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Feedback School of Music is expected to open next week at an East Sunshine Street strip center.
Photo provided by Wilhoit Properties Inc.
Feedback School of Music is expected to open next week at an East Sunshine Street strip center.

Music business to open in School of Rock space

Posted online

A new music business is occupying an East Sunshine Street strip center that recently lost School of Rock Springfield.

Feedback School of Music owners Justin and Jennifer Ward are targeting a July 1 opening at 1658 E. Sunshine St.

Justin Ward said he saw an opportunity in the market for in-person music training after School of Rock's closure and the recent announcement by Pellegrino's School of Music & Art to move to all-online classes. Ward is an instructor at Pelligrino’s and plans to wrap up his work at the business this month.

Ward said online classes lack the personal connection that he considers critical in music.

"Even if everything works perfectly, you can't truly interact and play with the student on the other end of the line," he said. "Until there's a huge quantum leap in internet technology, that's not going to happen.

"A huge part of music is at some point you have to interact and play with someone."

Feedback School of Music will offer individual and band training with such instruments as guitar, bass and drums. String and horn instruments are expected to be added in the next couple of months, Ward said, noting private sessions would be the first to launch next week. He said a goal also is to record practices, and he's looking at adding DJ classes.

"We're going to offer just as much as we can," he said, noting three other instructors are currently on board. "If the interest is there, we'll pursue it."

Declining to disclose finances, Ward said startup expenses were low since he's bringing gear he already owns to the business and that the space already was set up for a music school.

Anita Zimmerman, real estate agent with Wilhoit Properties Inc., said Feedback School of Music is taking on 3,300 square feet in the 10,000-square-foot strip center, located near the intersection of Sunshine Street and Glenstone Avenue. Noting the space "was almost perfectly turnkey for his vision," Zimmerman said she connected the Wards with the property's owners, Steve and Renee Eiffert. Lease terms were undisclosed.

Previously operating in the space, the School of Rock franchise closed for good in April after temporarily shuttering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to past reporting.

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