The LEGACY Projects have demonstrated that initiating a choir in schools of impoverished areas can effect significant improvements in English literacy and cross-disciplinary learning. This project focuses on leadership development of principals & empowers music teachers to become skilled conductors of well-disciplined choirs. The Siyacula ("We Sing") Music Festivals celebrate progress annually in joint concerts with project partners. Participation in ABRSM Choral exams is strongly encouraged.
A dire shortage of skilled teachers in primary schools of rural areas of South Africa is worsened by the lack of libraries. The National Curriculum has also excluded Music and Art in this phase of education. These negative factors combine to deliver many a learner to high school with English literacy skills of an 8-9 year old. All academic learning then suffers, because of the inability to read at appropriate rate and comprehension. A path out of poverty through education soon slips away....
This project has selected 30+ rural schools to demonstrate that participating in a choir can improve discipline, encourage teamwork & enhance literacy of primary school learners. M&E includes school reports, comparative analysis with non-choir participants & other research outputs. With local partners Champagne Valley Trust, Epworth, Wembley College & Michaelhouse Community Partnership, quarterly workshops provide Principal Leadership Development & Choral Teacher training in these schools.
The project will continue to motivate for official inclusion of Music codes in the National Curriculum (to the Department of Education), supplying measurable improvements in educational outcomes and increased graduation rates in 30+ rural villages. Leadership development of Principals provides whole school and community improvements. An academic climate of excellence can be achieved through the offering of scholarships to diligent and talented learners identified early in this program.
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