YOUNG budding musicians could have a new creative outlet in St Saviour, if a drum teacher’s plans are approved.
Private tutor Chris Morgan wants to change one of the ground-floor commercial units at Bagatelle Parade – formerly a beauty salon – from retail to educational use.
If approved, it will become a private one-to-one music teaching room, with accompanying waiting area and desk space.
After teaching at Chordz Music School for the past ten years, Mr Morgan recently set up his own drum and music production business called Beats.je.
He currently teaches around 30 students each week from his home in Trinity, but hopes that this will increase once he has a dedicated location for his business.
He explained: ‘The location was a huge selling point for me. Five Oaks is obviously much nearer many of the St Helier schools and town offices, so hopefully it’ll allow me to offer some lunchtime sessions and make it easier for students to get to their lessons after school.’
Mr Morgan hopes to expand his offering to allow as many students as possible to access music lessons, which he says do ‘wonders’ for the mental wellbeing of young people.
He described drumming as a ‘kind of meditation’, which serves as an ‘escape’ for many people.
‘Lessons always have a positive impact on the students and their wellbeing,’ said Mr Morgan. ‘They build confidence and encourage them to play in bands with their peers. We often put on events at local venues for these students to play in their bands and the feedback from both themselves and their parents is outstanding.’
He added: ‘It is not uncommon for me to come across a student who has challenging mental wellbeing issues, and being there to provide them with a safe space to learn, practice, and talk is both a benefit to them and a comfort to their parents.’
Mr Morgan said: ‘I’ve taught some students for eight or ten years so it’s been amazing to see their character growth and a privilege for me to play a part in building up their confidence and self-esteem.’
As well as being passionate about the wellbeing aspect of music, Mr Morgan also has a 100% pass rate for all students he has entered into graded exams.
Mr Morgan is keen to stress to any concerned residents of the Bagatelle Parade area that he only ever teaches using electronic drum kits, which are considerably quieter than acoustic kits as they allow complete control over volume by using speakers to generate sound.
He said that soundproofing the property was an ‘absolute priority’, to keep noise out as well as in.
‘It works both ways,’ explained Mr Morgan.
‘Obviously we want to be respectful to neighbours and not disturb them with our sound, but equally we don’t want any sounds from the outside world coming into the studio and ruining recordings.’
The planning application is expected to be decided on at the end of February.