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Suzan Chala

reviews

IN Joy and Peace

(St Theresa’s Convent, R50)

In Joy and Peace is one CD you should consider adding to your collection, not only because the vocalists are primary-school children but because their voices are magnificently refreshing and the songs inspire a sense of spiritual comfort.

Jeremy Karodia, music teacher at St Theresa’s Convent in Westbury, Johannesburg is the driving force behind the initiative, which is not only a valuable learning experience for his wards but also a way to raise funds for music equipment for the school.

Karodia plays the guitar and keyboard on the 10 tracks featuring his music learners. Songs that are recorded have been sung during school concerts and some are produced by Karodia himself. The 46-minute-long CD includes hits like Gvantanamera, made famous by Wycliffe Jean in the 1990’s, and popular favourites like Lean on me and Stand by me.

Karodia and the children are not alone, they have had parents’ support all the way.
‘You should see how full the hall is during the concerts,” Huttingh says. ‘The lyrical content is about issues that affect the community,” adds Karodia. The first CD, released in May 2002, sold more than 175 copies, while the second one — which has an additional six tracks — sold more than 100 in one month.

Karodia believes that ‘children have to develop a love of music before they can learn it.” To spice up his lessons, he allows learners to produce and sing any genre of music. ‘We have rap artists here, who will turn any topic into an amazing song,” he says. Learners also choreograph their own dances, an expression of their understanding of music and rhythm.

Tough luck to those hoping to purchase the CD at music stores — it’s only available at

St Theresa’s Convent at Tel: (011) 477-7611.

Hazel Friedman

reviews

Glimpses of music in Africa

(R250, Double CD and video set)

Music is among the most creative means of building national identity and the Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education (Pasmae) is one organisation determined to get the word out about African music.

What remains to be seen, or rather heard, is how resonant its voice will be in improving the quality of learning as well as the practice of African music.

To this end the society has embarked on comprehensive plans of action, including promoting indigenous music instruments in practical music education and lobbying governments to employ music teachers at schools in South Africa and the wider African continent.

Anri Herbst — a senior lecturer in Music Education at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Pasmae’s director of education resources — is at the forefront of Pasmae’s efforts to make music more accessible.

Herbst recently produced an educational double-CD and video titled Glimpses of Music in Africa, which was compiled from a concert held at Cape Town’s Baxter Theatre in 2002. The CD is a collection of the sounds of traditional African instruments, contemporary South African and African composers as well as choral music, and classical chamber music.

The CD and video will be utilised to illustrate aspects of a book on African musical arts education which is due to be launched in July 2003, during the next Pasmae conference in Kenya. A planned collaboration between Herbst and 35 acclaimed authors and academics from all corners of the continent, the book will focus on issues such as African philodphies that underpin music making practices, aesthetics, music games, master musicianship as well as performance, to name just a few

‘Teachers still lack knowledge about indigenous music practices as well as the skills to play African instruments artistically,” says Herbst. ‘The principal challenge is to empower specialist educators with skills about the music genres of Africa in general, and South Africa specifically, both in and beyond the classroom.”

Orders for the CD and video can be placed with Angie Scheepers at [email protected] 

Tel. (021) 650-2620, Fax (021) 650-2627.

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