Mar 2, 2020

KMS in 2020, a story of Determination

Speciosa, Trombone player
Speciosa, Trombone player

Kampala Music School in 2020

it is almost difficult to imagine that KMS is beginning to operate in its 3rd decade since opening. it was an exciting time back then, with the furore of new millennium and with the hope to impact many people’s lives. This is something that has over the years been achieved and is something Kampala Music School wants to continue to do, with your help.

The beginning of this calendar year brings is also the 2nd term in the Academic cycle here at KMS. With students having done ABRSM exams in November, the turnaround for many to register and work towards the next grade was tough, but some were willing to take up the challenge and are working towards, in some cases, really high Graded exams in the coming sitting, slated for May to June. This determination to succeed is the focal point of this report.

John Paul has been on the programme now since 2017, where he was just starting out in various ways trying to find his way in music and in life. Having gone through a rough patch, he has been constant and committed since lessons resumed our classes this year January.  His teacher has been really happy with his work ethic and level of response. He is working towards Grade 7 in ABRSM, which will take him to a level higher than most guitarists in the country. He has been working hard and will showcase his talent in the upcoming showcase of Musical Garden Party this month.

Having set his mind to making music as a career, this opportunity afforded by the donors on this platform has meant that he has been able to have consistent lessons.  He has also achieved his Grade 5 Theory ABRSM and continues to grow also a teacher of basic beginning students, being mentored closely by the more advnance teachers at KMS.

Senfuka has been having lessons over the past 6 months and has shown good commitment and enthusiasm for learning. As a beginner without any skills in reading music, he gradually pulled himself though the basics by practicing regularly. Though the struggle at times to coordinate the movement of hands left hands particularly has been a real one for him. He’s learning to play from different positions on the keyboard in the keys of G and F. Looking ahead with continued practice with a focus in different areas, he should progress further from the introductory level to a higher graded level of playing. The determination is clearly there and we are hoping he will do very well.

Three new students have also joined the programme, Speciosa - Trombone, Ian - trumpet – and Daisy - Eb tuba are from areas scattered around the city, from Namuwongo to Kamwokya. The opportunity for lessons opened up late last year, and they were able to come to KMS and meet the GlobalGiving Visitor, they were finally excited when lessons began, and they have been taking part in these as well as Junior Orchestra, forming a good portion of the brass section.

Daisy with her Eflat Tuba
Daisy with her Eflat Tuba
Ian on his Trumpet
Ian on his Trumpet
Brass students in Class with Teacher Shafic
Brass students in Class with Teacher Shafic
Dec 2, 2019

KMS reflections

Mark
Mark

To all our supporters,

Once again we have entered the holiday season, and much has been happening at the music School in the lead to the end of the year including the rescheduled ABRSM music exams.  With the holiday programme coming up with lots of fun activities planned as Ugandan schools break off, we look back at the last few months:

Mark                                      

Mark is a 23-year old student who has just joined the bursary programme. When he started studying music, he started as a trombonist in his early primary years: “The school picked interest in my trombone playing skills and took me on, this helped me develop my talent and I have mastered it to an average level ….. A musical mentor who was also a saxophonist inspired me through his skill and passion for the saxophone to change from playing the trombone to the saxophone. At this point, I embarked on the journey of learning to play the saxophone and even though I had the passion and will to learn, I faced a number of challenges but the inadequacy of funds to pay for music lessons and buy an instrument of my own surpassed them all - I applied for a bursary from KMS because I could not afford the costs of taking saxophone lessons as I have no source of income”. He is hoping to enhance his music skills so as to reach a desirable level where he can also help other passionate saxophonists. 

He says: “Music is my talent that God gifted me with, so I love music because it is part of me. Music brings that harmony of joy in my living. The thing that excites me about music is that it is very transparent. Music to me is a talent, and talent is life and life is living. So, I live by this talent and I hope to achieve a lot as I am given a chance to grow my talent through the bursary programme.”

Mark’s teacher notes that he has a good sense of beat and fluency although still sometimes struggles with tempo changes. He has greatly improved at playing notated rhythms and is good at counting. His sight reading is fair, but we are working to continue improving his level of comfort in this. His theoretical knowledge is weak but he works hard to pay attention to music details on the paper such as dynamic markings (loud and soft). He can easily relate the music to the song title, which is a very important precursor to learning more about how to play expressively and beautifully. He is a keen jazz player taking part in the KMS Jazz group and improvising skills are good for him to develop his level of playing. He easily recovers from mistakes and has freedom of movement while performing. Mark definitely loves playing the saxophone and taking lessons and he practices music exercises hard, trying to achieve his assignment goals.

St. Mary Kevin

The project at St. Mary Kevin provides several individual and group lessons.  There are six group lessons and each group has 5 students who are selected from Primary 3. Each group consists of members with different learning strengths in order to help each other during practice. The eligible outstanding student is chosen by his/her fellow students to lead them and supervise their practices. Unfortunately, some students have dropped out of the music class for a variety of reasons, e.g. if they cannot pay their school fees and so no longer attend the school. Four groups of students were chosen to play at the Kampala Music School concert in order to help showcase  their practical skills outside of school. The fifth group has however struggled with some areas such as reading the notes and identifying music but they continue to try hard and we are finding more practice time for them so that they can improve.

Osbert is in group 3 and has been learning for two years. Whilst he has struggled a bit, he has been working hard to identify the notes at a slow pace, and his love for the violin has kept him going he is always very eager to learn and perfect his skills. 

Paniel is a motivated student from group 1. She always keeps time in her violin practice responds, her bow posture keeps improving and she is very sensitive to rhythm. She finds reading music notation fun and learns quickly. 

Francis has also studied the violin for two years. He responds well after rehearsals and he always wants to help others in his group during practice time. He can play most of the tunes that he has been taught and always pushes for more when in their group practices. Learning music notation is something he is keen to improve. 

Leyna

Leyna is a seven-year-old girl full of confidence and great ambition.  She did really well in the recently concluded East Africa’s Got Talent, ‘wowing’ many people with her singing hence she went all the way to the semi-final stage, even getting a Gold Buzzer along the way.  Her mother, having noticed a talent brought her to Kampala Music School for a few sessions to prepare her to go further in the show. However, funding quickly became an issue and she had to stop. As part of KMS’s mission we thought it a good idea to continue to nurture this young talent. She has a rich vocal ability, with a range from G3 to A5. She aspires to sing beyond this like the people she looks up to and considers her popular influences, but the challenge is bridging her falsetto to the chest voice. Her teacher has been introducing her to sight singing through solfège (scale, triads & intervals) learning rhythm symbols and counting. One of her greatest challenges is distance from home to the music school (She lives in Entebbe which is 42 kms from Kampala) and her parent's work schedules which make it difficult to attend. She is full of determination and also wants to start learning the piano to complement her singing.

Thank you all for your ongoing support to KMS and we wish you the best over the holiday season.

Mark during one of his practice sessions
Mark during one of his practice sessions
Group 5 at St Mary Kevin during a practice session
Group 5 at St Mary Kevin during a practice session
Leyna singing at the KMS Garden Party in Sep
Leyna singing at the KMS Garden Party in Sep
Sep 3, 2019

August Report from KMS

All Concert Performers with ED& GG Field visitor
All Concert Performers with ED& GG Field visitor

GLOBALGIVING REPORT AUGUST  2019

Greetings from Kampala Music School. We would also like to thank the donors who gave on the and July Bonus Day and raised $1,803.9 which will go towards the project. The funds raised on that day were matched by GlobalGiving to make it collectively and even more substantive contribution. We certainly hope that our donors can participate in more events like this so that each coin may go further.

This recent period has been a busy time where KMS is concerned with a visit from the GlobalGiving field Visitor Leena El Seed. We had most of the beneficiaries gather together for Leena to visit with and spend time with. This ended with a beautiful concert.

Performing in that concert was John Paul, the Students of St Mary Kevin and the Brass players who recently joined the programmes namely Allan, Bruce, Emmanuel, Disan playing Tenor Horns, Trumpet and Euphonium respectively played some solo pieces and some ensemble pieces it was a wonderful celebration, and some pictures can be seen below.

John Paul

His lessons have been moving on steadily as he continues preparation for his forthcoming ABRSM Grade 7 exam that will happen in about two months’ time. He is playing his pieces really well, where articulation, use of performance directions, dynamics and general piece interpretation comes easily. As such these two of his pieces are in very good shape and he is working hard to improve his sight reading with good results so far. He is a result-oriented Guitar student with high potential. He shows a high interest in learning more during lessons and wants to understand everything in great detail.

However, John Paul has had personal issues that have affected the full potential of his progress in his lessons in recent times. He is working to resolve this situation.

The Quartet of Allan, Bruce, Emma, and Disan, already shown in the picture are progressing well. St Mary Kevin will be resuming their final term of the school year after the holiday. They are highly enthused, and so are we at KMS as we can now expand the number of instruments they have available to work on and practice.

Many more possibilities are opening up with the new funds since given and we would like to now and we look forward to bringing more students into the fold.

John P performing ,SMK students looking on.
John P performing ,SMK students looking on.
St Mary Kevin Students in concert
St Mary Kevin Students in concert
 
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