If you already live in Molesey, you already know where Musicland East is. We were lucky enough to have a chat with owner James Etherington to talk about Musicland East, Molesey, and what keeps him in love with music and teaching.
Yes that is a chrome guitar, and yes the only other time you may have seen one like it was on the cover of Brothers In Arms by Dire Straits!
The shop has an extremely welcoming feel, and you are instantly greeted by some amazing instruments (and musicians).
The workbench where James repairs and maintains instruments.
As soon as you enter the shop your are welcomed by the relaxed and unpolished vibe that is clearly perfect for the creative nature of teaching and experimenting with music. There is an array of stringed instruments that line the walls, along with amplifiers, straps, leads and retro festival posters amongst other things. The entire building is charming, even down to the work bench where James repairs and maintains their customer's instruments.
One of the teaching rooms at Musicland East, just look at those posters! How could you not be inspired!
Thats right. Thats a guitar made around a motor oil can. They are even cooler in real life!
Whilst there is a clear emphasis on the technical and theoretical side of music, the teaching/ practise rooms continue the relaxed vibes within the shop, and the staff have a superb knowledge of their respective crafts. This makes for a perfect, pressure free learning environment for any aspiring musicians, whether it be guitar, piano, or drums, this has to be one of the most charming and inspirational places to learn.
We asked James a few questions whilst we were there, we hope you enjoy reading what he had to say, and we've included contact details at the end of this article in case you want to start (or continue!) a passion for music at Musicland East.
How long has Musicland East been in Molesey for?
Since 1996, so about 22 years on the corner of Matham Road and Walton Road.
What services and products do you offer?
We do a lot of teaching here, with guitar, bass, drums, piano and ukelele lessons going seven days a week, out of four teaching rooms. We also stock new and second hand instruments and accessories, and I carry out repairs and setups on string instruments on site as well.
What is it that you like about working in Molesey and the general community?
The people are cool and really get behind stuff. There's quite a few open mic nights in the area and we've had a massive response to our larger Musicland Live events, which give our students the opportunity to get together into bands and have them perform on a proper stage and gain some experience. Its' a great evening and we always sell hundreds of tickets, and it can only grow off the back of the community that supports it. Luckily, Molesey has a great one!
What's your top tip for someone looking to get into music/learning an instrument?
Get a reasonable instrument but don't break the bank yet, make sure it's set up and tuned correctly, and play everyday for the love of it so you advance naturally. My main instrument is the guitar and there's such a range of approaches and styles you can play in and so much advice out there, but play the music you love to hear and you'll be on the right track.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
We get a real opportunity to make a difference. The shop meant a lot to me growing up, and I can see it means a lot to some of our younger students now. The community atmosphere gives way to the tendency to dream big, and it's great to have a shop full of musicians and those who support them, seven days a week, in a community that lets it thrive.
52-54 Walton Road, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 0DL
0208 979 9443