About Us


The vision of the Ladybird International Arts Academy is to be a provider of music, visual and dramatic arts education for students who wish to excel in a highly competitive and rapidly changing arts industry.


The mission of the Ladybird International Arts Academy is to provide education through excellence in the music, visual and dramatic arts.

Our Values

To ensure a high level of excellence in arts learning with English as medium of instruction.

To provide a secure learning environment in which creative imagination can be kindled, intellectual curiosity aroused, industry rewarded, and academic potential fulfilled.

Our Business Commitment

Maintaining a business and fee structure based on the principles of affordability and sustainability. To this end fees will remain market-related in South Africa.

Our Students

To develop each individual student to his or her full artistic potential.

To focus on cognitive development by challenging each to student to think, reason and debate, to be able to form personal opinions based on their unique interests, cultural environment and to incorporate this into their performance experiences.

To encourage in students a sense of community arising from service as means of personal growth and civic responsibility.

To develop in students a sense of personal style and self-worth by providing a strong ethos, a Christian value-system and a sense of history and tradition of the arts.

To provide every student with life skills to enable him or her to focus on clear attainable personal goals for performance or exhibitions.

Our Origins and Educational Philosophy

Founded by Ronél Henning in 2003, the Ladybird International Arts Academy is a small non-formal arts education business based in Ladybrand, Free State, South Africa. Since inception we have received a wide range of arts students, educators and performing artists from across the globe. Our creative team of arts educators provide a learning service rooted in a democratic stance and based on the choices our students make, inspired by their unique environments, interests, and experiences. This preferred learning approach has flexibility as one of its main characteristics, motivates innovative thinking and supports the development of artistic citizenship.

Our International Footprint

Since 2003 we’ve had the privilege to receive students and arts educators from around the world: Lesotho, Namibia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Zimbabwe, Hungary, Russia, Taiwan, China, India, Pakistan, Jordan, Australia, New Zealand, and Philippines.

Our Management

Director – Ronél Henning BMusEd, HonsBMus, MDS

Deputy Director, Head of Dramatic Arts – Daniël Bezuidenhout – BA, MA, ABRSM ARSM

Finances & Administration – Letitia Henning

Our Educators

Head of Visual Arts – Thandi Sliepen

Digital Design – Pinkie Thulo

Strings – Ilona Knot

Guitar – Rudi Viljoen

Piano, Percussion, Music Theory, Conductor – Katleho Mothae

Clarinet, Saxophone – Galen Green

Flute, Clarinet – Joané Beukes

Our Key Partners

Our key partners are a network of cooperative affiliations with international arts boards of stature. These external examination boards offer support by delivering accredited certificates to add integrity and value to our commercial service. Our preferred partners for music are the ABRSM, Rockschool and for dramatic arts Trinity College London.

Our Patrons – our 'Archangels'

Hugo Roodt

Artistic Director St. Peters Prep Boys School

Johan Estherhuizen

Director ATKV National Youth Projects

Emily Dangwa

Emily Dangwa

Almunus – Director ED Music Academy Windhoek Namibia, soprano

Betty Ashley-Botha

Retired Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School

Sanet & André Koekemoer

Amakoekoe Guesthouse & Conferences, Visual art, Percussion JPO

Petra Venter

Retired Choral Director

JD & Madeleine Naudé

Alumni - Sempre Music School

Vaughan van Zyl

Artistic Director Drakensberg Boys’ Choir

Caleb Cindano

Director CamelEye Productions

Hessie van der Merwe


Lieve Decoster

Basel Symphony Orchestra, viola

Pieter van der Linde


Werner Stander

Director Bloemfontein Children’s Choir, Lecturer UFS, Head of Music Oranje Meisieskool

Wilna Leech

Retired Headmaster and Friend

Lesley Jennings

Alumnus – GIG Culture, saxophone, bassoon

Rikus Coetsee

Alumnus - music teacher saxophone, clarinet Pretoria Boys’ High

Johan van Heerden


Letitia Henning


Simon Vander Plaetse

Simon Vander Plaetse


Joané Beukes

Joané Beukes


"I learnt at Ladybird to seize opportunities offered by being disciplined, keeping a continuous positive perspective and staying motivated. This empowered me for my career in the music industry.”
Werner Stander
Director Bloemfontein Children’s Choir
"I don’t know of any rural place in South Africa where you can learn music, art and drama under ‘one umbrella’ from the age of four to adults, on a pre-tertiary level. The place is unique”.
Emily Dangwa
Director ED Music Academy

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