Kelly Riordan is a musician, pedagogue, and music business marketer. Her private studio was founded in 2012 and proudly boasts several recent graduates who have gone on to study music and music education. Her pedagogy is focused on interactive experiences that give students a strong foundation in both technique and aural skills.
Her marketing experience began with an internship at the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music, where she was responsible for running outreach programs in the community to build brand awareness and attract new students. Her marketing experience quickly expanded beyond music, and she was actively recruited for organic marketing campaigns by major brands including Cadillac, Red Bull, American Express, and Anheuser-Busch.
Upon relocating after the completion of her graduate program, Riordan used these same principles to grow her private studio to a full-time business of 43 students in less than 3 months. When the majority of lessons moved online in 2020, Kelly stepped up and began helping colleagues learn to teach remotely, refine their business management, and find students through organic marketing.
Kelly is the co-founder of Outside the Bachs, LLC - a program designed to support musicians in creating their own private music studios and delivering the highest quality education to their students. Her passion for music education is present not only in her own studio, but in her support of 3,000+ students in studios around the world.
Her work has brought her to the forefront in music business education. In addition to hosting the Outside The Bachs Podcast, Riordan regularly appears as a guest on podcasts including The Candid Clarinetist, Duet Partner Podcast and Flute 360. She also speaks regularly at universities, with recent lectures at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Tennessee and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Riordan is an active performer worldwide. She is a member of The Athena Trio, an all-female ensemble founded in Athens, Georgia which aims to foster opportunities for female composers and musicians. The Athena Trio has most recently performed with the Chamber Music Athens inaugural festival and participated in The Berliner Competition. Coaches have included Dr. Liza Stepanova and Maggie Snyder, and masterclass appearances include Peter Frankl, Jupiter String Quartet, and Sarah Shafer. Other recent performances have been with the Augusta Symphony Orchestra, UGA Opera Theatre Orchestra, Eurus Quintet, Hodgson Wind Ensemble, UWM Symphony Orchestra, UWM Graduate Woodwind Quintet, and UWM Wind Ensemble. Festival appearances include Chamber Music Athens and Clarinet Academy of America in Athens, Georgia, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in San Jose, California, and the Summa Cum Laude Festival in Vienna, Austria.
Kelly Riordan holds a Master of Music (MM) in Performance and Literature from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia and a Bachelor Arts (BA) in Music from the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her primary teachers include Dr. D Ray McClellan, Todd Levy, and Val Wisnewski.
Outside of music, Kelly enjoys baking, water sports, traveling with her husband, and taking their dog, Mahi, for long walks. Kelly Riordan is currently based in Hartland, Wisconsin.
With a background in digital marketing for small businesses, co-founder Isak Peterson runs the operations and marketing for Outside The Bachs. Isak holds an Economics degree from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and completed an entrepreneurship exchange from Jönköping International Business School - Sweden. His previous work includes economic research, customer success, digital marketing and operations mainly for fintech and SaaS organizations.
Isak and Kelly started Outside The Bachs shortly after filling Kelly's teaching studio post graduate school and colleagues were asking for help with recruiting new students. For many music lesson educators, making the jump into entrepreneurship isn't something that is taught in school.
This was the foundation for starting for Outside The Bachs - a growth accelerator for music educators that are building full-time private music studios.
Most music teachers & instructors don't have a way to build a studio with a profitable lesson package, a predictable source of students or a repeatable enrollment process. Outside The Bachs is a growth-focused community that gets results (without paid ads or independently taking a course) for over 300 musicians that are building full time private lesson studios.
Aside from work-life, Isak loves spending time outdoors, competing in sailing races, podcasting, keeping up with world football (soccer?) and Wisconsin based sports teams.
Kim is a classically trained dramatic coloratura soprano and music educator, specializing in classical and contemporary vocal technique. She is a graduate of Chapman University with two Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education. She has premiered numerous newly composed solo and chamber works in collaboration with upcoming, diverse composers, and has performed in reputable choral ensembles internationally. In addition to her vocal and piano studies, Kim studies pedal harp and performs at private events throughout Southern California.
Kim's goal as a teacher is to offer personalized, student-oriented lessons that synthesize creative pedagogical practices, technical proficiency, and authentic creative expression. Her goal as an instructor is to provide a safe space to cultivate each student’s unique musical and artistic voice, and is familiar with working with a wide variety of experience levels in piano and vocal studies. Kim recognizes that there is no singular standard curriculum that fits the unique needs, interests, and learning styles of each of her students. Instead, she customizes and adjusts her content to the goals of each individual student.
A Southern California native, Chaz Sonoda began his clarinet studies at the age of 9. He has appeared as a soloist with the United States Army Band and the Hornell Area Wind Ensemble (NY) and has previously performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, Quartz Mountain Music Festival Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, and IN Series Opera Company. In 2022, Chaz was a prizewinner in both the American Virtuoso International Music Competition and the Philharmonic Society of Arlington’s Young Artist Competition (MA).
From 2012 to 2016, Chaz spent a combined total of nearly one year in China studying with clarinetists He Yi of China Conservatory and Rende Zheng of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (retired), while simultaneously studying Chinese language and literature at Fudan University and the Beijing Language and Culture University.
Additionally, he toured China as co-principal clarinetist of Northwestern University's Symphony Orchestra in 2018.
Since 2018, Chaz has been a member of the clarinet section at the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington D.C., and in 2021, he joined the faculty of American University as professor of clarinet. Chaz earned his Bachelor of Music at DePaul University and Master of Music at Northwestern University and is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. His primary teachers include Emil Khudyev, Steve Cohen, Stephen Williamson, Julie DeRoche, and Deborah Chodacki.
As a teacher, Chaz has been invited to present masterclasses and workshops at a number of schools around the country, including University of Colorado Boulder, California State Universities Long Beach and Northridge, Northeastern Illinois University, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Northwestern University, as well as the International Clarinet Association's ClarinetFest 2023 in Denver. Chaz has been teaching privately since 2016. His students have earned spots in various honor bands and youth orchestras, and many are selected to play first chair in their school band programs. Additionally, a small number have gone on to study music seriously in undergraduate and graduate programs.
Alyssa Martin is a Pennsylvania native who is a Vocal Instructor and Certified Life Coach and is passionate about helping her students develop the skill, courage, and self-awareness they need to express their true vocal power. She has been coaching since 2015, and is the recipient of the Bucks County's Best Life Coach award for two consecutive years, 2020 and 2021. Alyssa has been teaching private vocal lessons for 5 years and has conducted lessons for over 100 different students. Her studio opened in 2017.
As a singer herself who has overcome shyness, anxiety and self-criticism, Alyssa teaches techniques she has studied and developed working through her own fears and obstacles. Alyssa received her vocal training from Scarpell Studio of Singing in the 80s and trained alongside recording artist Pink. Her personal style is a blend of power-projecting (Led Zeppelin, Heart, Linda Ronstadt) and a softer, more emotionally-charged delivery (Fleetwood Mac, Aretha Franklin, Susan Tedeschi).
Alyssa makes it her mission to help her students break out of their self-imposed limitations and realize how unique their particular gifts truly are. Alyssa performs covers and original songs in an acoustic duo with her husband and also in a full rock band "Bucks County Crops" and the upcoming "Shadow of the Mountain."
Alyssa holds additional certifications as a Yoga for Stress/Anxiety Management Instructor, Heal Your Life® Workshop Leader, and Usui Reiki Master Teacher.