Scratch – Student StartUps Magazine

It was awesome to receive Volume 2 of “Scratch” the Student StartsUps Magazine, wonderfully produced Think Try Do at the University of Exeter. Packed full of interviews with current and form entrepreneurial students it is a must read for current students with an interest in creating their own business.

There were interviews with familiar faces for anyone who has read this blog – with articles on Alex Nechoroskovas, James Wild and Jacob Marsh. Yet, it was the article on Lyster Surf Craft┬áthat really caught my eye. Founded by Duncan Lyster the story of Lyster Surf Craft is the perfect example of a “hobby” that had the potential to grow into a business opportunity. Duncan had been making wooden surfboards for 4 years, with only the last two years seeing him create wooden surf boards a business proposition.

Not only are the boards much better for the environment but they are literally works of art. Duncan’s real challenge has been to create a board that is as light as a traditional polyurethane board without it being overly labour intensive to manufacture. After 18 months of developing he is now ready to start making his first sales – with such a strong product that is clearly anchored in Duncan’s own personal connection to surfing and passion for the idea it will be really exciting to see how it develops. It will be really interesting to see how he approaches the marketing of the product now that he is ready to make sales, as I think the brand and product itself is so strong. Hopefully this will be able to capture the interest of fellow surfers both here in the UK and abroad to enable the orders to start flowing in. You can see how he is getting on by visiting lystersurfcraft.co.uk.


Here at MGR Music Tuition the team has been working really hard on launching new music hubs across the UK. I know they are delighted to announce the launch of the Singing Lessons Bournemouth, Guitar Lessons Southampton and Piano Lessons Manchester music hubs during May, working with a range of professional music teachers to deliver these lessons. Enquiries across the teacher database are increasing month on month, with the team focused on ensuring that they are putting in the infrastructure to grow the business significantly over the next 24 months.

Alongside this the mgrmusic.com has started generating enquiries in the USA which is fantastic news, bringing an influx of 40 new teacher sign-ups from the USA during May alone. I know that the ultimate ambition for the platform is to be an internationally recognised platform for music students to find music teachers – so the team will continue to work on fulfilling this vision on step at a time. On of the big successes on this front was the launch of Drum Lessons Berlin, working with Barney Riley – a drum teacher that we used to work with in Leeds before he relocated to Germany. Having seen enquiries come in for Barney in Berlin, with students booking lessons with him I am confident that the team can apply what they have learned from Drum Lessons Berlin to other cities across Europe and beyond.

Posted under Scratch Magazine

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on June 11, 2019

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Music Teachers

Over the time that I have ran MGR Music Tuition Ltd, since launching it during my first year studying at the University of Exeter in 2009, I have always been limited to generating enquiries for music teachers located in large cities across four instruments – guitar, singing, piano and drums. This restriction put a top limit to the size of the teaching community that I could grow, indeed, as of 2017 we are almost at full capacity in terms of teaching community I can grow within the UK.

This is why over the last 12 months I have been so keen to develop a national platform to enable me to generate enquiries for teachers located anywhere in the UK, across all possible instrument types. After months of negotiations I finally managed to acquire and then develop a new national database of active music teachers in the UK and Ireland called mgrmusic.com – it is designed so that students can select the type of instrument that they want to learn and then enter their postcode, with the search results providing them with teachers that are the most local to them.

Music Teacher is a new national database of active music teachers located throughout the UK and Ireland.

Music Teacher is a new national database of active music teachers located throughout the UK and Ireland.

Having researched a lot of the other music teacher databases in the UK, I have found that they lack some of the critical information that can help inform students as to whether the teacher is suitable to teach them or not. For example information as to whether a teacher holds a valid DBS Check, up to date public liability insurance, or has the necessary qualifications and teaching experience to tutor to a professional level. I made sure, therefore, that all of this information would be included in every one of the tutor profiles featured throughout the website. Students can also leave reviews of teachers which is a fantastic way for teacher to build up an online reputation of providing high quality music tuition, that is then presented back to future students.

Leo Wood's Music Teacher profile, including the review that a student left about her private music tuition.

Leo Wood’s Music Teacher profile, including a customer review and information about whether she is DBS Checked, has public liability insurance and relevant qualifications.

Over the website provides a brilliant platform for me to continue to build a community of music teachers, as well as expand into new locations by offering piano lessons in Bristol, guitar Lessons in Leeds and singing lessons in London. It is also incredibly exciting to be able to grow the community to include saxophone, violin and other music teachers of all instruments – including some of the more unusual instruments like ukulele, djembe and cajon. My ambition for the Music Teacher website is to develop it over the next two to five years into the leading platform to find music teachers in the UK and Ireland.

Posted under Music Teachers

This post was written by Matthew Rusk on April 5, 2017

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