Music academy marches to the beat of its own drum

Students can try their hand at learning a variety of instruments

Instructor Andreas David

Instructor Andreas David

There’s a new beat in Langford.

West Shore Music Academy brings instruction in a wide variety of musical instruments and styles to people of all ages, with a focus on drumming.

Owners Andreas and Sabine David moved to Langford from Powell River about two years ago and have been looking for the perfect space to start a music school since then.

“It’s like a whole family affair,” Sabine said.

Andreas, drum instructor at Powell River Academy of Music and leader of two local youth drumming groups there, hopes to do something similar in Langford.

“It’s super rewarding. I always find it very exciting, especially the first couple lessons when they come in and they’ve got a sparkle in their eyes,” he said of newcomers. “The youngest student I’m teaching right now is four-and-a-half years old and the oldest I have is 66. So there’s a whole range. It’s just pure fun.”

About 20 other instructors are on the academy roster, teaching everything from guitar to piano to horns. Even music production will be an option, teaching digital music production and DJ-ing.

Drums are the backbone of the school, led by Andreas, who  has more than 20 years’ experience playing and teaching professionally. Originally from Hamburg, Germany, he once played as many as 200 gigs a year, primarily with bands. He now plays mostly as a solo act, mixing DJ equipment with live drumming in solo shows of drum and bass music.

“There’s only a handful of drummers worldwide playing this kind of style and performing on their own,” he said.

Andreas is also starting up percussion groups for younger drummers on the West Shore, playing original material. The goal is to  stage public performances.

“It’s not traditional marching band style, it’s kind of a mix between marching bands and wild samba,” he said. “So that’s definitely unique.”

The space will also allow for workshops and master classes to be held at the academy with special guest instructors, which Andreas will use his connections to arrange.

The Davids’ 13-year-old son, Anuk, is learning to play the drums from his father and has a blast figuring out hip-hop beats. Andreas said the key to teaching music to younger people is to keep it fun.

“It’s important to keep a balance, if you just put a book on the music stand most students are not going to be there in the long run. I think sports and music programs, that’s really what you should be looking for if you have a kid.”

The academy, at 134-1039 Langford Pkwy., hosts an open house Saturday (March 15) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It includes tours of the facility, a meet and greet with instructors, snacks and an open stage for instructors to perform.

For more information, visit westshoremusicacademy.ca or call 250-532-0228.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com