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Graduate targets American expansion for music web business

An enterprising graduate from Nottingham Trent University will take his business stateside in the new year to capitalise on the popularity of his jazz piano tuition website, PianoGroove.

Hayden Hill sitting next to a piano
Hayden Hill
Founder of PianoGroove

Hayden Hill, 27, launched his online business in 2015 and has seen PianoGroove generate 1.8 million hits, register 29 thousand YouTube subscribers and enrol students from 48 countries.

Now he plans to expand into America, the birthplace of jazz, to be closer to the growing number of students in the states and to recruit talented pianists as tutors for the new website.

Subscribers pay a monthly fee to access high definition videos which teach them through the eyes of a jazz pianist. A synchronised keyboard which lights the correct note to play and an in-video music sheet are other features to help students learn.

The expansion will also see the appointment of full time staff to help edit content in line with PianoGroove’s unique three part video layout.

Hayden, from Bury, Manchester, studied Business Management and Economics at Nottingham Business School, part of Nottingham Trent University, and has played piano from a young age.

A placement year in Holland, working in digital marketing for a recruitment company, ignited his interest in jazz and the entrepreneur saw an opportunity to combine digital media and his passion for the piano.

Support from The Hive – Nottingham Trent’s centre for enterprise and entrepreneurship – provided Hayden with initial investment and invaluable mentoring in the early stages of PianoGroove.

Hayden said: “The U.S is where jazz originated and the scene is much bigger than anywhere else in the world.

“Reincorporating in America will give me access to the best talent and also help with my personal development as a jazz pianist and educator.

“Jazz piano is my main passion and I will always continue to teach on the website but providing different styles from multiple tutors will complement and enhance the learning experience for all students.

"The Hive provided a wide range of support in the creation of PianoGroove. The structured mentoring sessions helped identify potential strengths and weaknesses in the business model and the financial support facilitated investment in PianoGroove that would otherwise not have been possible in the early stages of the business.”

Phil Clarke, Enterprise Adviser at The Hive, Nottingham Trent University, said: “When Hayden first came up with the extremely innovative PianoGroove concept, the digital virtual environment was still in its infancy.

“In his own way he was a pioneer and the success he is now experiencing is a rich reward for a lot of hard effort and dogged persistence engaging with his intended customer base.

“His time at university and particularly working with the Hive gave him the firm foundation on which he was able to build.”

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    Nottingham Trent University was named Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The award recognises NTU for its strong student satisfaction, quality of teaching, overall student experience and engagement with employers.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is one of the largest UK universities with nearly 28,000 students and more than 3,500 staff across four campuses, contributing £496m to the UK economy every year.

    It is one of the most environmentally-friendly universities, containing some of the country’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. The University is the sixth biggest recruiter of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the country and 95.6% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    NTU is home to world-class research, winning The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 - the highest national honour for a UK university. The prize recognised pioneering projects to improve the detection of weapons and explosives in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of approximately 2,600 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook and seeks to attract talented students and staff from across the world.

Graduate targets American expansion for music web business

Published on 7 November 2017
  • Subject area: Business, management and marketing
  • Category: The Hive; Press office

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