Mar 4, 2019

2019 Update

A student at St Mary Kevin School
A student at St Mary Kevin School

To all our supporters,

We bring you some news from the beneficiaries of the programme

St Mary Kevin School

Recent donations have meant that some more persons could be put onto the scheme at St. Mary Kevin School. The students out at St. Mary Kevin have already been a part of the KMS family, and traditionally been funded by Strings for Uganda, and another donor, who sadly has not been able to continue. However to enable the students at St Mary Kevin to be able to continue they are now supported through our Global Giving Campaign. The 27 students who have been studying and learning with us are a delight. 

This programme started in 2013 has seen quite a few students go through its ranks. Initially financed by Strings for Uganda and the Sainsbury Charitable trust, recent contributions by Rachel Ellis in a fundraising concert have enabled the programme to expand to 6 groups of 5 taught together in group sessions by Sam Kikomeko. The school as a whole is very supportive of music programmes, and have other initiatives as well, but this is one they venture through KMS.

The students, mostly the young beginners, have a great and positive attitude towards the class. There is a high enthusiasm level from the Primary three students they are eager and find it fun and educative to have music included in their daily routine and weekend hence love to practice

Some of the challenges that the programme has had is that some of students have had to drop out because they live far away from the school, and therefore are unable to be there for practice or stay longer should the programme end up being longer as it is at times. Sickness at times makes lesson attendance irregular. They are also challenged at times for other needs, many of which the school works hand in hand with the community to fulfil including clean water, personal hygiene. The school works hard to keep the cost of school fees low but even then, some students still struggle. 

Gerson

Gerson continues to work towards attaining growth in performance as he is planning to sit for his DipABRSM in performance in Guitar next year, to become Uganda’s first ever holder of this Diploma come that time. He hopes that he will be able to get the funds in the near future and hopes to go to Nairobi and USA to meet different Classical Guitar specialists, some of whom have already expressed a willing to give him a hand to improve. Gerson would love to, and strives towards, sensitising Ugandan and African youth and adults towards living a purposeful life using their musical talents

John Paul

Has been a great energy and source as he prepares for his Grade 7 Guitar ABRSM practical exams. He is almost on top of his Grade 7 repertoire and is getting there for all his other requirements for the grade. Aural training is still a concern for him but that is coming into place

John Paul continues to be committed to his guitar classes attending them regularly. He Has also been exploring pentatonic scales which has opened him up to be able to join in with the KMS Jazz group, a fertile training ground for the development of music.

John Paul is so enthusiastic to learn more and is starting to explore the worlds of cello planning to also do exams and Grade 2 Cello. He is continuously appreciative of the generosity of the givers who continue to give to this, which has been really life changing and continues to transform him from the ghetto from where he is.

THANK YOU!

We thank all those who have been giving to the programme already, and for those who have been able to give a standing regular donation. The regular donations mean for us that we can be sure that projects especially the last mentioned, can keep running without worry, and we hope more can give in this way.

A group session at St Mary Kevin School
A group session at St Mary Kevin School
Sam teaching a student at St Mary Kevin School
Sam teaching a student at St Mary Kevin School
Gerson
Gerson
John Paul playing the cello
John Paul playing the cello
John Paul practising the guitar
John Paul practising the guitar
John Paul at home
John Paul at home
Dec 4, 2018

It's the Holiday Season

Ugen receiving his award
Ugen receiving his award

It’s the holiday season, and a lot has been happening at Kampala Music School in the lead up to the end of the year and a few notable teachers have done exemplarily well. 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:

The ABRSM High Scorer’s concert meant that we celebrated those who performed best but we had a few people to specially celebrate. One of these was Ugen, who received the award for the highest overall performance. This is an award we give out for teachers who get outstanding results from their students in ABRMS Exams. Ugen achieved this with his students, who also performed brilliantly at the concert. He is however still training to improve his skills as a guitarist aiming for the Diploma ABRSM to take his professionalism to another level. 

As a child, he grew up seeing his Father sing and talk a lot about music and so, as a young man became passionate about serving his community, country and beyond. As such he committed himself to music as a career. Once coming to Kampala from the village, he started to learn and progress really fast on the guitar where his teacher Josephat and I got inspired by him and he said “I learnt that I could change my whole life using music.” The disciplines that he has learnt through Classical music include time keeping, accountability and commitment because you have to have all these values. 

John Paul

John Paul continues to be committed to his guitar classes attending them regularly. He has attended most of his classes and does his homework. His level of self motivation is high and as such progress has been strengthened. He is now working towards the ABRSM Grade 7 award to be done next year and so far he has completed the main technical work in good time ahead of his exams. He has also been exploring pentatonic scales which has opened him up to be able to join in with the KMS Jazz group, a fertile training ground for the development of music.

John Paul is so enthusiastic to learn more and is starting to explore the worlds of cello and Saxophone and planning to also do exams for grade 1. He is continuously appreciative of the  generosity of those who continue to support hom through the bursary fund, which has been really life changing and continues to transform him from the ghetto from where he is from.

Davis

Davis is a young student who is currently in University. Having attended a catholic school participating in music competitions drew him closer to learning an instrument. They had two violins and he was picked by Stephanie Schmidt to learn a piece on the violin.

Because his teacher left after two months he continued to practice on his own.  He even went onto YouTube when he could afford the MBs to try and learn more about violin playing. He had been inspired by his teacher to be able to read music in an elementary fashion. 

He then came across the Kampala Music School, where he started to learn with a visiting volunteer, Rachel Ellis, his eyes were opened. Learning music at KMS introduced him to the Orchestra and this challenged him to practice more. He did his first violin exam last year which was an achievement to him. He has been able to play in various ensembles since at various functions including weddings. 

Music has changed his life; due to the various performances he has met people who have changed his life such as the kids in brass bands and also visitors who have come to play in the orchestra. Most touchingly recently he said “Violin has made me meet people who have helped me a lot in learning new things, getting friends plus I got a gift of a violin from a friend in the U.K who was my desk partner in the Commonwealth Resounds gala concert.”

Being supported through the Global Giving fund enables him to now receive some training from a new professional violinist in Kampala  “Which will provide an opportunity for me to have regular lessons to help me become a better violinist”.

 

Davis playing at a function in the village
Davis playing at a function in the village
Davis playing with the choir
Davis playing with the choir
Sep 10, 2018

Busy time at KMS

George
George

It is a busy time at Kampala Music School as the new term and school year is starting. We hope to be able to update more information in the next few weeks - however in the meantime we would like to tell you about how John Paul, Kirstein and George are doing:

John Paul

John Paul had been preparing for his Grade 6 ABRSM Practical examinations and he was able to pass to make him one of the most advanced Classical Guitarists at the Kampala Music School. He has attained a Pass in his recent exams. Exam preparation was hampered this year due to heavy workload, with the fact that John Paul supports himself for every need, but for this he is grateful. As a member now of the mentor programme at KMS, he is hoping that he will gain full status as a teacher in due course.

He is extremely grateful for all the support he is receiving in this programme, and hopes that even more of the people from where he comes would be able to benefit from schemes like this.

Kirsten

Has made some very encouraging progress with her pieces, which she plays musically, though there are times when fluency is an issue. It is however rather encouraging that in the short time that she has had, she has covered most of the technical requirements for grade one ABRSM Practical Exams and should be on course to do the exam next year. Her School schedule has been punishing, but she is hopeful that she can do the exams next year, at the next year of offer.

George

Was to have done his Grade 8 exam, however due to workload was unable to do so he continues to work with his teacher Josephat so that he can next year become the second person to achieve Grade 8 ABRSM on Guitar. The other such recipient is preparing for Diploma ABRSM exam and he would become the first Guitar Dip ABRSM in Uganda. George is willing to work hard to emulate his colleague, another previous recipient of the wider KMS bursary scheme.

The vibrance of the guitar department is clear to see and all these students want to invest in other youth coming up and are already proving to be great assets in where this is concerned.

George sharing his skills
George sharing his skills
 
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