21 December 2020 | Story Rulanzen Martin | Photo Supplied
The children who took part in the 2020 music programme received a certificate for completing the project.

The yearly Heidedal music outreach progamme presented by the Odeion School of Music (OSM) and the Reach our Community Foundation (ROC) is growing from strength to strength each year. Amid the uncertainties of 2020 three students from the OSM persevered and vowed to continue with the teaching progamme to bring music by the community for the community. 

This annual outreach programme was founded by the Music department at the OSM in 2015 and forms part of the BMus, BA (Music) and Diploma in Music qualification which integrates Music education modules with service learning.

This year’s progamme was established as an alternative to the Marimba Project which has been running for five years. “The aim is to continue with the programme in years to come, equipping and empowering the students to continue with instrumental training,” said Nadia Smith, a BAMus honours student and programme leader. 

Students take charge of 2020 programme 

Nadia Smith, together with third-year BMus students Liana Bester, and Chrismari Grobler, who all voluntarily took part in the progamme for six weeks, presented music lessons to 11 children in Heidedal. “Apart from the music knowledge these children gained they learned about teamwork and collaboration. They gained confidence and self-assurance, and reaped the fruit of their hard work,” said Smith.  

For Smith the six weeks of learning was a wonderful, joyous experience. “As a student music teacher, I am privileged to realise early in my career that to teach music is to teach life. Seeing the children smiling and performing enthusiastically I realised that everyone deserves to be educated in, about, and through music.”

Community concert also to engage and educate 

The teaching culminated in a much-anticipated community concert which took place on Saturday 14 November 2020. The community concert is presented as an ‘informance’, a collaboration between informing and performance. 
“It enables us to engage with the audience by inviting them to sing and move. We also demonstrated to them the process, development and outcomes of the programme,” said Smith. 

“In only 12 lessons the Heidedal students were exposed to different music styles including classical music, jazz and African music, and learned to read and write music notation, and to play the recorder,” said Smith. 

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