Our 106 students all live rurally in the villages of Hamburg and oustskirts, Bodium, Bell and Lover’s Twist. Many of the families survive on government grants. Our students vary in age between 8 and 18. Our 2 first matrics (2013) are 2 out of only 3 students form their school who are studying at University.
We are so proud of cousins Lihle and Nqophisa Mtshonisi who are studying BCom and BsC respectively at University fo Fort Hare. They credit Music Academy for the focus and discipline it has taught them.
Sambe started with flute lessons towards the end of 2013 and is flying! He started lessons with Helen and senior student Lihle Mtshonisi and now continues with lessons on Saturdays in Grahamstown with Stephen Holder. Sambesiwe’s progress is excellent. Sambe lives with his mom (who is the shopkeeper for Keiskamma Art shop in Hamburg) and younger brother in Hamburg.
Wonke achieved 90% for his UNISA grade 2 clarinet exam after less than a year of lessons. Wonke will be included in the UNISA Roll of Honour of outstanding achievers nationally. In this picture he is posing with the 3 Keiskamma saxophones, thanks to sponsorship from Yamaha. They are from left: Qhama, Siphelo and Lwandile.
Feature of 5 student teachers at Lover’s Twist
We are 5 students from Keiskamma Music Academy. Our names are: Mkhululi Peter, Thabo Ngoxo, Siphelo Mvaphantsi, Aviwe Nkani, and Thabiso Ngoxo. We are student teachers at Lover’s Twist.
My name is Mkhululi, part of the Keiskamma Music Academy. I play soprano, alto and bass recorder, which are from Yamaha. I have a keyboard at home, which is also from Yamaha. I live in Hamburg with a family of eight in my grandmother’s house. They keyboard is in my room, so I practise in my room. The special thing is at the concert, I have no fear to play in front of many people, that is the thing I learnt from Keiskamma.
I teach in Lover’s Twist. I teach 6 students and I enjoy teaching there. I am 17 years old, grade 11 at St Charles Sojola high School. In music theory I am in grade 4, recorder grade 5 and piano grade 1.
My name is Thabo and I am 17 years old, doing grade 12 at school. I play guitar grade 7 and alto recorder grade 6. I do theory grade 4. I live with my brother and cousin in my great grandmother’s house here in Hamburg. I love to play in concerts, because the first time I played in concerts, I was afraid to express myself, but now I have learnt a new way of expressing myself. In 2013 I was selected to the opportunity to going to Cape Town for the enke: Make you Mark, leadership training programme. Aviwe, Siphelo and I decided to start a music project at a nearby village called Lover’s Twist. We hope the children will profit from what we have profited at Keiskamma Music Academy in Hamburg and use it in the future. Through the teaching that we do I have learnt a way of communicating with younger children, skills of how to teach a beginner student.
My name is Aviwe Nkani, I do grade 11 at St Charles Sojola High School. I am senior student leader at Keiskamma Music Academy. As a leader teaching in Lover’s Twist helps me to improve my leadership skills, like being able to communicate and being able to know how to treat people. Music has brought happiness to me and a new way of expressing my feelings. I play a trombone which is a brass instrument and an alto recorder. I am doing grade 5 on the recorder and grade 4 on theory. Music has kept me from many bad things like smoking, doing bad things many children in my community are doing bad things.
I am Thabiso. The fact that there are free recorders makes it easier for students or kids to want to play music. It makes it easier because they don’t have to pay money, which would be expensive and some of them might not afford it. I am the twin brother of Thabo and I am also a violin player. I play soprano, alto, bass and great bass recorders which I have learnt since 2011 which I would love to teach the Lover’s Twist students. The students in Lover’s Twist are showing very good attitude to us which is their teachers and most of them out of 20 have been showing up to their lessons, I think 16 or 17. They are progressing very fast and I can see they are willing to learn more, some of them even call us on their cell phones and ask if they are going to have lessons the following day, which makes me very happy that they are willing to learn more and more.