Bertha Spies was an associate professor in music theory at the NWU School of Music from 1993 until 2003. During the early years of her tenure, Prof Spies recognized a serious need to improve and enrich the lives of children from low socio-economic communities in Potchefstroom. In her view, the method to accomplish this aim was through music making and formal music training. During the last two decades Ms Dirkie Nell and Ms Annette Massyn provided valuable leadership in the Musikhane Community Music Engagement Programme.
In response to changing social and economic circumstances, the Musikhane Community Music Engagement Programme has taken on various guises. Currently Musikhane partners with:
- Mosaic to provide approximately 20 participants with beginner instrumental education;
- Vyfhoek Primary School to provide musical experiences to Grade R learners;
- Huis Anna Viljoen to facilitate Dalcroze inspired musical experiences to the elderly;
- Potchefstroom Primary School to engage approximately 50 intermediate phase learners in music learning and ensemble activites.
These partnerships serve as valuable relationships with the community, since students get real-time critical feedback on their teaching practice from members of staff and community partners. To enhance the critical service learning possibilities of Musikhane, participation in the programme is integrated as practical experience in the music education and community music modules in the Diploma and BA programmes at the School of Music.
The Musikhane Community Music Engagement Programme strives to create opportunities for meaningful musical experiences for learners and student-teachers involved in the community music programme.
Creating opportunities to care for one another through musicing.
Musikhane improves the lives of members of the community by providing greater access to meaningful music educational experiences. Through music and movement participants explore what it means to be part of a community of learners, developing their musical and social skills along the way. Student-teachers experience the ecstasy and frustrations of teaching in a real-world setting, equipping them to become future music educators and community music practitioners.
For further information about the Musikhane Community Music Engagement Programme, please contact Dr Janelize van der Merwe.