Gonzalo Arjona, a Berklee College of Music alumnus, moved to Sugar Land from Mexico City when he was 16 years old. This was when he began experimenting with music, first testing his skills on the acoustic guitar and ultimately sticking to playing the bass guitar.
Later in life, when his children were taking guitar lessons off Hwy. 90A, Arjona agreed to buy the store from the previous owner in April 2015, inheriting three teachers and launching Groove Music School. Arjona now employs 13 teachers and has about 300 students.
“[Music is] really a great hobby to have,” he said. “It’s something you can do on your own, something you can do with friends, and among all the activities that our kids do these days, it’s one of the cheapest ones, too.”
For four 30-minute sessions per month, Groove Music School charges $120, Arjona said. Lessons include woodwind instruments, horns, strings, piano, guitar and voice.
The school offers private lessons, group instruction, specialized classes and workshops.
“The private lessons are not always enough because it can be boring,” Arjona said. “Our band program makes the music more fun—it adds that social activity—and it motivates them to practice a lot more when it’s [a group].”
Groove Music School offers recitals and other performing opportunities as well as summer camps.
The studio is open to musicians of all ages and abilities. Groove Music School helps students with autism spectrum disorder come out of their shell, Arjona said.
“We’re very welcoming to kids with learning disabilities,” he said. “We’ve been successful, and they do very well. It’s very therapeutic for them.”
Arjona said research shows music works wonders on developing brains because it engages motor skills, intellect and emotions.
“It’s fundamental,” Arjona said. “It’s a development of the brain. Not only that, but it’s very satisfying, it’s fun and it’s social. If you stick with it there’s always a niche that you’re going to belong to. There’s always a band you can put together somewhere.”