About Us

Our Founding Principles

Virtu.Academy was built to deliver conservatory quality, one-on-one music lessons to students around the world. Our online video platform connects students, of all ages, to the highest quality musicians from top music conservatories in the world, including Juilliard, The Manhattan School of Music, Paris Conservatory, and Oberlin.

Our mission is to make high quality music lessons accessible to everyone, no matter their location or financial situation.

Our Founders

 
Ben Steger is graduate from Oberlin College and Conservatory where he studied trumpet performance and biochemistry. Ben has been teaching trumpet for over 9 years and playing music since he was 5 years old. In addition to being the co-founder and trumpet teacher at Virtu.Academy, Ben is studying business development and working as a medical research fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Ben Steger is graduate from Oberlin College and Conservatory where he studied trumpet performance and biochemistry. Ben has been teaching trumpet for over 9 years and playing music since he was 5 years old. In addition to being the co-founder and trumpet teacher at Virtu.Academy, Ben is studying business development and working as a medical research fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

Bryan Rubin is a graduate from Oberlin College, where he studied environmental studies and politics. While at Oberlin, Bryan was the Photo Editor for the school newspaper,  The Oberlin Review,  a member of Oberlin College’s Office of Environmental Sustainability media team, and a Communications photographer and videographer. In addition to being a co-founder of Virtu.Academy, Bryan is currently a fellow at The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Multimedia.

Bryan Rubin is a graduate from Oberlin College, where he studied environmental studies and politics. While at Oberlin, Bryan was the Photo Editor for the school newspaper, The Oberlin Review, a member of Oberlin College’s Office of Environmental Sustainability media team, and a Communications photographer and videographer. In addition to being a co-founder of Virtu.Academy, Bryan is currently a fellow at The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Multimedia.

 

Our Advisory Board

Virtu.Academy is supported by a talented team of advisors with invaluable business experience helping us achieve our mission.

TIM HURSON   Tim Hurson is a speaker, writer and creativity theorist living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was educated at The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, and went to college at Oberlin College in Ohio.  Tim was a founding partner of Manifest Communications, a company focussed on social change strategy. He developed a problem-solving technique known as the ThinkX Productive Thinking Model, a six-step process that builds on the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process, combining it with more rigorous engineering-based techniques such as IDEF.  Hurson is a founding director of Facilitators Without Borders, a faculty member of the conference of the Creativity European Association. and co-founder of Mindcamp. He is a founding board member of Oberlin College's LaunchU Entrepreneurship bootcamp.

TIM HURSON

Tim Hurson is a speaker, writer and creativity theorist living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was educated at The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, and went to college at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Tim was a founding partner of Manifest Communications, a company focussed on social change strategy. He developed a problem-solving technique known as the ThinkX Productive Thinking Model, a six-step process that builds on the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process, combining it with more rigorous engineering-based techniques such as IDEF.

Hurson is a founding director of Facilitators Without Borders, a faculty member of the conference of the Creativity European Association. and co-founder of Mindcamp. He is a founding board member of Oberlin College's LaunchU Entrepreneurship bootcamp.

GARY A. BOLLES   Gary A. Bolles is an internationally-recognized expert on the future of work and the future of learning. As Chair for the Future of Work for Singularity University, he leads the organization’s efforts to empower a global community with the mindset, skillset, and network to create an abundant future of work and learning.  As a partner in the boutique consulting agency Charrette LLC, he helps clients to identify and understand trends affecting their organizations and markets, often through strategic conferences, innovation consulting, strategy design charrettes, and collaborative initiatives.  Bolles has served as a strategic consultant and visiting lecturer for clients such as Google, Intel, the New Zealand Government, and the United Nations. He has also co-founded a variety of conferences and strategic initiatives.

GARY A. BOLLES

Gary A. Bolles is an internationally-recognized expert on the future of work and the future of learning. As Chair for the Future of Work for Singularity University, he leads the organization’s efforts to empower a global community with the mindset, skillset, and network to create an abundant future of work and learning.

As a partner in the boutique consulting agency Charrette LLC, he helps clients to identify and understand trends affecting their organizations and markets, often through strategic conferences, innovation consulting, strategy design charrettes, and collaborative initiatives.

Bolles has served as a strategic consultant and visiting lecturer for clients such as Google, Intel, the New Zealand Government, and the United Nations. He has also co-founded a variety of conferences and strategic initiatives.

TARA GILBOA   Tara is a Learning Experience Designer based in Boulder, Colorado. She has worked in K-12, Higher Education, and with local startups to design and instruct unique learning experiences. She founded Boulder Learning Design LLC and the Learning Experience Design Colorado MeetUp in 2017. She is now a Learning Lead at Noodle Partners, managing key stakeholders including instructional design firms, faculty course designers, anduniversity teaching & learning staff throughout the development and implementation of online graduate degree programs.

TARA GILBOA

Tara is a Learning Experience Designer based in Boulder, Colorado. She has worked in K-12, Higher Education, and with local startups to design and instruct unique learning experiences. She founded Boulder Learning Design LLC and the Learning Experience Design Colorado MeetUp in 2017. She is now a Learning Lead at Noodle Partners, managing key stakeholders including instructional design firms, faculty course designers, anduniversity teaching & learning staff throughout the development and implementation of online graduate degree programs.


Turning Our Mission into a Reality

While attending Oberlin Conservatory, founders Benjamin Steger and Bryan Rubin were surrounded by talented musicians. After taking Skype music lessons with trumpet players from New York and around the world, Ben realized anyone could have the opportunity to take high quality private music using video-chat technology.

In March of 2018, our idea became a reality. Having participated in Oberlin College’s business accelerator, LaunchU, Virtu.Academy was awarded funding to achieve our mission of making music education more accessible.

FAQ

Try a lesson, worry-free.

If you're not completely satisfied with your experience, we will find you a new teacher and pay for your first lesson. Just email hello@virtu.academy. 


What do I need to begin lessons?

After choosing a teacher and purchasing a lesson, all you need is a computer with a built in microphone and webcam. After booking you will be sent a link that connects you with your teacher at the scheduled time with two clicks. No downloads or accounts are necessary. 


How expensive are lessons?

Lessons are $19/half hour or $39/hour.


Are online lessons as good as in person lessons?

Although there are some differences, multiple studies on distance learning, including this study from UNC, have shown that students are 36% more focused and perform 22% better when compared to in-person lesson.


How do you choose your teachers?

All our teachers are from top music conservatories, such as Juilliard or Oberlin. They also must have extensive teaching experience and be recommended by conservatory professors.