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Hidden Gems: Meet Jason Torreano of “The Orchestra Place” & “The Instrument Place”

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Torreano.

Hi Jason, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I arrived in Los Angeles in the 90’s as a professional bass player after graduating from Indiana University’s School of Music. Through networking with other musicians and teachers in Los Angeles, I quickly saw a need for high-quality string bass rentals for students. That is how my first company “The Instrument Place” was born, growing quickly into the one-stop source for high-quality band and orchestral instruments it is today. We now provide instruments to individuals and schools on a national level, all while nurturing our personal relationships with music teachers and schools locally. We take pride in our service and the quality of instruments we provide to our local school districts and community. Every instrument is set up for optimal sound quality and playability so students can focus on the important things like how to play and express themselves through their instrument! I have always believed that music should be a core subject in schools, so as I provided instruments over the years to many young students through The Instrument Place, I noticed a desire for more instrumental music education in our schools – particularly at the elementary level. I saw a decline in the number of students participating in school music, as well as an overall lack of instrumental music in schools.

I personally have many fond memories of growing up with instrumental music as a daily part of my school day. Looking forward to orchestra class and having music as an outlet shaped who I was as a child and helped me navigate through my young life. Music continued as my guide into college and ultimately shaped my professional career as well. I feel extremely fortunate to continue on in my personal and professional life with music as a constant provider. As The Instrument Place was expanding nationwide, our local students were too often missing out on music instruction in school alongside their peers. In an effort to expand people’s perception of what participating in an orchestra could be, I decided to start “The Orchestra Place”. This natural extension of my instrument company was a direct way to bring entire school communities together, whether or not they were part of the orchestra. Our mission at The Instrument Place is to get an instrument into the hands of everyone who wants to learn music. Through The Orchestra Place, we are now expanding that mission to actually teach music to every young student who wants to enrich their education and life with music!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t believe 2020 has been a smooth road for anyone. You’d be hard-pressed to find any business that hasn’t been affected in one way or another. In a normal school year, our students participate in after-school instrumental music classes, culminating in a year-end orchestra concert for family and friends. Students were getting weekly after-school instruction and working on their music for the Spring concert when schools were suddenly shut down due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. At the flick of a switch, we were forced to reimagine our program for the virtual realm. I’m so proud of how our students really stepped up last year and adjusted to online learning, ending with a fantastic Spring Virtual Concert. The entire school community was invited to watch their friends and peers when the video premiered on YouTube, and we felt it was an overwhelming success. Students as young as five years old through 14 were performing as one orchestra with a singular focus.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The Orchestra Place specializes in instrumental music education for students in grades K through 8. We offer after-school orchestra classes as well as private lessons and online music classes. We thrive on our all-inclusive approach to provide all children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Financial aid and rental instrument scholarships are available to those who need support and we encourage all types of different learners to join the program. Our teachers graduated from schools such as USC, UCLA, Indiana University’s Jacob’s School of Music, and Juilliard, to name a few. All of our in-person school programs culminate in a year-end concert where students perform together in a full-orchestra for their family and friends. Our online classes are open to students across the entire country and give our students the opportunity to play and learn music together while being physically apart.

Currently, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have reimagined our program for the virtual realm, but accessibility to music remains our primary goal. We are proud of our new online environment and ‘Class Portal’ where students can view their weekly practice lessons, sign up for individual office hours with a teacher, watch review videos, and submit their own practice videos for feedback. We are determined to continue offering our online music classes and private lessons even after the world is back to ‘normal’. The success of our virtual classes and concerts being exclusively online over this past year is a testament to what our amazing students and teachers can accomplish.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
Students that want to learn an instrument can sign up for a music class online at www.theorchestraplace.com/2021-spring-registration. If they need to acquire an instrument, they can order one at www.TheInstrumentPlace.com. We also offer individual private lessons 1-on-1 with a professional teacher. When it is safe to be back on school campuses, look for our table at Back-To-School-Night, or ask your principal if The Orchestra Place is offering music at your school. If not, we are more than happy to discuss starting a program at your school. You can also contact us directly if you would like us to reach out to your school principal. We are always accepting donations from people who want to sponsor a young musician’s tuition, rental instrument, or even an entire school program! Contact us at (800)789-2707 for information about how to make a donation.

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