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Everybody’s Port: July 10, 2013

Make Mine Music

If love makes the world go around, music keeps it humming. For these days, music is just about everywhere. Some wake up to it. You hear it when your cell phone powers on. It follows you to elevators — and even to the ladies’ or men’s rooms. At the end of the day, you’re back where you started, in your bedroom. Looking up at you from your bedside table is your clock-radio awaiting instructions. You oblige. Lights out and into bed. Eyes closed and ears open. Music’s sweet sounds softly seduce your psyche. You surrender. You sleep.

But, please don’t get me wrong; that’s an observation not a complaint. Music is my meat. If more people were making music, perhaps there would be fewer people making war. That thought seems to have resonated with Glenn Fleischman and Alan Goodstadt. About six months ago in Port Washington, they opened Bach to Rock, a music school that is unlike any music school in these parts and then some. For students from three to 73, B2R offers an innovative approach to learning and performing pop music, rock, jazz, and Broadway.

Already, the sweet smell of success is in the air. B2R’s reported 250 active students, plus additional registrations, exceeded original projections. For Glenn and Alan, still in their 40s, the good news is justification for a joint leap of faith. They first met as members of the Board of Directors of a recreational music company in Manhattan. Alan was in banking, teaching clients how to grow their businesses. In his younger days, he played guitar with rock bands. Glenn was a rising star in communications technology in Singapore, London, and Manhattan. They ditched successful careers elsewhere and became partners to combine their “passion for business and love of music”. More unusual is that they’re doing it with their own money. (Incidentally, both are happily married and have young children.)

Equally unusual, however, is the missionary-like zeal of the partners, the depth of their knowledge, and their mastery of the details involved in being contemporary trailblazers. They don’t just know what they’re doing, they know why. Glenn believes that in all of us lies a potential for music. He isn’t hung up on the imbalance that exists in that potential. “Our job is to help him or her be the best they can be,” said Glenn. Adds Alan, “It’s all about having a child, a teenager or an adult playing an instrument or singing the music they love. If it’s pop, rock, jazz or Broadway, that’s what they’re going to play or sing. Practicing shouldn’t be a chore. It should be something they want to do that’s fun. If it’s not fun, sooner or later they’re a dropout.”

As for details, everything about B2R’s physical plant reflects careful planning. The floors are rubber for maximum sound absorption. (Glenn said it’s made from old sneakers.) Every room is soundproof. One has a small stage and lights for student rock-group performances. Another is a professional recording studio.

One thing more, if you once enjoyed playing an instrument or singing but put it aside to work and raise a family, “It doesn’t have to stay lost,” said Glenn. “Age doesn’t matter. You wouldn’t be the only parent or grandparent that B2R has helped recover their musical bent.”

Regrettably, there is much more to this story than I have room to tell it. However, nobody can tell you the entire story better than the fellows whose story it is: Glenn and Alan. You can find them at B2R, east side of Port Boulevard, south of the post office. Enjoy!