Notes from Kampala
Sarah Taylor meets the staff and pupils of Kampala Music School, to hear about this international centre of musical excellence.
‘Because of singing, I am living’. Kampala Music School began life in 2001 in the basement of the YMCA, giving music lessons to a handful of pupils. Twelve years later, it has moved into its own new premises and has become the international centre of musical excellence in Uganda – and has taught music to more than 2000 pupils. Some former students have gone on to study at international music schools and are now forging their own careers as fully fledged classical musicians.
This year sees a new director of music, Kiggundu Frederick Musoke – himself a former star pupil. Sarah Taylor meets the staff and pupils of KMS to hear about this centre of musical excellence. KMS has become a lifeline to many where music can be enjoyed alongside friendship, where many pupils come from the backdrop of a fairly bleak existence. And, no one is turned away through lack of ability to pay.
Not only do pupils leave with a life skill but many go on to become music teachers in international schools throughout East Africa. Such is the pupils ability and enthusiasm that the Associated Board of Music now send an examiner for an entire week to cope with the volume of students taking grades one to eight on their instruments.
(Picture: Choirboys from Namirembe Cathedral take their only chance to play the old, but loved piano)