MUSIC FOR LIFE
& THE JOURNEY OF THE INSTRUMENT
Keen to continue the work we started during our visit to Kenya with the Lord Mayor in 2011, Music for Life was set up in 2013. Working with the local music services, this project provided music lessons for the children of St John’s School in the Korogocho Slums of Nairobi and supported young Kenyan artists in the pursuit of their musical careers. Young musicians from the Kenya National Youth Orchestra were also chosen as Concordia Apprentices and trained in rare instruments, such as the oboe and bassoon, through a mixture of skype lessons from professional UK musicians and specially created starter videos. These apprentices were then responsible for teaching these rarer instruments and starting ensembles in the local schools in Nairobi.
In addition, Concordia provided sponsorship to fund the work of a part-time Kenyan Education Administrator and two music teachers who taught the fife to the Year 4 children in weekly after school clubs. This gave all the children an opportunity to learn a fantastic starter instrument with a view to subsequently continuing onto an orchestral instrument.
Another exciting aspect to this project was the partnership between St. John’s School and two of Concordia’s ‘Young Audiences’ schools, St. Paul’s Primary School in Tower Hamlets and St. Clement Danes C of E Primary School in Westminster. Children from these schools have become penfriends, sending letters and photographs to each other and studying the music, food and culture of their penfriend’s country.
The project came to a close in June 2015 and had been such a success that St John’s School was able to set up its first ever school band.
THE JOURNEY OF THE INSTRUMENT
As we saw first hand in 2011, there is a severe lack of musical instruments in Kenya and those that are available are often too expensive for the students to afford. This stops many of them pursuing their musical ambitions. The Journey of the Instrument helps to overcome this by sourcing much needed instruments from the UK and then transporting them to schools in Kenya and to students of the Kenya National Youth Orchestra.
To date, we have been able to send nearly 20 string, woodwind and brass instruments and are constantly on the look-out for more. The last two donations came from our American intern, Marc Picel, who donated his guitar and our Honorary Patron, Lady Bear, who pledged a French Horn - the first brass instrument to take this journey to Kenya!
We Need Your Help
Any second hand instruments that you may have lying around in cupboards or attics
that are in good working order would be invaluable to these children.
Please contact us if you have an instrument that you would like to donate to Music for Life.