social impact

For our community engagement commitments, the OSM Division of Music Education participates in a community music project linked to a social development community programme – called the Heidedal ROC foundation programme – every Tuesday from 15:00 to 16:30. Our pre-service music teachers teach a total of about 45-50 learners ranging from the foundation phase, intermediate phase, and senior phase. Our Music Education students teach music appreciation (music concepts, music and movement, vocal performance) classes, as well as ensemble instrumental music (including African aural drumming, recorder, xylophone/glockenspiel) for recreational purposes (informal music education teaching context).

  • The students prepare weekly lesson plans for what they will be teaching; they also have reflection sessions in class on their experiences during their lesson presentations.
  • At the end of the year, the pre-service Music students organise an i at the Heidedal Primary School Hall, where the learners will showcase their performance skills learned during the project to friends and family.

The division of Music Education has a partnership with a local school, called Onze Rust Primary School, where our pre-service music teachers teach in a classroom music education set-up (formal music education teaching context) as part of their Service Learning, where they sharpen their teaching skills and share their musical knowledge in a local government school.

During the first semester of each year, a great deal of time is spent on investigating and dialoguing the underlying philosophy of Service Learning, how it can be defined, and how it can be applied successfully within our South African society through a scholarship of engagement.

The focus of Service Learning in the second semester is the following:

  • To investigate the concept of an Informance and how it can be combined with the idea of Service Learning to create a window of focused learning, not only for students, but also for the community involved.
  • Further development of the ‘audiation’ skills of learners in Onze Rust Primary School. The students engage with the children of Onze Rust Primary School once weekly.
  • The students submit weekly reflective essays regarding their work and interactions in the community.
  • To be familiarised with the Music Learning Theory (MLT) of Edwin Gordon.
  • To understand the importance of an Informance and the planning thereof.
  • To present an Informance session and submitting a final portfolio for Service Learning.

The Odeion School of Music and the Department of Music Education have held a partnership with Sentraal Primary School for almost a decade. In the second semester, Music Education students in the diploma programme are each assigned a class in the foundation phase. In a span of 10 to 12 weeks, the students teach general music education lesson plans – compiled from various resources – to the learners. Learners encounter the Orff approach, Dalcroze eurhythmics, singing skills, aural skills, movement activities and games, and ensemble experiences. The Music Education students gain valuable experience and insight into the application of theories and approaches to music teaching and learning, which are explored in the first semester.

The Bloemfontein Life Change Centre is a youth development initiative that provides services to the community of Heidedal. The music school is an integral part of the centre and aligns with its aims, which include the following:

  • Fighting poverty
  • Providing the youth with a positive influence
  • Being a carrier of hope in a hopeless world
  • Providing the youth with leadership and mentorship programmes, and equipping them with life and job-related skills
  • Keeping the youth off the streets in the vulnerable hours between getting home from school and parents arriving home.

The music School was established by Dr George Foster in 2015, and provides tuition in music theory, music education and practice, brass instruments (trumpet, trombone, French horn, euphonium, and tuba), and ensemble training. This is a partnership between the Odeion School of Music and the BLCC – the OSM provides the teachers, instruments, materials, and equipment as part of its continued commitment to community engagement. Currently, the programme is coordinated by Mrs Angelique Novella and Dr Joseph Kunnuji, assisted by a committee of parents from the community. Support in the form of staff hours, monetary support, and equipment/instrument donations has been provided by the Odeion School of Music (UFS), the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), the Harmonic Brass (Munich), the VGK Heatherdale, as well as individuals such as Mr Charles Boezak, and the family of the late Ron Gache – a pioneer teacher and mentor of the school.

Since its inception there have been several successes, including (1) a student receiving a music bursary to attend Sentraal High School; (2) several students passing their graded examinations (some with distinctions); (3) the ensembles performing at numerous events and achieving good results at local eisteddfods; (4) one student enrolling to study music through the OSM; (5) and two passing auditions and becoming integral members of the Free State Youth Wind Ensemble (@UFS). The project runs every Thursday afternoon and classes take place on the premises of the VGK Heatherdale.


St Patrick’s Anglican Church
Project Curator Dr Sharon de Kock

Mission and Vision:
The mission for the Violins for Peace project, is to give children and young adults the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. By teaching students to play the violin, we can give them an important life skill, as well as a safe place to come after school and be part of a group of musicians who support each other. 

The vision for the future is to grow this project by adding more teachers and acquire more instruments. If we have more teachers, we will be able to spend more one-on-one time with our students and they will be able to progress quicker.

The aim is to ensure that this project reaches not just acceptable, but rather exceptional standards.

Who are we:
We are four passionate violin teachers who realised the need for a music programme for children and young adults in their own environment.

It is important for us to be able to share our knowledge and life experiences through our teaching as well as opportunities for our students to attend professional rehearsals and concerts. In return, we also benefit from understanding and learning from our students’ achievements and needs.

It is also vital to note that we have the full support of Reverend Canon Nkopa Benjamin Mafereka, who has been a key role player in the development of this project from its inception. 

What we do:
The idea behind starting Violins for peace in 2022, was to provide a safe place for children, and do something for the community close to their homes. We decided on St Patrick’s Church because of the great interest shown by their church members to learn to play the violin.

This project is close to all of our hearts for various reasons. Learning how to teach and work with students is sometimes not even offered when studying music, so this learning environment is a great opportunity and privilege for our students, and also for our teachers. In other words, this project is not just for the benefit of the violin students, but also for young, upcoming teachers.

We have a gift that we can share with others, and make a difference to one child at a time. In Father Mafereka’s own words: “We like to contribute in any way we can, to help restore human dignity and hope to God’s glory.”

Dr Sharon de Kock
T: +27 82 434 7501 

Reverend Canon Nkopa Benjamin Mafereka
T: +27 78 182 1699



Dr Kunnuji teaching.

Practical group activity: music education.

Dr Kunnuji: trumpet class.

Practical group activity: music education.

Group activity: music theory class.

Practical: brass ensemble rehearsal.

Group activity: music theory.

Ensemble practice: trumpet class.



T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Neliswa Emeni-Tientcheu: +27 51 401 2536
Phyllis Masilo: +27 51 401 9683

Humanities photo next to contact block

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