9 Beats USA, a new company based on the music education method by 9 Beats in China, has recently partnered with electronic instrument manufacturer Roland to create more music schools in the United States. In China, 9 Beats has 1,200 locations and uses a combination of small-group classes and app learning to teach students a variety of percussion and guitar styles.
“They really approach learning to play a musical instrument as a fun activity, something you can do as a group, something you [can] do after school,” says Elizabeth Lang, CEO of 9 Beats USA.
Lang explains that 9 Beats uses an app as a “virtual whiteboard.” During lessons, teachers write on the board within the app and then send the lessons home to students to use when practicing.
Currently, 9 Beats USA is developing its headquarters in Thousand Oaks, California. However, due to the shelter in place from the COVID-19 outbreak, construction of brick-and-mortar music schools has paused. In the meantime, the company’s focus is on developing an American version of the 9 Beats app. When music schools do open, 9 Beats will use instruments from Roland.
“We can bring technology into a younger crowd that embraces it and already uses it,” says Brian Alli, vice president of global artist and influencer relations for Roland.
Along with the partnership, 9 Beats had another exciting development: The company recently secured a new brand ambassador, 11-year-old drummer Milana.
Lang and Alli plan to work with Milana on educational content for kids her age. “We’re excited to put somebody who’s their age in front of them with that enthusiasm,” Lang says.