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Midlands hosts musical instruments workshop

MUSIC lovers, mainly teachers drawn from the Midlands province, recently converged at Midlands Academy of Music in Gweru for a musical instruments workshop that was convened by the Music Consultancy Society.

By Staff Reporter

Participants were taught how to play various musical instruments such as marimba and mbira
Participants were taught how to play various musical instruments such as marimba and mbira

The one-day workshop drew participants from Shurugwi, Chirumanzu, Gokwe and Kadoma in Mashonaland West province.

Music Consultancy Society coordinator in the Midlands province, Tinomutenda Chihora, who was among the facilitators, said the workshop was one of a series of trainings the society would conduct this year.

“This was level one training where participants were equipped with basic skills on how to play Western and indigenous musical instruments,” he said. Chihora, who is an accomplished music adjudicator, said although the workshop was open to members of the public, teachers made the large chunk of participants.

“It was helpful to most of the teachers who were falling short of skills to teach the required content in the visual and performing arts syllabus encompassed in the new curriculum,” said Chihora.

“The new curriculum we are faced with is a paradigm shift from the bookish education to a practically oriented one.

We no longer need music teachers but musician teachers. The teacher should be able to demonstrate and not just theorise the lessons.”

Revered music mentor and Music Consultancy Society director and founder Tavonga Chipadza, as well as marimba and mbira manufacturer Elimon Moyo, joined Chihora in taking participants through music drills, which involved playing instruments such as mbira Nyunga Nyunga, nhare, marimba, piano, keyboards, recorder, trumpet, chigufe and violin.

Participants hailed the training, saying it would go a long way in improving their music teaching skills.

“I am quite excited. My church choir is now going to include marimba in its performances,” said one of the participants, Takunda Zhou.

Cecilia Mapudzi said the training was an eye-opener and urged schools to embrace the teaching of musical instruments in schools.

“I urge heads of schools to encourage their teachers to participate in these workshops and support their staff financially and materially,” she said.

Chihora is a gospel musician and a specialist music teacher at Cecil John Rhodes Primary School in Gweru. He recently released a gospel DVD album, which features pupils in one of the songs titled Moyo Wangu.

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