R40m Music Academy and Theatre in Sunningdale


New headquarters for internationally recognised training resource

A R40 million music academy to serve the needs of aspiring young musicians in the West Coast and northern suburbs of Cape Town is being built on Berkshire Boulevard, Sunningdale, by Garden Cities, as the new headquarters of the internationally-recognised M&M Music Academy, established in 2004.

The buildings, of which the first phase will consist of 1 467m2 of classrooms, studios, cafe and an outdoor venue, constitute part of the broader services and facilities Garden Cities has provided in the development of its suburbs over the past 100 years.

Central to the new development will be a full-time music vocational high school covering grades 10-12 as well as post matric 1 – 3 years for students who have chosen music and music related activities as their career. These will be highly focused classes with a maximum capacity of 100 full time students. Qualifications will be both locally and internationally recognised. Full-time students joining the academy will do so by selecting the primary instrument such as, Guitar, Vocals and Drums as well as their vocational pathway which will consist of either Performance, Composition, Technology or Business.

The part-time lessons that we currently offer will also move across into the new facilities and directly benefit from the other activities taking place.

The second phase of the academy’s building programme will consist of a 300-seat auditorium, the first on the West Coast and one of only three of its kind in Cape Town.

With the completion of the auditorium we will have the ability to introduce our Performance Arts Awards curriculum which will include Acting, Musical Theatre, Performing and Creating, Business and Production

Besides the educational aspects of the academy, the development of the auditorium will enable us to offer the local community commercial shows along the lines of what Theatre on the Bay offers. This will provide our students with hands on experience in a real world scenario.

To be completed by 2021, the buildings allow for the expansion of the Academy that currently caters for over 300 students a week under the tutelage of seven teachers in its current premises. Tuition is offered in Piano/Keys, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Drums and Music Production, with the emphasis on offerering a wider choice of instruments.

“As the work and student body at the Academy expands, we needed more space and the additional necessity of a performance venue for concerts and training,” says M&M Director Rolf Pearson. “The new buildings will, from 2021, give us a capacity to provide full time accredited music courses.”

The new base for M&M Music Academy opens the door to opportunities for young artists whose closest alternative recognised facility of its kind is at the V&A Waterfront. Historically styled on the successful Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles,  M&M operates a commercial recording studio with video facilities, which is also used for training the students.

Students and teachers have successfully presented their music on media platforms including YouTube where they have logged up to 2 000 000 views. The new buildings will also enhance the opportunity for students to congregate with families and the outside community, and provide a top-notch venue for rising stars to perform their own compositions in a vibrant atmosphere.

Group CEO of Garden Cities, John Matthews, said that as Garden Cities moves into its second century of building communities in the 17 suburbs it has created so far around Cape Town, “the Board is looking at broadening the scope of our vision for residents and people living in the vicinity of our developments.”

“Based on the principles established when the company was founded, we have provided schools, shopping centres, medical facilities, sport centres and even a dog park. The establishment of a music academy at Sunningdale adds to the opportunities we will be exploring to further enrich the lives of our homeowners.”