Boston-Based Female Entrepreneur, Alyssa O’Toole, Shares Her Inspirational Story of Launching and Growing a Business in the Age of COVID

Boston-Based Female Entrepreneur, Alyssa O'Toole, Shares Her Inspirational Story of Launching and Growing a Business in the Age of COVID
This quarter, Alyssa O’Toole, founder of Musician’s Playground, shares her triumphant story and entrepreneurial journey with others. O’Toole hopes that her story, from broke college grad to small independent businesswoman, will inspire others to follow their passion no matter the hurdles ahead.

Starting a business is no small feat. Launching a business in the age of COVID is an entirely different beast altogether. Yet, for one Bostonian woman, visions of creating a safe space where musicians could be part of a community, explore the art of music, hone their skills, and become their best self, drove her to launch a new venture despite the odds.

This quarter, Alyssa O’Toole, founder of Musician’s Playground, shares her triumphant story and entrepreneurial journey with others. O’Toole hopes that her story, from broke college grad to small independent businesswoman, will inspire others to follow their passion no matter the hurdles ahead.

An Unconventional Path


After graduating from Ithaca College, Alyssa O’Toole loathed the proposition of joining the rigid and uncreative ‘corporate world’. With prospects in both finance and accounting, O’Toole chose to veer off the conventional path, knowing in her heart that music was at the core of who she was and what she wanted to work with.

O’Toole always had a love for music, and truly believed in the healing power of this ‘universal language’, as well as its ability to transcend culture, religion, social status and more to bring happiness and fulfilment to the lives of others. It was from this passion that O’Toole knew she wanted to share that gift with as many people as possible, and is what would inspire her to pursue what has become Boston’s leading music club, Musician’s Playground.

When Vision Meets the Drawing Board

Wanting to create a space where everyone from hobbyists to professionals could come together and express themselves through music, O’Toole envisioned a new business model for music. With her creative juices flowing, O’Toole conceptualized what may very well be the first ‘music club’, functioning as a ‘gym’ for music lovers.

According to O’Toole, music is “Like our soul, exploration of who we are authentically is as important as exercising our body. Soul health is just as important as our physical health. And so that philosophy, combined with my love for music, then, was the reason that Musicians Playground was born. And I started with kind of a vision and a business plan.”

Launching a Business in the Intensely Competitive Boston Market

The Boston market is a notoriously competitive landscape for any business to launch in, much less succeed. Meetings for startup capital and assistance were met with a friendly handshake, but each ending with some version of ‘Sounds great, go do it and prove it to me first’.

Undeterred, O’Toole began the arduous task of building Musician’s Playground’s Programs from the ground up, with the first iteration involving her traveling to and from people’s houses to give lessons. Over time, her ambition, unwavering dedication and passion for music began to pay off. Her client base grew and she was ready to take the next step, albeit with even more challenges ahead.

From Broke College Grad to Bootstrapped Business Owner

With a grand piano placed on credit, and a new home base for the business, O’Toole both lived and worked in the space, utilizing a small storage area in the unit to hide the fact that she was doubling down on the utility of the apartment. As a bootstrapped entrepreneur, she was willing to make hard choices and sacrifices to keep Musician’s Playground afloat.

Each day she would place her belongings and personal items, including her mattress, in a tiny loft area (meant for suitcases and storage boxes). At night she’d climb a ladder and sleep up there while growing her business. It wasn’t comfortable and far from ideal, but it enabled her to save for a new, ideally larger space.

Within 1 ½ years, she was able to upgrade to a two-room operation, finally regaining a bedroom of her own that was separate from the business space. As Musician’s Playground began to grow, the hiring on of help meant that once again she would be sequestered to what was now a walk-in closet.

Determined and undeterred, within a three-year timeframe O’Tool was able to rent a place entirely dedicated to the business. But it wasn’t long before this victory lead to disappointment, later resulting in an unexpected eviction notice. Turns out, not many places are receptive to renting to musicians or music-based businesses due to the risk of disturbing others with noise or disruption.

With the help of a Realtor, and a little patience, O’Toole was able to find a real home for Musician’s Playground. But this too came at a price, resulting in depleting the businesses’ accounts, and requiring generous loans from friends and family who believed in what she was trying to accomplish.

A Work in Progress and a Growing Community

Known throughout Boston as a playground for aspiring and professional musicians alike, Musician’s Playground is a place where people fall in love with learning music again, perfecting the craft, finding their ‘community’, and improving themselves in ways they may not have expected.

Conveniently located at 33 West Street Floor 5, Boston, MA, today, Musicians Playground has established itself as a haven for music lovers, where members can create, collaborate and connect with like-minded individuals.

As a ‘gym for musicians’, membership provides individuals with a broad range of services and resources ranging from 40+ group music classes, to 1-on-1 instruction, unlimited studio time, use of premium instruments, access to community events and more.

Those interested in learning more about Alyssa’s journey, supporting musicians, or booking a class are encouraged to reach out via its official website or by calling 617-615-7663.

Media Contact
Company Name: Musicians Playground
Contact Person: Vanessa Navarrete
Email: Send Email
Phone: (866) 455-2802
Address:33 West St Floor 5
City: Boston
State: MA
Country: United States
Website: https://musiciansplayground.com/