Jun 8, 2018

Its exam time at KMS!

It is ABRSM exam time at Kampala Music School and everyone is working and practising hard, including our bursary stuents!

John Paul

John Paul has shown great determination especially in his preparation for Grade 6 ABRSM. He has been practicing regularly and his tone production is steadily improving. He presents his work for lessons really well. He's serious about his music education and this is seen in his plan for Grade 8 ABRSM in the coming years. His sight playing is developing and his tone production and phrasing have really come a long way this year. He has also started doing some teaching, though at times it feels as if this is interfering with progress, and we are working towards creating a balance.

John Paul is thankful for the little teaching he has been able to get to do at the Kampala Music School, as this has meant he's able to eke out a modest living, as he now sustains himself. He's grateful for the teacher he has who is not just a teacher, but a mentor in life. He believes music speaks to every soul and a lot of communication can be made through music. For instance his writing music about stigmatisation of different people, like Street children, HIV victims poor people etc. and he is sure that this music is going to change people's lives forever. "When I performed at the musical Garden Party, with a poet friend of mine, after we were done, one of the parents told the whole audience how he would learn to speak to his children more because he wasn't. This is an example of how my music changed someone's life"

“I stay in the ghetto and I see lots of kids trying to realize their musical abilities like in dancing but because they're poor kids they're not facilitated at all. Uganda is a country made up mostly  of Youth and the Young Generation, learning music would be one of the ways to Cut down on unemployment because it'll be a great social jobs too many youth take drugs because they’re idle. Music would be a way to get them busy and yours also. I think the donor is greatly and appreciate the help and may God bless you abundantly. They are many more like me who need help."


According to his teacher, Edison seems quite determined to improve his piano playing. Although the progress hasn't been attained at the desired pace, he continues to be committed to progress and works really hard. His site playing holds him back but this is something we are working hard towards. Edison was drawn to music out of a sense of love and feeling for a deeper understanding and meaning out of it. What he has gained from Kampala Music School, he feels is a lot. He would like to learn a lot more so that he can then share what he has learned with a community around him through teaching. He has gained lots of insights through his technical work and deeper insight into issues such as Dynamics and from a technical point of view scales and arpeggios. In this last, he has gained confidence which has reduced his tension and nervousness while playing before others. His teacher has been a great inspiration and he yearns to have enough knowledge and skill as he has.. 

"Being a student of the Kampala Music School has exposed me to the world of music through performances in different musical styles such as classical jazz Opera and group performances like Orchestra and choral music which I have been able to witness and learn from."


George is very determined to complete his guitar grade 8. In the run up to the exams we having a class everyday to ensure that he'll be as ready as possible. Everything is improving very fast. He's musicality is now being expressed in the music that he plays. He's a rather busy student who's constantly coming up with many music projects that he wants to explore. 

We continue to thank all those who have given generously and to those who continue to give. This giving is changing lives not just for those sponsored but for those around them. However more can be done, and we ask you to partner with us in the great scheme.

Mar 9, 2018

Preparations continue for the upcoming ABRSM exams

Edison receiving a lesson
Edison receiving a lesson

Preparations are ongoing for some of our bursary students for the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal School of Music) exams coming up in June of this year. Some of our students, who are at boarding school, only have lessons during the school holidays but for others lessons continue weekly.

Edison (Piano)

Edison's teacher, coomenst that he is a very dedicated student and is striving hard to reach his goal of being a good Pianist. He was getting ready for his ABRSM Grade 4 exam, however this will take longer than initially thought, as he needs to improve his ability to read music, therefore he needs more time to do this before moving on and sitting for an exam. As such the focus has switched to working on learning the instrument as a skill and acquiring knowledge rather than concentrating on exams. More time is needed to improve his scales and general technique. He remains Highly Motivated to rise to the higher music grades, and once sight reading is improved he should soar.

John Paul (Guitar)

His lessons have been moving on steadily as he continues preparation for his forthcoming ABRSM Grade 6 exam that will happen in about two months’ time. He plays his pieces really well, where articulation, use of performance directions/ dynamics and general piece interpretation comes easily. As such his pieces are in very good shape and he is working really hard to improve his sight reading with good results so far. He is confident that he will perform even better than last year in his ABRSM exams.

He has also recently joined the mentor teacher programme  at Kampala Music School where he is considered as a mentee teacher and teaches mainly beginners. He says that he is very grateful for this opportunity and wants to thank everyone for their support  - " I will not let you down. "

John Paul usually practices three to four hours a day. He has also improved and grown tremendously in phrasing and improvisation.

John Paul practising
John Paul practising
Dec 11, 2017

See how our students are progressing

John Paul having a lesson
John Paul having a lesson

Thank you to everyone who has supported our appeal. Through your generosity we have been able to consider a number of students to be supported for the scheme, and they were able to start lessons in September. We would like to give you an update on several of the students we introduced you to in our last report.


Edison hails from Seeta, Mukono. He is dedicated and self-driven and has shown great potential of being a good Pianist. He has encountered some personal and logistical issues with lesson attendance and practice, but is working to improve these. He is working on building up his base technique to a level that will enable him to attempt Grade 4 ABRSM Practical exams next year, 2018 and Theory Grade 5 with the objective of doing the latter exam in October of 2018.

Despite having challenges with transport for lessons and also to come into practice because of other life commitments, he is committed to trying to get regular practice. He has a keyboard at home, but power has meant he has struggled to be regular with practice. Despite the challenges, his teacher is encouraged by his progress.

Edison would like to extend his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all those who have sponsored his lessons through Kampala Music School, giving him the opportunity of receiving a music study bursary to enhance his music career and transform the community through music. He said:

“I pledge that as God is my guide, I will make use of this special privilege to enable me and the music school achieve the individual and institutional goals and objectives even to higher grounds.”


Kristen is a 13 year old Ugandan girl, third born in a family of 4 and is currently in grade 8 at Bethel School. She hasn’t had as many lessons as hoped, as her regular school schedule makes it difficult. However, she and the family are looking to ways to adjust this so she can attend more regularly. She is working on perfecting her gestures of playing and sitting postures and has been working given exercises by her teacher.

She is really really keen and always wants to play her pieces very quickly due to excitement but is currently working on improving her patience to learn things correctly. Also, with more time during her holidays, she can have more lessons to catch up.

She said: “I would like to thank my sponsors for choosing me and I know that I can benefit from this programme because I love to play.”

John Paul

John Paul, aged 24 years, lives in Makerere, Kikoni in Kampala. His lessons are going really well and he recently sat for his ABRSM Theory Grade 5 exam in October 2017 and scored 84/100, a Merit and is currently working towards, ABRSM Grade 6 Practical Exams due in May-June 2018. He has started working on 2 pieces and perfecting his first piece specifically in speed and fingering. He has also looked at and worked on 14 scales on his own while consulting his teacher with 14 scales so far. The areas that need perfection/improvement are sight reading and emphasis is now being put on improving this.

As John Paul has decided to make music his profession he has started experimenting with other instruments to round up his experience. He hopes to become proficient in these as well, and learns from fellow students as much as he can, often spending the whole day at the music school, even though that may mean he will go without lunch.

He said: “My ultimate goal is to learn as much about music generally as the more I cover more grades and my ultimate goal is to study and attain a Degree of Music from the Royal College of Music”

“I thank my sponsors for being generous and sacrificing part of what they have for my education and my fellow Bursary students. I promise not to let them down and to work hard beyond their expectations. I also promise to give back freely at some point of my life. May God Bless you abundantly.”


As you can see, they all remain keen to learn, and to try and overcome some of the many challenges they are experiencing. Thank you for your continued support to Kampala Music School – the centre of excellence in Uganda for classical and jazz music

Kristen having a piano lesson
Kristen having a piano lesson
Guitars at KMS after John Paul cleaned them
Guitars at KMS after John Paul cleaned them
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