through the holidays to celebrate.
“The ‘RE’ in the re-grand opening really stands for Rhapsody Enhanced,” says marketing consultant, Brian Kunnari. “Everything about this location is better.”
“The practice rooms are now twice the size with vaulted ceilings, which really allows space for our students and instructors to really learn and inspire each other during their lessons,” says General Manager, Mike Tuttle. “We also now have large classrooms for group learning and a band room that is over four times the size of our last location.”
While Rhapsody is known for teaching private lessons for nearly any instrument you can think of, the added space for Rhapsody’s Rock Band program has allowed the offering to expand into classical ensembles, jazz combos, brass bands and more.
“One of the favorite parts of Rhapsody is our Rock Band and Performance Ensemble programs,” says Tuttle. “Students sign up for a once-a-week, 10-week commitment to form a band, rehearse and then perform to an audience.”
“I have been playing bass on stage nearly my whole life and to see these students experience the excitement of playing music to a live crowd still excites me,” says Pete Rose, Rhapsody’s Rock Band Instructor. “There’s no other feeling like it.”
Rhapsody’s new Gig Band program is the next level iteration that sees top student bands opening for professional concerts in the area and around Phoenix.
“Our partnership with T2 Presents has really opened up a new door for our band program,” says Tuttle. “Students are getting to perform for huge crowds that even some professional musicians don’t see until well into their career. It’s been so rewarding for some of our tenured students and us.”
Since the move, and now that the ribbon has been cut, the business is starting to think down the road once again.
“This move was just the beginning,” says Maplethorpe. “We have so much more planned, and we feel now is the time we can start looking to it all again.”
Rhapsody’s Phase 2 plans include converting their expanded studio rehearsal space into an intimate concert venue with food and drinks, additional performing and recording opportunities for their band programs both onsite and off, more curriculum-based music offerings throughout the entire year, and more casual opportunities for musicians to hang out and share what they are learning and creating.
While the sky’s the limit for what’s next, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed.
“Our instructors are the heart of this business. When you dive into their backgrounds, many who play professionally to this day, they are taking their years of knowledge and transferring that to new musicians in the community,” says Tuttle.
“Our motto is we offer music experiences for all ages, all levels, and all styles,” says Maplethorpe. “While some shops cater to the younger musician, or maybe just focus on classical music, we offer something for everyone. We’ve had seniors picking up a guitar for the first time, 4th grade rock bands tearing up the stage, bluegrass bands with every age you can think of participating. It’s what makes Rhapsody so special.”
Maplethorpe concludes, “Ultimately, music inspires. It’s why my wife and I purchased this shop five years ago. And if we are inspiring Anthem and North Phoenix, we are succeeding as a business.”
Rhapsody offers free lessons for new students and has great holiday giveaways and deals happening now through the end of the year. Head to RhapsodyMusicAZ.com or call 623-465-7060 to learn more.