Supporting 20 talented students to study music

by Kampala Music School
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Supporting 20 talented students to study music
Akena playing in session with teacher
Akena playing in session with teacher

Kampala Music School has now been fully open for a few months. The students are now properly getting into the swing of things. The challenges of getting ready for exams were immense when students and teachers only met online. However, meeting in person has made it much easier to speed up the progress. Pianists often can rehearse independently, but other instrumentalists have to collaborate with accompanists, which is challenging to do in the virtual environment.

As such, many of the students are now properly preparing for ABRSM exams. In addition, many students are currently in the recording phase with the exams hoping to submit these digital exams in the next two months.

 Students such as Irene, who is very diligent, have been able to work on improving various aspects of their craft, like intonation and sight-reading, which are getting better by the day. She needs to do this as part of preparing for the ABRSM Grade 5 exam, which requires her to sing in foreign languages. She has taken to it in a very keen manner.

 Another vocal student, Rachel, who is preparing for the ABRSM grade 6 singing exam, has found immense benefits in having in-person lessons twice a month. This has increased her ability to master diction in foreign languages and expand her range. However, range expansion has been challenging to do in digital media, often owing to software limitations.

 The St. Mary Kevin programme, which resumed in February, is now stabilising and working somewhat well. The 30 students, who study in groups of 5, are now well into their second term of studies on their violins. Whilst it’s a pity that the previous group had only three who carried over, the new lot is equally enthusiastic and delighted to have this opportunity. We are confident that this will continue to grow in the coming months.

A few more students have now applied for the bursary programme, and we hope that we will be able to take them on board in the coming months. They have all shown incredible talent but have the same challenge of not being able to afford their fees.

We hope that your continued support will help those currently on the programme be able to fulfil their potential. Still, through your support, and hopefully others in your networks coming on board, we will be able to bring more on board also to achieve their potential.

In July, GlobalGiving will hold a bonus day, which would be the perfect opportunity for us to expand on this. So again, we thank you for your continued support to ensure that all talent will be developed. We hope you can continue to support this excellent initiative.

Ian practicing his Grade 4 Repertoire
Ian practicing his Grade 4 Repertoire
St Mary Kevin Students with their violins
St Mary Kevin Students with their violins
Teacher Sam demonstrating Pizzicato
Teacher Sam demonstrating Pizzicato
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Irene Singing During a lesson at KMS
Irene Singing During a lesson at KMS

The President of Uganda announced the full. The opening up and return to schools for many students was a welcome thing, with very many happy to resume. Many students had been closed out of learning due to school closures, restricted movement or both.

Students who had not been to school for over 80 weeks were just happy to return to regular school. Similarly, those studying music and instruments were happy to return to Kampala Music School.

One such student is Ian, a student of the B flat trumpet. Ian was very excited to hear that KMS had reopened. The news found him at home. He was excited to hear about KMS reopening because it immediately meant that he would be able to have more classes and more practice.

His teacher Shafic is also pleased to have Ian back. “Ian is extremely self-driven and is always hungry to learn. Learning new material highly motivates him.” The short-term goal is Grade 4 ABRSM and being ready for any performance that may come along. In the long term, Ian is working towards Grade 8 ABRSM. Shafique is also really, really excited to have him back. The enthusiasm was really evident in his voice and face. “ Teaching students such as Ian is fulfilling as he has big goals and ambitions. Having him back is a great experience especially given how much time we lost with the various lockdowns.”

For some of the students, a hybrid option for lessons ensures continuity in their sessions. One such student, Irene, has both physical and online depending on the circumstances. For instance, it rain hinders her ability to attend lessons, as it’s hard to get to KMS. When this happens, they have an online class.

Although she was studying all through covid, she is finding this so much better.” I get more during physical, body posture and explanations are better understood”. Many a time, though, the internet will just not hold up. The reopening news found her at home as she was doing coursework. “Seeing the teacher physically is so much better. When doing a piece, it’s hard for the teacher to accompany when the lesson is online.”

Her teacher, Francis, said, “We are working towards grade five ABRSM, sorting out her sight-singing and intonation issues; she is improving steadily. She is highly motivated, given that she is also studying music at the degree level. At the moment, it is such a big relief to have them physically. Such fun!”

St. Mary Kevin School suffered the most through the lockdown as schools were closed entirely. 30 students were studying violin but sadly had their studies disrupted. In addition, 80 weeks meant that some would end up dropping out of school, and the return, according to school officials, is slow. The programme will have to start afresh, as only three students from before remain, now in the candidate year, P7. School policy means that these three students need to focus on their regular school.

Both the teacher and the school are happy that these lessons are resuming. However, Sam, their teacher, is sad that none of the 30 he was teaching before can continue. But, hope abounds as this week a new 30 will start their journey.

The positive news of the pandemic beginning to ease and schools reopening is very positive on very many fronts. The teachers are thrilled to see the students again physically, and those who can make it are delighted to resume.

The future seems bright again, as all programmes get kick started again. We look forward to more students coming on to the programme. We continue to thank all for their continued consistency in giving to keep this programme alive. KMS hopes to keep on developing talent and changing lives.

 

Ian with his teacher Shafic during lesson
Ian with his teacher Shafic during lesson
Ian listens intently during lesson
Ian listens intently during lesson
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Atim practicing piano at home
Atim practicing piano at home

Greetings from Kampala Music School. With Schools continuing to be closed and some restrictions on movement still on, most students have been unable to continue with lessons. This has been disconcerting for some as the earliest we look like we will be open is in January next year, when the Ugandan population will have reached the vaccination thresholds as set by the government.

However, a select few on this programme have been able to carry on with lessons virtually. These talented students have been going places which has been great for them and their progress, and in some cases as we see below, they have been really encouraging.

Atim (16),a new student on the bursary programme, started lessons in September. She is currently working towards the ABRSM Performance Grade 4 and hopes to be ready by December 2021 and likewise her ABRSM Grade 3 theory exams by early next year. Four pieces are required for this unique exam. One piece is almost in the bag, and she will soon start on the second one.Theory lessons are also going well, with three topics so far covered. The target is to sit this exam in 2022.

Her Teacher, Mr. Kawere, is sure that they can achieve these set targets because she is highly self-motivated and eager to learn new material.

Akena (15) had initially set out to do the ABRSM Performance Grade 2 in December 2021 but has progressed so quickly, much to his teacher's surprise. He managed to learn all four pieces set out in just six lessons playing them to such a high degree, with superb musicality and excellent technique. As a result, his teacher Mr Kawere decided to push on to Grade 3, and he has already taken a massive step towards his first of four pieces. Just like Atim, he is also working towards the Grade 2 ABRSM theory examination.

Irene (20) Is a high Soprano pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Music at Makerere University. This term finds her working on improving sight-singing and intonation, which seem to be the main challenges. There has been significant improvement in this area. She is currently working on Grade 5 songs and various performance techniques. "She is a very hard working and determined person, and I believe we are on the right track", says her teacher, Mr. Francis D Mutesasira.

Unlike many other students on the bursary programme, Irene has been able to attend lessons online. "My voice lessons have been quite the experience. I also prepare for them like I would for an actual physical class. I even mind how I will look on the camera. I even had to inform my family members about my time of class, and they respected it. At the start, I was a little concerned, wondering if I'd be able to learn and understand the songs, keys, warm-ups, but amazingly, I've progressed just fine though I think I prefer physical classes".

Then there was the challenge of the internet sometimes. I had to mark my spot where I could have my lessons uninterrupted.

Overall, I've successfully had my lessons, and I've improved a lot in my singing. I'm happy that KMS was able to support online classes because I would not have learnt what I know now."

Amelia's guitar classes have been going on well. The brief let up, and physical opening up after the first lockdown allowed the teacher and student to meet to cover some areas they could not do over Zoom.

Amelia is a diligent and self-motivated student and has a very high attendance record. Her biggest struggle is thoroughly understanding music theory. The internet infrastructure, however, continues o be a challenge and makes learning difficult.

Other than that, all is well and previously in lockdown at times, and the network instability was our main challenge.

KMS is hoping that some of the students will be able to resume classes in a few weeks, but there is no clear indication of this given the diversity of the student population. Another report soon will follow on some of the other students on the programme

We thank you for the continued support of the talented student programme. We hope that in this time you can support the school in continuing to do its work also as we start to look towards the New Year when we expect that schools shall reopen and we can return to total productivity.

Amelia having a guitar lesson
Amelia having a guitar lesson
Akena having a piano lesson via Zoom
Akena having a piano lesson via Zoom
Irene having a Zoom lesson
Irene having a Zoom lesson
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Aspiration and Hope

The past few months have been uplifting for our students as school had opened up and in person learning was taking off. Teachers were reunited with their students and were getting going again. Many students were beginning to prepare for their ABRSM exams with great gusto.

It’s been a great term for the students and teachers. Mr. Mutesasira, the Head of the Voice department has this to say about some of his students. "Joy is always eager to learn new material and take risks. She is always Jolly and approachable, very open-minded personality. Because of her zeal to learn, we have tried to cover as much on line, however the lack of real time accompaniment for a singer, has greatly affected her interpretation of music."

“Immaculate has had the passion for what she does and works well. Immaculate is laid back but at the same time outgoing if u get to know her, u have to be on her case in order to know what’s going on. However, her diligence makes her an exciting person to work with. "

Sadly, just last week on the 18th of June 2021, The Government of Uganda ordered a lockdown so sadly we have returned to lockdown For many of our students, that means they will not be able to have lessons yet again, for a minimum of 42 days. Do watch our video  https://youtu.be/tt---ZI1Z3o to get to hear from some of our students directly, and do click on this link to donate to KMS to support our students.

Links:

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Babirye in Trombone lesson at KMS
Babirye in Trombone lesson at KMS

 In December last year, KMS was finally given the go-ahead to open again. It was a bit late to get things going at that time, but nonetheless, it meant that people could look forward to a new year, with some lessons resuming on site in January.

For many of the students, the time closed off meant that they could not study. In some cases, practising itself was difficult. The brass students, Ian, Babirye, struggled to stay on top of their game. No school often meant also no structure and as such it was hard for them to keep going.Nonetheless, they did make an effort, and not a small one.

"They are very dedicated students for sure, because they show great motivations and are always full of questions which they ask at any opportunity that they get”, their teacher Shafic said. In fact, two of them have done great work in this period, that we should be looking at pushing them up from Grade 2 to Grade 3" he added. Their lips may have been out of "shape" so to speak but their motivation clearly isn’t.

On the singing side of things, physical lessons have not quite been able to get started but safe ways of doing these are being explored. This challenge of not being able to for some was more of a problem than for most.  Immaculate for instance continued to work hard and progressed well enough to make the progression to begin working her way through the Grade 4 and 5 repertoire. She went through a patch where internet data and access to a workable phone were difficult, and this hindered the ability to keep up with lessons. “Her sight-singing continues to improve steadily” her teacher Francis said.

Beatrice continues to be a very enthusiastic student who works with minimal push and is now steadily working through Grade 6 and 7 repertoire, She has been working most recently to polish especially work on foreign language songs and Operatic arias. Seeing as she has completed her Grade five theory, she can now work towards higher Grades in the ABRSM Scheme.

All in all, Kampala Music School continues to open up and new talent is being brought to the fore. There some new prospects recently auditioned that the Writer has interviewed that are bright new prospects. As restrictions begin to ease, the school continues to wake up once again and to sing.

Ian in Trumpet lesson at KMS
Ian in Trumpet lesson at KMS
Beatrice in Zoom Singing lesson
Beatrice in Zoom Singing lesson
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Organization Information

Kampala Music School

Location: Kampala - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KampalaMusicScl
Project Leader:
Julia Downing
Prof
Kampala, Uganda
$18,716 raised of $30,000 goal
 
126 donations
$11,284 to go
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