An insider's guide to the county's best kept secrets
Unit 4 Acer Court
Saddlebow Industrial Estate
Tel: 01553 768020
A fun and friendly first class learning environment offering highly skilled tuition in over a dozen instruments on either a regular basis or as an intense course making it an attractive school for both locals and tourists looking for a holiday with a difference
Where to find it
Musikademy is situated on the Saddlebow industrial estate on the outskirts of the historic town of Kings Lynn. It is easy to drive to and has unlimited free parking. If you are coming from afar, Kings Lynn itself is a great base for a holiday with its arts centre, theatre and old school cinema dating back to the 1920s. It is 15 miles from the large coastal town of Hunstanton, 20 and 30 miles from the tourist hotspots of Burnham Market and Holt and only 40 miles from Norwich city centre.
What to expect
The learning school is a spacious building with plenty of rooms for difference lessons to take place without people or sounds crowding each other. You’ll find a large comfortable informal waiting area with a small communal kitchen that provides free tea and coffee making facilities; ideal for parents who bring their children for tuition.
The owner, Bekki Smith, has over 18 years teaching experience having trained with Desmond Greef MBE in Thornham. She also ran the Technics Music Academy at Lynn Music for a number of years before it closed and she set up on her own. That was four years ago now and Musikademy continues to go from strength to strength. Bekki’s ethos of “providing first class tuition for all ages and abilities in a friendly and productive atmosphere” has created a solid business that’s been able, off the back of its own success, to expand to now offer lessons in over a dozen instruments as well as theory and singing.
The learning experience
What struck me about the place on my very first visit was how relaxed and comfortable the environment felt. We’re not all naturally gifted and sometimes music centres can feel a little intimidating but this wasn’t the case at all here. I’d got a ukulele for Christmas and wanted to learn how to play around with it for fun, so this is how my lesson was geared. It immediately felt uplifting; the teacher, Al Kirk, was amusing and had a modern outlook to the learning process talking about muscle memory and effortless strumming which appealed to my laid back approach.
Don’t get me wrong, Musikademy can be very serious indeed when it needs to be – they offer help with GCSEs and A-levels as well as graded exams from three different examining boards and go right up to professional status – but there’s no standard formula; everything is fixed around the pupil and their goals.
What I also thought particularly refreshing was that whilst of course it’s a business and money needs to be made, Bekki is in no hurry to charge more than is strictly necessary. Lessons can be 30 minutes or an hour long but she says in most cases, half an hour is the right amount of time and any longer is not always advantageous. So learning an instrument really doesn’t have to cost the earth. I’ll be back with my uku very soon so if there’s an awful racket on your arrival, don’t be put off, it’s just me trying to master the B flat chord!
Musikademy offers tuition in Piano, Keyboard, Drum, Guitar, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele, Oboe, Flute, Saxophone, Clarinet, Recorder, Singing and Theory. There are eight different teachers specialising in varied instruments, all qualified and highly experienced musicians. They are all CRB checked.
Lessons are £12.50 for 30 minutes of £22.50 for an hour. The centre is open Monday to Friday 11am to 9pm and Saturdays 8.30am to 4pm. Exams are run by ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music), LCM (London College of Music) and Rockschool. UCAS now award additional points for exams at 6 to 8 level to add to those achieved at AS and A level for university entrance.
For those wishing to book an intense course during a holiday to Norfolk please ring Bekki directly to discuss fees and a suitable schedule for your individual needs.