Keiskamma Music Academy, Port Alfred branch

 

TALENT ON SHOW: The strings and brass musicians of the Keiskamma Music Academy who appeared at the music festival organised for the Clumber Church 150th anniversary celebrations last year

The Keiskamma Music Academy in Hamburg (along the coast towards East London) was formed in 2006 with the aim of uplifting the community through music education. Fourteen-years later many lives have been changed because the KMA programme has provided employment and skills development for hundreds of children.

The emotional, psychological, social and cognitive benefits of music-making are clear: music teaches self-discipline, perseverance, problem-solving as well as teamwork. One notable KMA student attained his Grade 8 in clarinet just three-and-a-half years after he began lessons. Other KMA students are reabsorbed into the programme as part-time teachers – this helps cover their studying costs or provides a little income. Some alumni are university graduates: one holds a Masters in Nuclear Physics, two other students are at Rhodes University and at least one other is a Chartered Accountant. The project focuses not only on youth development but also job creation for the communities it serves.

At first, the KMA Hamburg offered recorder or percussion lessons only, but today wind and string instruments are in the mix. The project now has a chamber choir and includes tuition for jazz and classical vocals, classical guitar, piano and marimba. Throughout, KMA musicians have performed at many venues and festivals, including the National Arts Festival, Queenstown Jazz Festival, Wits Great Hall and in 2017 they toured the UK.

Recognising that Port Alfred’s youth are also deserving of this experience, KMA Hamburg reached out to the town at the beginning of September. Between 9am and 1pm on Saturday mornings at Nemato’s Baptist Church, 57 keen students are now getting the chance to play recorder or join choral classes offered by teachers Rish Faca (part-time) and Ayanda Fanki (full-time). Programme Director is Elizabeth Kahn, who has been involved in the KMA since 2011.

Some KMA funding from the National Arts Council is “paying it forward” to the Port Alfred community until January 2021.  After that KMA PA needs to be self-sustaining.

Please help this powerful project continue to transform lives and bring joy! This is what you can do:

  1. Donate any music instruments – especially recorders – that have been gathering dust from your children’s school years. Contact Elizabeth on 067-409-2466 or Sue on 082-456-7437.
  2. Consider sponsoring a child’s music lessons (R100/month)
  3. Pay for a recorder (bought in bulk to keep down costs) @R60
  4. Donate towards general operational costs (teachers, musical instruments, refreshments). See https://www.backabuddy.co.za/keiskamma-port-alfred-expansion

Contact Elizabeth on 067-409-2466 for more information.

Leave a Reply