David West

Head of the Light Music Department

David West is the head of the Light Music Department, which includes guitar (classical and electric), bass guitar and drum kit. He teaches all the orchestral percussion and drum kit students at the music centre. In addition to individual tuition, he also directs the various percussion ensembles, coaches the percussion sections in the wind band programme and directs the Junior Jazz Band. He holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Musicology from Unisa, a Teacher’s Licentiate in Classical Percussion, an Associate Diploma in Percussion performance and an Associate Diploma in Music Analysis and Criticism from Trinity College, London. In 2015 he completed a Trinity Performer's Licentiate Diploma in Drum Kit (passed with distinction), and in 2020, completed an Honours Degree in Music Education (Cum Laude) through Stellenbosch University. He continued to pursue a Master’s Degree, also specialising in music education, which he completed at the end of 2022 and was awarded the degree Cum Laude. His research focus for this degree was on Practical Music Learning in the greater Cape Town area.

David’s early music development was varied, exploring Violin, Cello, Piano and Bassoon, before finally settling on percussion. He spent a few years in the advertising industry before deciding to pursue a career as a music teacher. Through self-study, he completed his three Trinity diplomas before moving from Windhoek to Cape Town in December 2000. After teaching in a private capacity at various of schools around the Western Cape, he was offered the opportunity to teach at Beau Soleil in August 2001.

David performed with ad hoc orchestras in Windhoek, and from 1990, performed with the Namibian National Symphony Orchestra until his departure to Cape Town. He also performs as a freelance percussionist in a variety of other productions including the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Town Pops Orchestra. He has also played drum kit in a number of different performing situations.

Since 2012, David has been doing drum workshops at schools and music shops around the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, with the support of Yamaha Music South Africa and Paul Bothner Music. The aim of these clinics is promoting formal learning in drum kit and good learning habits, while ensuring potential students are aware of learning opportunities available at the music centre.