Soundhouse Music School Goes Beyond Band Camp

Perhaps the person most surprised by Caleb Chapman’s success in the music business is Caleb Chapman. “I never imagined I’d be doing music at all in any capacity,” he remembers. “I was a jock growing up and didn’t have a lot of interest in playing music until I realized girls in high school thought it was pretty cool if guys played music.” Fast forward a whole bunch of years, and now Chapman owns Soundhouse, a music school where talented young musicians learn how to play music cooperatively, in a band with people they may or may not know.

Teaching private lessons to make ends meet while studying at BYU, Chapman realized many of his students were more interested in learning contemporary or popular music but had no outlet in either private lessons or the public school system. “By accident, I started to experiment with ensembles. I allowed them to have professional experiences with recording in studios and performing for larger audiences. I had them rehearsing with committed musicians and even getting a touring, on-the-road experience,” says Chapman.

He started to realize success was growing when Soundhouse alumni began performing with bands like Imagine Dragons, Red Light King and The Moth and the Flame. But music isn’t always the endgame for Soundhouse alumni. “As we put kids in these professional performing scenarios, they started to develop critical life skills for other professions like doctors, lawyers or computer scientists,” says Chapman. “Skills like creativity and improvisational skills, problem-solving abilities, leadership skills, self-reliance, work ethic, demanding the best of yourself and those you’re working with.” Chapman’s goal is just to set a bar for personal excellence, and his students are surpassing that goal by graduating their school programs with a 3.9 average GPA and receiving substantial college scholarships for both musical and academic achievement.

Soundhouse’s graduates have won 65 awards total, but the biggest accolades come from the growing number of the prestigious DownBeat Student Music Awards given by the esteemed music magazine founded in 1934. Soundhouse graduates won 13 trophies this year alone, making them the winningest music school in the country at DownBeat.

Right now, Soundhouse is looking to expand the business with plans to open locations in Los Angeles and Nashville. But that’s just the beginning with even bigger plans to expand to 100 domestic locations and 40 abroad with countries like China, India, France and England already expressing interest in franchising. “There’s a lot of demand for instruction in American pop and rock music around the globe,” says Chapman.

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Ashley Szanter
Ashley Szanter
Ashley Szanter is a contributing writer for Salt Lake magazine as well as a freelance writer and editor. She loves writing about everything Utah, but has a special interest in Northern Utah (here's looking at you, Ogden and Logan).

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