Making musicians out of them

The Music Industry Development Initiative is lobbying for music to be taught in every school as part of Curriculum 2005.

THE Music Industry Development Initiative (Midi Trust), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that contributes to the development of the music industry, is lobbying for music to be taught in every school as part of Curriculum 2005.

Curriculum 2005 has eight Learning Areas, of which arts and culture is one. Each area will have to generate its own standards of learning. The standards of learning will have to be registered through a body set up by the government called the National Standard Body.

Music falls within the arts and culture category. Midi Trust is lobbying for their standards of learning to be accepted by the Department of Education. However, before they can be submitted, the trust will ”consult with people involved in the industry to get our standards set in the South African context. Then we will have to lobby the education, arts and culture, labour and trade and industry departments because we feel that music has the potential to greatly contribute to the economy of our country,” says Rosie Katz, general manager of Midi Trust.

The trust’s standards of learning are set up in a programme as part of the music education project that deals with all aspects of the music industry. The programme is divided into different modules and will be targeted at schools and tertiary institutions as well as musicians and other industry people who have not received formal training. ”We will also introduce the programme to community-based music schools as a learning material,” adds Katz.

Harmonious: Midi Trust hopes to inspire youth towards careers in the music industry

The trust’s book is based in a music programme introduced in Australia by Ausmusic, an Australian NGO set up through their government to develop music in education. According to Midi Trust’s chair, Motsumi Makhene, the original idea was adopted in 1997 at the Economic Benefit of Arts and Culture International Conference held in Grahamstown, where the manager of Ausmusic, Sue Gillard, delivered a paper on the economic benefits of the music industry in Australia.

”We looked at the Ausmusic’s music programme in education and found that it will be appropriate to our situation but ours must not only look at music as a subject in schools, but must also focus on disadvantaged youth who have not been to school,” says Makhene.

According to South African education policy, ”lifelong learning should be accessible to persons who have not been through matric. A person, for instead, a musician who has not had formal training, should be judged according to whatever skills acquired to get recommendation to further studies at university level,” he says.

Midi Trust music education programme, once approved at government level, will hopefully be able to recommend people who wish to further their education at any institution.

”We will have to review the person’s skills and knowledge, write a report and recommend them to the institution of their choice,” adds Makhene.

Midi Trust has licensed the programme and will start consultation with people in the music business including musicians, technicians, music promoters, music video- and film-makers, television presenters and people in the media.

The programme is divided into numerous modules ranging from music marketing and technology performance to music business and industry skills. Students will receive a certificate once they have completed these modules. This programme is just one aspect of the trust’s music industry education programme. They also hold seminars for musicians and other industry stakeholder to address some of the issues in the industry.

— The Teacher/Mail & Guardian, February 28, 2000.


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Luvuyo Kakaza
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