Roelof Strydom – CEO, cleaner, admin assistant and head of piano didactics
Roelof is an old boy of the Drakenberg Boys choir school, accomplished pianist, lover of classic cars, books, choir-music and Africa. He is the dreamer and founder of the Bright Ivory music school and its extended music family
Roelof started formal piano training at the age of 11, with acclaimed piano teacher and pedagogue Dr. Bertha Le Roux. Under Doctor Le Roux`s guidance, he partook in Unisa`s music theory and practical exams, which he consistently passed with merit.
Roelof taught himself how to play by ear, and how to improvise – a technique that has impressed a number of local and international listeners. At the age of 20, he became the youngest pianist ever offered a residency in the 5-star Palace of the Lost City where he played piano for VIP guests – Pink, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, R Kelly, Charlize Theron, Nelson Mandela and Josh Groban to name but a few. Roelof opted to leave showbiz in the pursuit of his real dreams – of owning a music school that doesn’t abide with the rules. A school that teaches its students to forget about rules and strict classical approaches, and to just have fun and make music!
Roelof believes that anyone can read music. He has a passion that he`d like to share, and he teaches from the conviction that music is a language – one that every living soul should be able to understand and speak!
Jabulani: Virtuous violinist
Jabu, our resident violin teacher studied music under the bartonship of the world-renowned musician and violinist, Michael Masote.
His Grade 8 classical practical accreditation under ACOSA coupled with his experience as violinist in the Johannesburg Philharmonic Cadet Orchestra makes him a versatile musician and teacher.
As a teacher, he is foremost a people’s-person. His huge smile and sense of humor make for FUN in every lesson. Jabu is an excellent educator, and great at imparting knowledge. His skillset and experience create the promise of a successful musical journey for any and every student.
Jabu completed an internship at the SABC, and is also a qualified sound engineer – that is what he spends his spare time on DJ-ing, mixing, and mastering music.
He really IS a virtuous violinist, and one of the best violin teachers in Johannesburg (no wait, the WORLD!) and he can’t WAIT to meet you!
Jeanlie: Affable singing teacher AND piano pro
Jeanlie is an enthusiast of everything ‘music’. This talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has a vibrant personality, a heart for teaching, and a passion for children.
Jeanlie is currently busy with tertiary music studies (Jazz Vocals) at the Tshwane University of Technology. She also completed and passed Trinity College of London’s Grade 8 in Rock & Pop vocals, Grade 8 Music Theory, and UNISA piano exams.
Jeanlie loves singing, and that is what she does in her spare time. She regularly performs at various festivals, markets, and restaurants and has shared the stage with well known South African artists such as Joshua Na Die Reën, Albert Frost, Lizandra Winter, and Faraway George.
While she hasn’t written that number one hit song (yet), she has proven to be a BIG hit with all her students who regularly mail the office to compliment her phenomenal personality and teaching style.
Christiaan: Guitar shredder (and teacher) and Vocal coach
Chris is a passionate guitarist and singer with extensive experience teaching guitar and vocal lessons to students of all ages on all levels.
Chris holds internationally accredited qualifications in Trinity’s Rock & Pop (Grade 8 guitar), and a Performer’s Licentiate in vocals and guitar from ALMSA.
So, he has the skill. Has he got the personality? As his students (and anyone else who comes into contact with his quick-witted and outgoing personality) will attest, the answer is a resounding YES! There is always laughter coming from his classroom, and his students consistently walk out of The Bright Ivory studios with a smile.
Chris is the band leader, singer, and guitarist of Everlong, a dedicated wedding and corporate band. He has extensive performance experience having performed at various venues, occasions, and festivals – including the biggest Afrikaans music festival in South Africa, Inniebos. He has also performed at both the Teatro and Pieter Toerien theatres at Monte Casino, the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City, and the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town.
Chris is a showman and can guide young musicians in the finer nuances of live performance too. If you want to be a rockstar, Chris is your guy. In fact, we’d go as far as saying that signing up for lessons with Christiaan means signing up for success!
Karin – Piano/Vocal coach extraodinaire
Always smiling and shining, you wouldn`t rate her as an academic… but – you`d be wrong!
Karin completed and passed a Further Education and Training Certificate: Music NQF level 4 at the Campus of the Performing Arts. She did her finals in both Grade 8 Theory of Music, and Grade 8 Rock/Pop singing with Trinity College London.
She also holds an ATCL Principles of Vocal Teaching from Trinity College London awarded with merit, and an advanced LTCL which she passed with distinction – making her one of the best qualified vocal teachers in our area. Her skills as pianist adds to her astounding vocal range, and her outgoing personality and artistic flair makes learning with Karin a pleasurable and exciting journey.
“Die Karin Kamer” on Facebook showcases her talent, if you’d like to listen to her astounding voice before signing up!
Gielie – Master musician and Keys specialist
Gielie Swiegers joined us after a six-year teaching stint gaining experience at other music teaching institutions. The allure of the Bright Ivory`s creative, fun and professional environment was JUST what he needed to thrive in, and he accepted our offer in January 2018. The rest, as they say, is musicology!
Gielie is currently studying towards a B-mus degree, and has an enormous passion (and affinity) for classical music. He is a multi-instrumentalist who also plays the cello. He is a choral master, and he leads worship sessions at a big congregation in the west rand. Spare time in the world of Gielie, is piano time!
Louise: Consumate keyboard and guitar inspiror
Louise is another multi-instrumentalist teaching for team Bright Ivory. When it comes to our group of best-teachers-in-the-world, Louise fits RIGHT in!
She started playing the piano at 8. The guitar at 13. The cello at 15. After ultimately qualifying herself with a formal ABRSM Royal Schools of Music Grade 8 practical certificate, she has both the skill and personality we require from all our teachers.
Honing her skills as creative musician all her life, Louise is resourceful, proactive, and practical. We see her as highly organized, and very efficient. She has proven herself as a problem solver and is an excellent fit with kids who struggle to gain momentum in the initial phases of their musical journeys.
In her previous life, Louise worked as a game ranger for 6 years. Her hobbies include anything nature, spending time with her pets, writing, camping, and of course, making music.
Ryan: Advanced guitar maven.
Ryan is a guitarist, teacher, and composer with over fifteen years of experience playing and teaching in various genres including, pop, funk, jazz, rock, and blues.
He has freelanced in South Africa, as well as in Texas (DFW), where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Performance at the University of North Texas (Denton). This qualification is the proof in the pudding that Ryan is not just another guitar teacher on the block… He is able and passionate in teaching our more advanced guitar (and bass guitar) students – and the astounding skills they pick up from him is testament to his ability in imparting knowledge and guidance on the instrument in which he is an absolute guru.
Ryan is passionate about music and learning new things. He spends his spare time swimming, walking, playing tennis, and being awesome.
OUR DRAMA FACULTY
Monica: Actress, teacher, and director of The Bright Ivory Drama
Monica Strydom matriculated from the National Arts School in Pretoria and thereafter obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Pretoria. Monica successfully ran a huge drama faculty while obtaining a masters degree through Rhodes university in Grahamstown in 2016 – but career and academical pursuits necessitated her move to Gauteng, and more importantly, to the Bright Ivory where she heads up the drama department. She cares deeply about creating young speakers who can confidently stand on a stage and make a difference in our country. She is so passionate about that pursuit, that she is currently completing her PhD in learner leadership development through the University of Johannesburg.
Monica’s area of expertise is children and she enjoys working with big casts. She has a vast amount of experience in directing, producing, performing and teaching – among others, she recently directed the musicals “My Fair Lady” and “Fame”.
Monica spends her free time reading, jogging, and pursuing scenes of Nature. If her academical pursuits don`t impress you, her outgoing party-starting personality will!
Sinead: Convivial drama teacher specialising in young actors.
Sinead holds a drama degree from Varsity College, majoring in stage acting and teaching. She currently heads up our nursery schools program where we teach fun, interacting lessons to 3-to-6-year-olds in nursery schools in the greater Fourways area.
Asked to describe herself in 3 words fun, dynamic and versatile were the 3 words Sinead chose.
Sinead’s biggest passion IS drama. She has been on stage, on camera, and she has done countless voice-overs and shoots. Teaching drama and working full time in her field of passion is a dream come true for her – and it shows in her energetic lessons, interactive classes, and the smiles you’ll see on her student’s faces when they walk (okay, run) into her class.
Sinead cares deeply for animals and in her spare time, she volunteers at a rescue organization where she fosters and rescues puppies.
Samantha: Teacher of theatrics and dramatics
Meet Sam, who LIVES drama. From a young age, the stage has been her second home. Working alongside writers, directors, actors, dancers, and technical crews are some of her biggest passions – which she actively pursues.
Sam has an old soul when it comes to theatre and performance, often combining new innovative ideas with traditional approaches. She has written (and directed) a number of her own plays.
Sam teaches students of all ages but it is especially in teaching our high school and older beginners – and particularly in the preparation of our senior student’s final matric exams that her strength lies. Sam is the head of curriculum studies and responsible for all our IEB and CAPS subject drama students.
When not hard at work on her next play or directing students at The Bright Ivory Drama, Sam likes being active. Reading and writing is on her to-do list every day and she often whiles her evenings away listening to good music.
If you`re looking for – the right kind of – drama, Sam’s your girl!
We are all capable, passionate, people’s-people loving what we do, and we can’t wait to meet YOU! Don`t forget to fill out our contact form if you`d like to sign up for lessons with us!