Image: Trevino Isaacs excited to start giving back to the community using his skills in music

CAPE TOWN - Self-taught piano player, Trevino Isaacs (26), took his skills in music to the community of Mitchell’s Plain by opening a music school aimed to teach children as young as seven years old the appreciation and love for music.

Trevino started playing piano since the age of 9 and professionally since the age of 15. The demand for music lessons was such that he started offering lessons from his mother’s living room.

Trevino is one of 19 small business owners in the areas of Khayelithsha, Langa, Mitchell’s Plain and Gugulethu selected to take part in the sponsored Small Business Academy (SBA) programme offered by the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB).

With its main sponsors ABSA and the Distell Foundation, the SBA provides a platform for small business owners to gain business, financial and operational knowledge over nine months to grow and strengthen their businesses. The SBA creates networking opportunities and offers a mentorship programme whereby each participant is matched with a USB MBA alumnus.

The music school follows the Trinity College London syllabus, which is recognised by all the major universities in South Africa and the UK. The classes are offered at the Woodville Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain and they teach pre-grade 1 up to grade 8 to learners aged 7 to 45. Trevino says their Mitchells Plain Music Academy offers a safe environment where children can live a life free of violence, drugs and alcohol. For many it’s a way out of poverty and uncertainty by developing their natural talent into something with purpose.

“Our drive has always been to offer a service to the community and without funding or resource support we are in a position to sponsor students who show the potential but simply can’t afford the cost.”Our growth has been organic to where we teach 40 students currently. My selection to the SBA programme has had a major impact on how I structure and market the business. The knowledge I’m gaining will assist us to grow the business significantly and help us achieve our ultimate goal whereby we are in a financial position to assist more students who have the talent but simply can’t pay the tuition fees.”
“I have big dreams for the school and my long term goal is to offer music certificates, diplomas and degrees in addition to offering other subjects such as finance and computer literacy. In a world where knowledge is power, we’d like to support the community in enriching themselves and their families", Isaacs concluded.