In Heideveld and Lavender Hill, there are very few after-school arts-based programmes for children.
The Music for Life programme provides various in-school and after-school music activities, such as drumming, marimba bands and gumboot dancing activities utilising the Circle of Courage model.
These sessions create safe spaces in which to develop a sense of Belonging, Mastery, Generosity and Independence
Weekly rehearsals are lead by community musicians and songs from various cultures are incorporated. The children’s input is encouraged and valued, and rehearsals culminate in the staging of local music events and an annual concert.
Rather than concentrate fully on the musical end-product, it is the process that is highlighted – allowing participants to realise what they can achieve, and experience validation of what they bring to the sessions. While their talents are developed, they experience the affirmation of belonging to a group, and discover the enjoyment of music as part of their lives.
“I didn’t know what a marimba band was, so I just signed up. Now I can’t stop playing even at home where I use sticks and anything. My family shouts at me… but I want to play marimbas forever!”Learner
Through the staging of music events and annual concerts, parents and other community members are able to witness and celebrate their children. It is through the sharing of music that the community draws together and creates a powerful and hopeful alternative to the hopelessness that often permeates under-resourced communities.