For Angelica Kim, music is much more than a career. It’s a true calling – and something she hopes to share with every single student at her music education centre in New Westminster.
Rover Music School was born out of Angelica’s desire to find a path that allowed her to share her passion and joy for music with students in a positive and supportive environment.
Drawn to music as a young child, she was teaching private lessons while working as a rehearsal pianist by the age of 15. She spent time with the New Zealand National Opera Project, Melbourne University Opera Project, Brandon Theater Company, Hipposonic and Armoury Recording Studios. But over time it became clear that her heart was in teaching others and the idea for Rover Music School was born.
“I am the happiest when I get to help another person through music,” she said. “Music made a huge impact in my personal life during hardships, and as I searched for the right path, I realized it was to help others feel the incredible value and impact music could make in helping them express themselves.”
Angelica said she carefully gathered together a team of fellow music teachers who shared her student-centred philosophy. “I wanted to build a school where it was okay to make mistakes, okay to not be perfect and to just enjoy the entire process of learning music and speaking through music.”
The school offers private lessons in piano, flute, guitar, voice, song-writing and Royal Conservatory of Music curriculums. They also provide group lessons to help young children with the Kids Music Fundamentals program, and help parents understand music and the music learning process with the Parents Keyboard Class, as well as offering song-writing workshops for teens and choirs for both adults and children.
“We hear adults say they’re too late to start music lessons, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! It’s never too late to learn something new, especially in music,” she said. “Rover teaches beginner students of all ages from 3 to 73. Please know that if it’s in your heart, it’s never too late and we’re here to help.”
The response in the community has been incredibly positive, with rave reviews from students and parents alike. The school recently expanded into a larger classroom space.
“New Westminster is a great city for welcoming creative opportunities and growth within its art community,” she said. She’s also a member of the New Westminster Art Council Board of Directors, assisting in curating new programs and events for the city.
She also volunteers with the music therapy program Last Door, which helps people express their emotions during recovery through the power of music.
“It’s been such an incredible experience for everyone involved and reminds me just how special this community is.” Angelica is proud of what she and her team have created – not just because of what they can teach in terms of music but also in the joy and pride it creates in her students.
“Excellence can often be perceived as an end product but we don’t see excellence in only the end result,” she said. “Excellence is in the quality of effort along your journey. For a performer to smile at the end of a performance, not simply because of the performance itself, but because they are proud of their dedication to being the highest quality version of themselves, is what we believe creates excellence.”
The school offers free trial lessons and people are welcome to drop in to learn more.
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