Self-taught piano player Trevino Isaacs (26) has brought his skill to the community by opening a music school, teaching children as young as seven years old an appreciation and love for music.Isaacs started playing piano at the age of nine. He has been playing professionally since the age of 15. He started offering lessons from his mother’s living room. “The interest grew to such an extent that when I approached two of my friends who studied music with the idea of opening a music school, my dream of teaching others became a successful business now celebrating its fourth year,” he says.“Music has been and still is the only work I know. There are many students in Woodlands and Mitchell’s Plain who simply can’t afford to study music and our quality affordable training is giving them the chance to master instruments and grow their natural talent.”Isaacs says his academy offers a safe environment where children can live a life free of violence, drugs and alcohol. For many it’s a way out of poverty and uncertainty by developing their natural talent into something with purpose. “Our drive has always been to offer a service to the community and, without funding or resource support, we are in a position to sponsor students who show the potential but simply can’t afford the cost,” he says. Isaacs is one of 19 small business owners in Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Langa and Gugulethu selected to take part in a sponsored Small Business Academy (SBA) programme offered by the Stellenbosch University’s Business School (USB). With its main sponsors Absa and the Distell Foundation, the SBA provides a platform for small business owners to gain business, financial and operational knowledge over nine months to grow and strengthen their businesses. The SBA creates networking opportunities and offers a mentorship programme in which each participant is paired with a USB MBA alumnus. “Our growth has been organic to where we teach 40 students currently. My selection to the SBA programme has had a major impact on how I structure and market the business. The knowledge I’m gaining will assist us to grow the business significantly and help us achieve our ultimate goal whereby we are in a financial position to assist more students who have the talent but simply can’t pay the tuition fees,” says Isaacs.His music school follows the Trinity College London syllabus, which is recognised by all the major universities in South Africa and the United Kingdom. The classes are offered at Woodville Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain and they teach pre-Grade 1 up to Grade 8 to learners aged 7 to 45. “I have big dreams for the school and my long-term goal is to offer music certificates, diplomas and degrees in addition to offering other subjects such as finance and computer literacy. In a world where knowledge is power, we’d like to support the community in enriching themselves and their families,” says Isaacs.Apart from playing the piano which he mastered at the age of nine, he also taught himself the drums, guitar, bass guitar, accordion and banjo. He will graduate from the SBA programme in November, the same month that he will complete his final year of an advanced certificate in music.