Revolution Media moved back to Braamfontein in 2019, after a brief spell in Doornfontein and the CBD. “Because we do training and development and media production, it’s the right choice, and the right place to be,” said CEO David Ariyibi. He likes the student presence, and that it’s safer than where they were.
“Most landlords don’t want a music training institution in their building. It’s very difficult to find a standalone building, but we managed to find one here. We need a lot of space for our training classrooms, which have more than just desks and chairs (they are filled with state-of-the-art equipment) and we have multiple studios.”
Students do one- or two-year diplomas that are certified by MICTSETA (Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority) and the Department of Higher Education. Courses include studio work, music production, performance and composition, film and TV, sound technology, interactive media, advertising, 3D animation and visual effects, journalism and radio.
Training in music involves learning how to do sound, setting up sound in live environments and large stadiums ¬– basically music production – and music tuition in instruments such as guitar and piano. David, who plays piano, saxophone, clarinet and bass, has been in music his whole life. He has a string of postgraduate degrees in music, education, IT, and management; he’s now busy doing his PhD, in between managing Revolution Media.
“The music and hospitality sectors were hit the hardest by Covid, but fortunately our landlord helped with discounts on our rent. With the easing of lockdown restrictions, things are picking up again,” said David. Online tuition is difficult in this field because much of the training is practical and hands-on. Revolution Media adjusted by recording lessons and putting them online, and reduced class sizes in line with Covid-19 restrictions. Online classes are now available, as some students still don’t want to come in for physical classes.
David’s vision is for his company to be the leading provider in music and media education. He said the competition cannot offer what Revolution Media does: universities are more academic and theoretical: “They are like a learner’s licence, while we provide a driver’s licence in music production.”
He added: “We want to be top-notch in our training. The current training in music has not adjusted to the times; most places have not amended their curriculum. Today’s youth know what they want, and Revolution Media formalises what they have picked up; it provides training in modern genres such as Hip-Hop and Amapiano.”
David loves Braamfontein. He’s lived there for years; he’s hoping that it will become a better, safer place, and be a hub of constant innovation.