La Jolla Music School, a local institution with more than 60 years' history, is up for sale as its current owner, David Woo, plans to retire. Teachers at the school are scrambling to raise $200,000 to buy the school before an outside buyer steps in, which may lead to significant changes in the educational model and artistic freedoms currently enjoyed by the school's educators. Years of commitment to the community's musical education are at risk unless the teachers can act in time, according to Fox 5 San Diego.
Teacher Christen Horne, one of several involved in the desperate bid to buy the school, explained that the group has approached individual donors, investors, and banks for help without much financial success. A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise the $200,000 needed, as they turn to the La Jolla community for their support and generosity.
Woo purchased La Jolla Music in 2012, saving it from closure while maintaining its long-established business model of rented studio spaces for teachers. This model, which is cherished by its teachers and students, allows instructors the freedom to operate independently, set their own prices, and share various musical passions with their students without many restrictions.
If an outside buyer purchases the school, there are concerns that they may prioritize profit over artistic freedom and the educational quality currently offered. This may result in rent increases, driving prices up for both teachers and students, and potentially lead to a complete overhaul of the school's business model and approach to musical education (La Jolla Light).
To help the teachers in their quest to buy La Jolla Music, Woo has offered a deal to those willing to put down the $200,000 by July 30th. Under these terms, he would invest the amount back into the new owner(s) over three to four years while providing them with mentorship, training, and assistance in running and managing the store (GoFundMe).
Time is ticking for the teachers, who have just days to raise the funds necessary to secure the school's future. The stakes are high, as the continuation of La Jolla Music's unique role in the community may very well depend on their success by the July 30th deadline, as mentioned in the La Jolla Light.
Woo himself acknowledges the importance of the school's teachers, who he feels have the community's interests at heart. His hope is that they can secure the needed funds to buy the school before he has to consider other potential buyers. If they can't raise the money by the deadline, he is willing to negotiate and extend the deadline if progress has been made towards their fundraising goal.
With the clock ticking on the future of La Jolla Music, the school's teachers, students, and community members can only hope that their crowdfunding campaign receives the support necessary to ensure that their beloved institution can continue to provide high-quality music education to locals for many more years to come.