12 November 2018 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Charl Devenish
OSM reaches out to community one note at a time
It was a festive mood at ROC center in Heidedal with the children playing and learning on the Marimbas.

This year marks the fourth year of the Music in the Community, by the Community project by the Odeion School of Music (OSM) and the Reach Our Community Foundation (ROC). The concert is held in the Heidedal suburb of Bloemfontein.

The collaboration between ROC and the OSM based at the University of the Free State (UFS) provides children of the Heidedal community with a chance to perform and learn music, with their parents and siblings as the lucky guests.

Ten children and 11 OSM students were involved in this year’s concert, and the students started improvising on their own instruments and composed cultural music, such as Kalahari Sands for the marimba ensemble. Brendaly Buckly and Angelique Novella managed the aesthetics of the 2018 project in arranging, facilitating and conducting the music.

The project is an inter-organisational effort between Gerda Pretorius, who initiated and coordinates the event, Patrick Kaars director of ROC, Novella, lecturer at OSM, who facilitates and designed the programme, Buckly, a specialising student at the OSM, and Yolandi Springbok, administrator of ROC. 

Music should be part of every child’s life 

“The project extends its boundaries each year concerning the programme, setting and community involvement,” said Pretorius.

She also believes every child should play an instrument and be able to sing, and that the programmes at the OSM should have an “ethic of care” towards artistic citizenship.

Patrick Kaars says that by sculpting the musical talents of the youth, it provides them with ways to express themselves in a manner that cannot be done in a language. “It also enhances meaningful and alternative ways of relating to understand social relations,” he said. 

The concert forms part of the art of the outcomes of Music Education and Practice modules. Education students engage yearly in a variety of projects. “At the OSM we believe that music-making for an intrinsic musical experience is a key aim of music education, but it is not enough. We should also prepare students to put their music to work for the betterment of other people’s lives and social well-being,” Pretorius said. 


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