Music school opens second location on a more serious note

AUGUST 18, 2015 03:22 PM

The tall windows, dark wood and private spaces of a former legal office on Carnarvon Street have provided Vashti Fairbairn to expand her Music Box music school to provide lessons to students who are becoming more serious about their music studies.   Photo MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLETTER

The Music Box is getting serious.

The New Westminster music school has opened its second location, at 630 Carnarvon St. And while it’s not far from its original venue upstairs at the River Market, owner Vashti Fairbairn said it’s taking her enterprise to a whole new level.

The private rooms – two of them furnished with pianos – in a resplendent old brick building that used to house law offices, are more conducive to private lessons, said Fairbairn. That makes it a natural destination for her students who are becoming more serious about the music they’ve been making in the open concept space at River Market.

Fairbairn and her team of 10 instructors has been introducing kids and their parents to the joys of making music since 2013 at popular drop-in classes and camps. But to expand her business, she wanted to find a way to continue her relationship with those students whose musical inclinations have graduated beyond clanging on triangles and banging on drums.

At first Fairbairn considered expanding her presence at River Market; she even had plans drawn up.

But a serendipitous walk down Carnvarvon led her to the old law offices. The tall wood-framed windows bring lots of light into the space. The dark wooden floors and bannisters that lead to the second floor location give an air of gravitas. The private rooms offer opportunity for serious study.

“It’s a step up,” said Fairbairn. “This is a little more formal. If you’re taking private lessons, you really are invested in your instrument.”

Those instruments include everything from voice to woodwinds to piano, guitar, clarinet, flute and ukulele. There’s also lessons in theory.

And playing an instrument is a lifelong investment, said Fairbairn.

“It’s with you forever.”

The Music Box is having a grand opening party for its Carnarvon Street location on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information go to

© Copyright New Westminster NewsLeader 2015

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