She expects that engaging students in open-ended questions will fire up their internal motivation.
“Finding that trigger of what makes (learning piano) important to them is something that’s super difficult,” she said.
Why go to India to develop this? Like other entrepreneurs, Feely is taking advantage of government programs and incubators that are intended to encourage trade and grow startups.
In her case it’s the Canada-India Acceleration Program that supports women tech entrepreneurs. It sends Canadian entrepreneurs to India to scale up companies in untapped markets there. A similar program sends Indian entrepreneurs to Canada.
The program grew partly out of a trade mission to India by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Feely, developing her entrepreneurial skills at Sheridan College, competed for a spot in it.
“She’s just going for it,” said Rachel Bartholomew, a fellow entrepreneur who took piano lessons from Feely.
“I think there’s a huge potential,” she said. “We talk about the smart home and smart devices. Why can’t classical music also be smart?”
Feely, a University of Toronto music graduate, is open about using personal challenges to help guide her ambitions.
She explains that she overcame her eating disorder by redirecting her focus and self-discipline. “I don’t have the eating disorder anymore, but all those characteristics were instilled within me.”
Speaking the language of tech, she says she aims to disrupt music education.
“Basically what it means is redesigning the way people think about something that used to exist, in a new context,” she said.
Waterloo is where her piano-teaching business took off. Feely figures she knows why.
“I think because it’s a tech-driven city,” she said. “They’re more attracted to my business model because it’s new and innovative, which follows the trends within Waterloo. They’re very forward-thinking.”