Updated: Jul 13
That’s right, it’s not Double Bay, Paddington or Bondi Junction. For the fastest growing music school in Sydney, you best head to Baptist Street Redfern.
At number 50 you’ll find a beautifully renovated 3 level terrace house. Inside is a modern and progressive music school that’s become something of a rising star in the music and acting scene. Complete with a recently installed high-tech recording studio, it’s where a growing number of parents from Sydney’s eastern suburbs are choosing to send their kids to learn music.
Imperial Artistry was opened in 2016 by Caleb Alloway. Probably best known to Australian audiences as Will Zannis from Home and Away, Caleb has held a passion for music since an early age. But don’t let his mastery of the piano fool you, he’s equally talented and skilled with the Flute, Guitar and Trumpet. Caleb has an Associate Diploma in Music and was awarded an Associate in Music (AMusA) and a Certificate of Performance (CMusA) by the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB).
He didn’t plan on opening a music school, rather his sights were set on a career in acting. From stage he moved to television and shows like Janet King and Home & Away. Then came a break to appear on the big screen with his first feature film being the Sci-Fi ‘The Osiris Child’ with Rachael Griffiths.
It was a time gap between acting jobs that prompted him to take on 3 music students to keep busy and help make ends meet. It quickly snowballed and as word spread, he was swamped by friends wanting to add their children to his growing list of students.
Teaching kids is not for the faint hearted and it takes patience, the ability to connect and requires a precise balance between discipline and encouragement. While his first passion is music, his second is nurturing and mentoring talented kids and Imperial Artistry allows him to combine the two. Perhaps it stems from his own childhood experiences and having grown up with 11 brothers and sisters, Caleb has a unique affinity with children and if the growing numbers are anything to go by, he has a gift.
His school now has more than 120 weekly students and employs another 12 professional music and acting teachers. Piano, guitar, flute, trumpet, and drums are amongst the instrument focus with lessons available for all levels from beginners to advanced. The school also offers programs in music theory as well as singing and acting lessons. For those over 17, you’ll be happy to learn the school has started teaching adults too.
Lessons comply to the Australian Music Examinations Board syllabus and are available for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced but that’s where the similarity with other schools ends. It’s not what it teaches but how it teaches that makes Imperial Artistry so unique.
Traditional music schools have a regimented approach – the same lesson structure and content is delivered in exactly the same way from one student intake to the next. While this makes it easier for teachers, it fails to address the fact that all students are different and that they learn in different ways. So instead of ‘one size fits all’, Imperial Artistry offers a learning program that is designed according to the needs of each student.
It all starts with a FREE introductory lesson for new students that allows the child and their parents to experience the school firsthand before any commitment is made or fees are paid. During this lesson, students are assessed, and a lesson program is prepared to suit their unique circumstances, their capabilities, and their unique way of learning.
The school is modern and progressive. Parental participation is welcomed and encouraged. Instead of the typical authoritarian teaching style you’ll find teachers, parents and students are respected equally. As for the culture, it’s best described as spirited and inclusive. The common goal is to build a safe creative environment that nurtures and inspires artistic talent.
So, if your child is aged between 5 and 17 - has an ear for music, shows an interest in playing an instrument or simply enjoys the limelight and entertaining the family at home - then there’s a good chance that Imperial Artistry is what you’re looking for.