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.