The owner of Music Box – a private music school at the Quay – has opened a second location on Carnarvon Street.
Vashti Fairbairn started her business in 2013 in a 570-sq.-ft. studio in the River Market. With 30 some students the first year, the school now has more than 100 pupils enrolled, not including groups.
“We’ve more than tripled,” the local resident enthusiastically told the Record. “Since July of 2014, I was already looking for solutions to our space problem. It’s super exciting, and it means that we’re getting the word out better and that people are wanting to take lessons here.”
Fairbairn, whose musical background stretches over a decade and includes jazz and classical musical study, tours throughout the United States and numerous awards, decided to open up a school for two reasons. First, she said she found she was always travelling outside the city for work. Second, her and her husband wanted to start a family.
“I would drive to Langley, I would drive to Burnaby, I’d drive to Richmond teaching all these lessons, and I never taught in New West,” she said. “There was nowhere I wanted to teach and so, it came out of a need for our family and I saw then, as I looked, a need in New Westminster.”
Now a mother of two, Fairbairn said she understands what parents go through when trying to find programs for their kids, adding it’s made her a better business owner.
While there are a lot of music schools in the Royal City, the music teacher explained she’s worked hard to create a “whole” experience for her students.
“It’s a lot more than just a teacher and a room. The music lesson experience we give here includes great customer service to the parents, including communication on how their child is doing.”
That experience also carries two annual recitals, which take place at the La Perla Ballroom, where students get to perform on a “beautiful Yamaha piano.”
“They have beautiful chandeliers, we bring in a professional photographer. It just makes it a special event,” said Fairbairn.
The academy has lessons for guitar, piano, voice and ukulele, to name a few. It’s open to everyone ages four and up. There are also mom and baby classes, preschool music classes and musical theatre classes.
The River Market location will be used for group events like summer camps, while the 630 Carnarvon St. studio (located between Brick & Mortar and The Hide Out Café) will be strictly for private lessons, Fairbairn said.
There will be a grand opening celebration on Aug. 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be cake, a ribbon cutting ceremony, free lessons and door prizes. For more information, visit www.musicboxnw.ca.