Oct 26, 2020

KMS Music Lessons; Effects of COVID-19 on learning

Phiona practicing her violin playing
Phiona practicing her violin playing

The past few months have been a challenge for our students in coping with life in general and also with their learning. The Lockdown which had meant that people were not able to move, has eased, however, each student has had different experiences. As we move towards opening up, there are a few reflections from those concerned.

All in all, the students are looking forward to the time when we would be able to meet again, which is hopefully soon, but is dependent largely on the government organs.

Babirye noted the challenges she has faced being a musician, for her, not being able to have lessons, personal training and is worried that everything she had learnt before lockdown, she would forget.

Due to the pandemic, the situation has not been easy on her side whereby “I and my family had to struggle hard for a better living. As a music student it has really affected my goals, my plans and expectations in music now are a bit behind and as a person she has not been doing personal practice due to the situation.”

“There's a time when I lost faith in Music, I thought we won't study music again. I couldn't get access to online lessons because of some issues of our phones, which locked us out.”

She was not alone in this struggle, as most students on this programme had neither smartphones, nor computer, nor reliable enough internet to be able to get this forward.

“During the lessons, I was gaining a lot. Right now, all schools are closed so this was sad for me. I feel like when we reopen, we should add some days of the lessons like two to three days in a week and also we need a flashback in the things we were taught to bring back our memories in music but not to just start from where we stopped.”

Phiona also felt the slowdown in acquiring new skills. “I am in lack of new skills due to inability to have lessons, I haven't been able to have my interesting music lessons for a long period and the chance I had to have group practice sessions were put at stake, and physical interaction with fellow musicians was blocked due to social distance and lockdown.”

She resorted to keeping her passion going and moving forward, that she would do some personal research on YouTube.

“The time I was able to have my lessons before COVID-19 my expectations were indeed met and gained a lot and was in a gradual journey of achieving a successful professionalism musically”

The hope for all the students would be the eventual reopening with of with Kampala Music School with Sops guidelines so that they can resume enjoying our lessons plus acquiring new skills.

We look forward to also in the future providing a basis for which students such as those included in this report can also have


Ian in Trumpet lesson
Ian in Trumpet lesson
Babirye in Trombone lesson
Babirye in Trombone lesson
Sep 8, 2020

KMS Music Lessons; Lockdown extended

Assumpta the Accountant at work
Assumpta the Accountant at work

Supporting KMS COVID

With the offices closing on March 24th there as huge uncertainty for teachers and students alike. It was initially for a 30 day period. But then that kept getting extended and looking at the trends around the world, this was going to be no different.

With all activity on campus stopped, the first concern was how we were going to get lessons to keep going. We had a big challenge of quickly swapping over to online teaching, and in the nick of time, we were able to get a few computers for this.

The funds raised so far have enabled us to keep the staff going while also supporting the purchase of a few hardware items that would enable online lessons to be taught including laptops, routers. These funds also helped KMS to continue running in a reduced fashion about 50% of all costs in this period.

Staff members were initially homebound, but as restrictions have slowly been lifted, have come back into office a few days per week. Teaching is still largely restricted and the overall shut down is now lingering on much longer than thought, as the expectation as that we would reopen in September. At the time of writing, no word has come yet from the government about reopening of physical school which renders more strife to our current challenge.

Teachers have been quoted as saying,” the ability to teach online has been helpful, and convenient, but for some of our colleagues, this has not been an option for a variety of reasons.” There remain some who still cannot teach, though this is being addressed bit by bit.” Lessons continue to be a fraction of normal with a few new signups.

We are thankful for the support thus far from you and we ask you to share our story with others so as to garner more support to help us continue to achieve what we set out to do, which is developing talent and changing lives, ensuring that all talent, great and small, gets the best possible chance to be nurtured. We hope to continue to work towards that even though the times are hard.

Sheilla Working on an administrative report
Sheilla Working on an administrative report
JOvia working to link up Teachers and students
JOvia working to link up Teachers and students
Teacher George delivering an online guitar lesson
Teacher George delivering an online guitar lesson
Jun 29, 2020

KMS Music Lessons during these COVID-19 times

John Paul Practicing in his home
John Paul Practicing in his home


The teaching and learning at KMS has been severely affected by the outbreak of COVID -19 around the world. in Uganda, the first case was recorded in March 2020, and the guidelines issued by both the President of Uganda and Government have made it difficult to continue in our usual way. One of the directives given has been that schools be closed from 20th March, 2020 to date among others, this has affected Kampala Music School in various ways.

For the students that were working towards Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) Practical exams that were due to happen in May-June 2020, were postponed to a later date. We are still in discussions with the ABRSM main office who are to communicate soon on a way forward.

St. Mary Kevin

There are 26 students at St. Mary Kevin who have been studying in groups, but with the closure of schools, they have not been able to meet. These students do not have access to any smart technology in their homes and teaching group lessons via online means is logistically complicated and as such not practical. These students like others have had to put all learning on hold, not just music but general education, which is sad, and we hope that these will be able to pick up in time.

Similarly affected are Babirye, Trombone, Aligo, trumpet – and Kiconco, Eb tuba have similarly had to halt lessons again as they have not been able to access learning points, even though their teacher, has been teaching other students. The way forward is not obvious partially because of the lockdown but also as the scope of the programme does not cover proving computing hardware and internet connectivity.

 Some students have however since the last report been able to report some progress; details now follow on this.

John Paul (Guitar)

John Paul remains very thankful for the support he is being given by the programme and he is progressing tremendously. His teacher, Gerson travelled to the USA to complete his higher education in Music and was due to be back in March but due to travel restrictions has been unable to travel back. He had however left Paul with some assignments with respect to ABRSM Grade 7 exams and all the basic work on learning pieces have been completed, and other exam requirements too including scales and arpeggios are in good shape. He will like the rest have to wait on the news dates for the exams.

Phiona (Violin)

Phiona is among the new students on the programme. Phiona’s musical journey started when she picked up knowledge in piano playing and music theory back in school. Her passion was born and she became keen to learn even more and she would like to achieve musical success in Violin playing. She has been longing for a scholarship in Violin playing because she hasn’t been able to afford it financially. Phiona has a deep passion for teaching and is hoping to achieve professional skills of playing the Violin such that she is also able to pass on the knowledge to other people. “Since I was very young, I loved music and used to participate in the school choir, playing local instruments like drums, shakers and xylophone. It was always easy for me to learn new skills instructed and that made me realize that I am musically talented and take on music as a lifetime liability for a better living.” Says Phiona

Her Teacher had the following to say;

 So far, she is developing a good tone/playing technique and can play smooth and joined up notes(legato) with improved musical phrasing. However, she still has challenges with other playing techniques and bow strokes the staccato as she is developing wrist bowing.

She is working towards ABRSM Grade 2 Violin exams. Her Aural awareness skills have widely developed, as has her sight-reading pieces in different keys that are within Grade 1 and 2 syllabus range. Intonation and finger fluency are still a challenge in the 2 Octave scales especially (B flat) major scale and A major.

General progress was slowed and affected by the pandemic that caused a hold on lessons, better supervision and practice. There is a possibility of having online lessons but there is a challenge with network connections being bad and proper equipment/gadget to have the lessons.

So, all in all, we are hoping that the future can be brighter and hoping that all our students can be safe in this period and to our donors too.

Phiona violin lesson before Lockdown
Phiona violin lesson before Lockdown
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