We have been rehearsing and playing a lot of Russian music lately in lessons. The music is suitably moody and emotive to many of our current students – they seem to enjoy the somewhat dissonant sounds at times and the fun rhythmic patterns!
There are so many great composers who have come from Russia. Often we just hear about the greatest of the great – yet this Russian music series has broadened our horizons on the variety that Russian music presents.
Check out ‘Russian Music for Piano’ by Chester Music and enjoy some beautiful tunes!
As part of our current research project, we have been learning about the National Curriculum in Uganda. It is different to the model that we follow in Europe. It is based on a Curriculum Wheel that consists of eight Learning Areas. The Areas cover subject knowledge, but also general skills such as creative thinking and workplace behaviour.
Being a prominently Christian country, Religious education features in all primary and secondary schools. In addition to the usual subjects of language, science, mathematics, social science and physical education with creative arts, something called Life Education forms a part of the curriculum. This section focuses on life skills such as living healthily in the community and taking care of one’s personal health.
Interestingly for us since we are specifically looking at music education in Uganda, music has been classed under Physical Education. What this entails is something that we are currently finding out and conducting a survey on current practices taking place – we will be sharing the interesting findings soon! In the meantime, you can learn more about the National Curriculum on the website of the National Curriculum Development Centre:
New term at our school in Uganda has got off to a good start. Children at the Mother Ann nursery school and music students at the Buna School of Music have been busy with their new lessons and curriculum for the autumn term, which is also their last term of the year since, in Uganda, the school year runs from January to November.
This week we have been spending time on researching music in Uganda. Like other African countries, Uganda has a rich history in music. It has been particularly interesting to learn about different styles of music from different regions of Uganda – how the local languages, dances,tribal practices and singing styles have influences the current musical culture in Uganda.
For those of you who know more about academics and researchers in music, you might find it interesting to know that Peter Cooke collected vast amounts of recordings in Uganda back in the day! These can all still be found at the British Library.
For more in-depth reading and knowledge on this, we recommended the two books that you can see in the images below – they are very comprehensive and very interesting reading indeed!
We are pleased to say that we have been awarded a scholarship to carry out an investigative study on the music education system in Uganda, East Africa. The scholarship was awarded by the Society for Education and Music Psychology Research (SEMPRE).
The research study will investigate current practice in music education across Uganda in order to identify challenges and potential ways forward in the field. The study will consist of data collection with local music education professionals in four regions of the country in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issue.
We delighted to be starting work on this important topic and we’ll be reporting any findings here on due course.
The Mother Ann Nursery kids visited Entebbe zoo and wildlife centre in Uganda last week. This has become a yearly trip to them and it is a rare opportunity for them to leave their home surroundings in Kampala. As you can see from the photos, everyone thoroughly enjoyed their day out.
Our school and consultancy in Kampala, Uganda, has been working in partnership with Mulago Development Group. The group provides education and health care to children in Ghana and Uganda. Their ethos is that no matter anyone’s background, everyone has the same right to a good life.
You can find more detailed information on the group on their facebook page:
A few weeks ago, the group rescued a baby girl who had been abandoned by her parents and left in a pit by a road. She has been doing well whilst being looked after by members of the group . Generous donation from our European supporters have helped to get basic food and clothes for her. At the moment she is receiving treatment for malaria, which is still a very common illness across Africa. Any donations towards her treatment and other basics are much appreciated – please get in touch with the group via their facebook page in regard to this.
Here you can see her sweet face and what an adorable girl she is despite the tough start to life!
One of the things that I love about my job is that students introduce songs to me that I might not have otherwise paid much attention to, even if I had heard them on the radio. One such song is ‘Passionfruit’ by Drake. We worked on a piano cover for the song with a teenage student yesterday. What beautiful melody and catchy rhythm!
The Theorist on youtube has an excellent piano tutorial. There is also an option of downloading the sheet music – the link is below for you to enjoy!
There is always amazing energy at Glastonbury, but it seems that this year it was even more electrifying. With all the upsetting events of late, people got together in the name of music and we could see all the great energy at the festival this year.
For anyone looking for music inspiration this week, here is coverage from the festival that can be viewed outside of the UK as well:
This week we have been busy getting ready for grade exams. In the midst of business, we have managed to play some relaxing jazz music. One favourite for this week has turned out to be Herbie Hancock’s ‘Chameleon’.
You can find a good piano cover and tutorial here – it’s a nice listen on it’s own too!