Oct. 27, 2021

Owner of flourishing Calgary music studio taps global market

2021 Top 40 Under 40: Carmen Morin, Morin Music Studio
Carmen Morin
Jared Sych, Avenue magazine

Certain people can read between the lines and glimpse the future with remarkable precision and timing. Like 37-year-old Carmen Morin. After establishing Morin Music Studio in in 2013, she launched a virtual music school, Morin Music Online, in 2018, which contributed to an 80-per-cent growth in revenue from 2020 to 2021. To date, Morin Music has sold online teaching videos to more than 1,000 students in 20 countries. In fact, the brick-and-mortar school’s revenues are currently in the seven-figure range, with the online school’s revenues also projected to top seven figures by the end of this year.

Morin studied music from 2014 to 2016 at UCalgary. She is the owner and executive director of Morin Music Studio Ltd.

When did you start studying music?

I began taking piano lessons at the age of two.

What do you miss about student life?

The amount of time available in each day for dedicated learning and practising. I have a hunger for knowledge, reading and exploring many topics. I didn’t realize at the time what a luxury it was to have so many hours dedicated to self-improvement.

Do you remember any outstanding professors?

I drew so much from studying piano with Marilyn Engle, which continues to inspire me to keep learning and growing. My classes with Allan Gordon Bell also sparked interest in many topics of theory and styles of music that I hadnt explored before.

What have been some of your top career highlights?

I am proud of many things about my career. Building a thriving business in the arts; advocating the value and importance of music education; bringing together and supporting so many incredible musicians; and being a female business-owner. Most of all, I am proud of our collaborative community of students, teachers and families in Calgary and worldwide.

What made you launch a virtual school in 2018?

I did expect that online learning would play a large role in our school's growth before the pandemic. We made it a formal part of our programs in 2018 so, luckily, were quite confident and experienced with the format by the time COVID came around. I do believe this confidence gave us a unique position to support our teachers and students through the transition. That being said, at that time, the extent of our online experience was still only in private live lessons. It wasn't until the pandemic that I began to also offer scalable online courses which allowed the school to rapidly grow, globally. I had thought to produce these before the pandemic, but our first lockdown created that "now or never" deadline that finally got me moving

If you were to go back to school, what would you take?

I would like to study educational technology. This past year has given me so many ideas of how technology can magnify our teaching and, also, how our students experience the learning process to best suit their needs.

What do you wish you knew more about?

I wish I knew more about neuroscience and would love to learn the cello.

Any advice for students or new grads? 

Keep learning and allow yourself to stay curious. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo of your industry. Your imagination is a superpower; make sure to use it!

A guilty pleasure?

Late-night breakfast cereal.

When you are not working, what do you do? 

I love to spend time with my two kids and my partner. When not making music, I am happiest outdoors, surrounded by trees.

With files from Avenue Magazine.