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Thursday, November 14, 2013

guest post by melissa: update on violin lessons

A few months ago, SMKOM had the pleasure of hosting the Strings for Uganda team (Nick, Lindsey, Hannah, and Amaya).  Their time is still fondly remembered by the students, as they forged some really special friendships.  During their 2 week visit, 20 students from Primary 3 and Primary 4 had the unique opportunity for violin training. These students would eagerly await their lesson time during the school day and literally run to the music room for their daily training. It was the highlight of their day!  Afterwards, they were reluctant to leave, and many sought out additional violin practice after school.

While the Strings for Uganda team sparked an interest in the violin for their students, they knew that cultivating a musical talent is not a short-term process.  It takes months for their students to learn the proper skill sets to proficiently play the violin, as well as establishing a deeper appreciation for their instrument.  They needed someone here in Uganda to continue their work.  
During their planning process, the Strings for Uganda team managed to link with the only musical institution offering private musical training within Uganda.  The Kampala Music School has a long and well-respected history, providing musical training from classical, orchestra, or vocal training to musicians of all levels of skill set.  Beginning with email correspondence and then a personal visit, the Strings for Uganda successfully formed a partnership with the Kampala Music School offering violin rentals and continued instruction for SMKOM’s violin students.

Last month, violin lessons began on a weekly basis right here at SMKOM.  A music teacher with the Kampala Music School travels to SMKOM during the school day to offer 30 minute lessons for the 20 violin students. Students leave their classroom during their group lesson time and then return afterwards with minimal disruption to their studies.  The violin students have picked up right where they left off.  They have not missed a beat or forgotten their initial training by the Strings for Uganda team.  With each new lesson, their skill set is growing.  They are playing with confidence.  They are practicing during the week.  They are proud to be a member of this class. 

Thanks to the Strings for Uganda team… Nick, Lindsey, Hannah, and Amaya.  Your love for the violin has been transferred to each of your students.  They are proud to be YOUR students, and your initial influences will never be forgotten.  And additional thanks to the Kampala Music School, director Kiggunda Fred, and teacher Phoebe.  The torch has been passed to your capable hands to train our violin students.  The passion your school has demonstrated for teaching Ugandans about the beauty of music has been inspiring.  Thanks for believing in SMKOM’s violin students!

- Melissa

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