Seretse Small: On the Other Side of Music


Paul Williams writes about the acclaimed Jamaican guitarist Seretse Small, who has given up a large part of his professional life on stage to dedicate himself to the future of Jamaica’s young musicians. He runs the Avant Music School, using the best methodologies for teaching music and to inspire future artists. The school is located at 66 Paddington Terrace, St Andrew, Jamaica.

For a few years now, internationally acclaimed guitarist Seretse Small has been announcing his retirement from paid performances. In 2012, there were even media stories about his exit from the stage. But Small is still strumming away in the departure lounge. “I still do performances, and still get paid performances,” the music veteran of 35 years told Arts & Education recently.

“I just don’t think of it as the means of feeding myself or as my primary activity. My primary activity is running the school and becoming a better business person so that I can effectively manage the resources to realise our dreams of an effective institution,” said the man who is a graduate of Mona Prep School, Jamaica College, EXED Community College, Jamaica School of Music, Edna Manley College, and Berklee College of Music.

The school that he is running is Avant Music School, located at 66 Paddington Terrace, St Andrew. The first class was on September 30 last year. Avant is a word of French origin which means “being or employing the latest concepts, styles, or techniques”. [. . .]

“The name was chosen because our aim is to use the best techniques and methodologies to solve problems on behalf of our students. Though we want to teach music, we really want to identify and understand the dreams and aspirations of our students and help to remove the obstacles to achieving those dreams and aspirations,” Small said.

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