Westlake Music Academy announces expansion
What began with a single guitar teacher operating from his own home has grown to a music academy with 20 teachers offering lessons in 12 instruments. Director James Flood opened the Westlake Music Academy in April of 2019, transferring 40 students from his previous home business. Now, only a little more than two years later, WMA has grown to 325 students.
“I had been teaching guitar at various places: colleges, music schools and from home," Flood recalled. "Eventually I put together a home-grown business, James Flood Guitar Lessons, where I taught exclusively from my home and a couple of satellite locations. Starting a full-service music school was something that had never occurred to me until I joined a Facebook group and started talking to music school owners. In 2017 the guy leading the group persuaded me to attend a conference. I left that conference absolutely convinced that I was going to start a music school, and I never looked back.”
Flood initially rented just the front part of the building on the southwest corner of Detroit and Canterbury. This May, WMA expanded from the initial 1,100-square-foot space to utilizing the whole building of 2,850 square feet, nearly tripling in size. Renovations yielded three new studios – including a 400-square-foot studio for classes and small recitals. Future plans include adding more studios.
“I really think what’s unique about the Westlake Music Academy is our emphasis on quality. I don’t allow a teacher to teach an instrument unless they’ve invested years of serious study devoted to it. All of our teachers have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in the instrument they teach, with the majority holding master’s degrees.”
WMA offers lessons in piano, guitar, voice, violin, viola, cello, double bass, drums, electric bass, ukulele, flute and saxophone. Lessons are available for children and adults.