“I think of Progressive Music Center as a life enrichment company driven by a passion for making and teaching music. All of our teachers and staff share a belief in the total power of music and it’s positive impact on everyone’s life. I don’t know anybody that doesn’t listen too, or like music, so who wouldn’t want to play an instrument even if it is just for recreation”?
Progressive Music Center™ Founder Billy Cuthrell
Celebrating 20 Years 1992 – 2012
Progressive Music Center™ originally started as Progressive Percussion Drum Studios in Greenville, North Carolina in October 1992. Founded by Billy Cuthrell, a local drummer and lifelong music lover, Progressive was the combination of Cuthrell’s desire to find a flexible job with enough income to help pay his way through college and save for text books, and a way to get out of working on a farm in the summer heat. Cuthrell got started with only seventy eight cents to his name and a handmade flyer while going house to house teaching out of the back of his beat up Isuzu Trooper until he grew his student base large enough to rent a small broom closet at a local music store.
In June 1996 Billy’s rock school concept, Rock Academy™, was introduced as a summer camp option for both students and non Progressive students. Considered a “never before heard of” concept at the time, the Rock Academy™ program placed drum and percussion students with guitar, bass, vocal and piano students to form bands with other students. The bands then rehearsed with the teachers for a week ending with a grand finale concert showcasing their talents. The Rock Academy™ program was well received and now 15+ years later Progressive is still innovating the “Rock School” format with weekly Summer Rock Academy™ Intensive Camps from June through late August and a year around Rock Academy™ program.
Along with private drum and percussion lessons Progressive Music Center has grown over the years to offer quality instruction for acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, bass guitar, piano/keyboard, saxophone, vocal and drum/percussion lessons. Progressive’s group classes in beginning acoustic and electric guitar, drum and piano are very popular and our retail shops offer quality, name brand instruments for the beginner through advanced players and students.
Progressive Music Center’s innovative teaching facilities are full service music schools with an emphasis on providing quality instruments for our students to learn on in a comfortable teaching environment. Progressive Music Center teachers and staff believe in the quality instruction and the principles that music of for everyone no mater age or ability. Progressive Music Center teachers and staff work with students to enhance his/her present abilities while developing personal areas of study that will further each student’s growth into a well-rounded musician. Through Progressive Music Center’s private lesson program students are encouraged to participate in our Rock Academy™ program, where they are placed into groups that actually rehearse at our facilities and then go out and perform creating a lesson curriculum that teaches you not only how to play your instrument, but how to apply what you learn in your lessons in a performance setting.
Progressive Music Center’s nationally recognized status through NAMM, MENC and the music products industry, coupled with long-standing relationships with the music industry’s top manufacturers, enable Progressive Music Center to operate fully equipped state-of-the-art facilities with complete drum sets, percussion instruments, guitars, amps, basses and a plethora of musical equipment for our student’s use. Progressive’s studios enhance every student’s learning experience with complete audio/video capabilities allowing students to take each lesson home and review every part of the lesson as the need arises.
Progressive’s professional instructors currently teach all levels of students from ages 3 to 87 year’s young and some students have been enrolled with Progressive for more than seven years. As of october 2011 there were seventeen former students currently enrolled in college music schools around the United States.
Today, Progressive Music Center has been featured in magazines such as Entrepreneur, Music Inc., Music Trades, Drum Business and Kiplingers. Progressive has locations in North Carolina and Virginia, and you can still find Billy Cuthrell in the studios, often working behind the counter helping customers and students and talking with teachers about new programs and ideas he has for music classes and programs. Cuthrell believes that Progressive Music Center is much more than a music school, that Progressive offers life enrichment through learning to play and enjoy music on all levels.