Awarding youth’s budding musical talent

Lotus River primary schools,Perivale and Stephen Road pupils received certificates for completing the first theory module in music, an extramural activity.

Africa Jam, a leadership and lifeskills youth outreach organisation, in Ottery, launched their music school at the old Lotus River School hall, on Saturday July 30.

The 15-year-old NPO partnered with primary schools and libraries to form the Africa Jam Music School, where children will be taught how to read and play music.

The music students have already completed module 1 in basic theory and will continue with module 2 in applying theory to a preferred instrument; module 3 in sharpening music reading; module 4 in ensemble playing; and module 5 in advancement to instrument of choice.

Youth leader Christo Williams said they aim to train more youth from Ottery. “Music is a powerful and valuable skill and it’s worthwhile being shared,” said Mr Williams.

He said it’s been proven that music has the power to unify people and promote harmony. “We need to come back to the basics of caring for one another,” said Mr Williams.

He said Ottery is a vibrant community but many young kids are idle. “We want that to change, youth should have more opportunities and options. Music is for everyone no matter which field you are planning to go work or study in. Learning music is a fun tool that can unlock the power of our brains. The young musicians’ learn how to concentrate and focus. It helps with stress relief and it promotes team work, time management and mindfulness of our surroundings.”

Mr Williams said those are all things that contribute to somebody’s success and the upliftment of society. “Within our Africa Jam Ottery afternoon programmes parents have the peace of mind to know their kids are in environments where learning and development takes place. We believe in the youth of Ottery and the music school is one of those initiatives that will be a real change agent.”

Music teacher Edmund Phalla said music balances the connection between the right brain and left brain. He said music should not just be an alternative to keeping children off the streets. “It should be something to connect their soul,” said Mr Phalla.

He said learning to play music had improved the children’s results at school. “Did you know that Albert Einstein used to play the violin? And former American president Bill Clinton plays the saxophone.”

Denzil van Graan, principal of Perivale Primary School, confirmed that pupils from their school who were part of the music programme had improved their results since starting lessons.

For more information contact Mr Williams on 073 788 3833 or email