Supporting 20 talented students to study music

by Kampala Music School Vetted since 2017
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
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
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
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

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."

Edison

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 

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.

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
 

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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
$7,821 raised of $20,000 goal
 
84 donations
$12,179 to go
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