Woodstock Academy of Music in Cape Town

An inspiring new school for aspiring melody makers 

The Woodstock Academy of Music (WAM), an early 2013 addition to the centre of one of Cape Town’s most creative neighbourhoods, is not just a place to master beats and practice bass lines; it’s a setting in which to be moved and motivated.

“WAM is an inspiring space, not just a functional one,” exclaims owner Rus Nerwich, a celebrated saxophonist who established the institution in an effort to turn what he loves into a service to others. “It offers the type of environment that stimulates and facilitates musicality.”

Indeed, located within one of Woodstock’s most soulful old buildings, and with cheerful works by acclaimed artists on the walls, a record player resting in one corner and a founder that’s performed worldwide and produced seven albums to date, the academy is certainly set to produce zealous virtuosos in time.

In its essence, the school is a site where individuals of all aptitudes and intentions can “engage with a different aspect of themselves than they do normally,” as Rus so eloquently summarises, be it through private music lessons, group classes or band rehearsals.

At WAM, both first-time and established musicians (and everyone in between) older than the age of eight can learn to play the piano, guitar, drums, saxophone, violin or trumpet as well as receive vocal training from a selection of teachers that are among the finest in the country (all are serious performers brimming with invaluable knowledge).

What’s more, alongside offering intimate but relaxed weekly classes, the academy also claims fully equipped, acoustically treated rehearsal rooms where big bands and small ensembles can spin out melodies to their hearts’ content. Flaunting lots of natural light, fresh air and a monstrous beanbag for groupies, the practice venues, which are open right through the night, are especially comfortable, inspiring sites to try out and hone new tunes (bands can also benefit from professional mentoring).

Not to mention, the main rehearsal room doubles as a recording studio (with all the required facilities and frills) for those melody makers keen to cut a few tracks in a top-notch setting.

Regardless of how patrons choose to use the space though, as an exciting and captivatingly creative addition to the Mother City’s music scene, the charming academy is certainly a spot many a muso will readily call home.

Tip: One of the Woodstock Academy of Music’s unique offerings is family classes that invite couples or parents and children to learn to play a musical instrument together. These combined lessons are a fun way to hone a new skill and a great way to foster closer relationships.

The Bill: The school’s rates are very reasonable. Music lessons, which range in length from 45 minutes to 1 hour, start at R180p/p, and the cost of using the rehearsal rooms is R80 per hour.

Opening Hours: Lessons:Monday – Friday: 9am – 8pm; Saturday: 10am – 2pm; Rehearsal Studios: Monday – Sunday: 2pm – 4am (24-hour security is present)

Side Street Studios | 48 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 72 510 4859

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In need of some quality equipment to make melodies at home? Have a look at our overview of places to buy musical instruments in Cape Town.

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