Vancouver Music Academy was founded in 1998 by Susan Ferrell and has been giving students the confidence they need to not just play their instruments well, but to love the process, too.
The company began with just Kindermusik classes that served about 50 students. Ferrell said that growth over the years has been significant.
“We have moved four times due to growth and are currently in a space with 13 classrooms,” she said. “Today, we have over 20 teachers and four desk staff.”
Currently, there are approximately 650 active students. Vancouver Music Academy offers early childhood music classes for kids as young as 6 months old, up through age 6. They also offer private weekly lessons in 30-, 45- or 60-minute increments, focusing on piano, ukulele, guitar, drums, violin, viola and cello. Voice lessons are also available. School wide, they offer focuses for students too: songwriting/composition, recording and performance. Teachers use an incentive program for musical achievements, and they focus on celebrating students as they become more proficient.
“We celebrate students as they meet their music goals with their teachers via celebrations and public recognition,” Ferrell said. “We also have recitals where students can showcase their accomplishments.”
When the pandemic began, Vancouver Music Academy was impacted greatly, closing for three months. They converted everything to online lessons, and they lost about a third of their students. Thankfully, Ferrell said that they have recovered from that loss and while some students have chosen to remain online, most students have returned to in-person classes. One thing that changed during the pandemic was the influx of older students signing up for lessons.
“We have seen an increase in adult students wanting to have a hobby or go back to an instrument that they enjoyed playing as a child,” she said.
Looking ahead, Vancouver Music Academy is working on developing an internship teacher training program. There’s no doubt about it: Ferrell and her team are excited about continuing to instill a love of music into people of all ages in and around Clark County.