Road Trip January 2019 / Best Future from Today (BFT), Kigali
The Current Situation
The new year started for our team with summery temperatures. In Kigali at that time the "small dry season" was up to date, there was wonderful 25 degrees Celsius and from time to time a downpour. The team included: Beat Rink / Head of Crescendo International, Letizia Walser / Head of a Music School in Switzerland, Piano Teacher and Pianist, Isa Halme / Violinist and responsible for "Violin Kids" at BFT and Dominik Brühwiler / Pianist and Piano Teacher.
We were very curious to see what fruit the second visit to our partner "Best Future from Today" (BFT) would carry. It's nice to be able to build up on the relationships and friendships we've made on our first trip from last March / April, and to have a close partner in Epimaque Munyankindi as Head of BFT.
In advance, we were also able to win more people from BFT and musicians from Kigali to start working with us. Our wish (goal) of this stay was to initiate the start of a small music school at BFT. Letizia Walser with her many years of experience was thus the ideal person in our team.
Music Theory Courses
Our goal of this road trip was not only the organization and the start of a music school, but the focus was also on teaching.
Letizia Walser inspired both children and adult students with her creatively designed lessons in music theory. Clearly and step by step, her students learned the basics of reading notes, note values and rhythm. But it was not just the school desk pressed. Open air, for example, they were able to vividly put the rhythm into practice with the help of movements of the whole body, or skip the inhibition of reading notes with games.
The thirst for knowledge to understand something of music theory, and not just hear it by hearsay, was very great and the participants want to continue in the future with it.
Isa Halme also supervised the Violin Kids on this road trip again. Whether in the classrooms of BFT or open air violin lessons, she led her young violin students with patience, skill and enthusiasm. Hand position, bow posture and first string experiences demand perseverance from the students as well as from the teacher. It is wonderful to see how a successful tone on the violin reflects the success on the joyful faces of the students.
Isa Halme was in charge of the Violin Kids as well as Eugene. He is the violin teacher of the Violin Kids on site. Several times a week she also gave him violin lessons and supported him (also during the year) with valuable tips for his lessons with the children.
The group has grown in numbers within the last few months and so it came as if the team was able to bring back sponsored violins to Kigali.
The violins need the necessary care as well. Isa Halme had all the material and tools to give the already existing violins the necessary care or repair.
Dominik Brühwiler taught piano beginners in group lessons. The group consisted of men only this time. Classroom teaching gave students the opportunity to experience a holistic way of imagining simple melodies, rhythms and finger movements.
What seemed to be so easy at the beginning turned out to be a challenge in hindsight or encouraged the students to make their own little variations. In any case, fun and laughter were just as present as the learning effect. Again and again, the students helped each other within the group. When singing canons, the little "men's choir" also showed his pleasure in the music. The students also spontaneously accepted the challenge of searching for the learned music theory course in the sung music text, recognizing and naming grades and note values, with success! So they learned the connection between theory and practice.
Interest and gratitude for the courses were very high among the students. It became clear that well-structured lessons are highly appreciated and recognized. It is also a recreational activity for many at the same time.
Structure and Organization of the Music School BFT
Our goal was to discuss the first steps with the leader of BFT, Epimaque Munyankindi, and anyone else who will be involved in organization and music lessons of the new music school, and to plan a start. Letizia Walser conducted a number of one-on-one interviews with responsible musicians in a very short time, evaluated the different areas of activity and possibilities for each individual and at the same time also trained them in music theory. Together with Epimaque Munyankindi and Beat Rink, a budget has already been created and questions regarding classrooms discussed.
The remuneration of teachers is important to us. The lessons should not be given for free. It therefore means for each of the teachers a small, regular income for their work.
The music lessonsn for the music students at BFT Music School will be for free and contribute to music education.
All those responsible persons were present at our overall meeting and together we could decide to found the Music School BFT! We will start with the subjects of music theory, piano, guitar and violin (which is already in full swing with the Violin Kids under the local direction of Eugene Turikumana).
We are very happy that this start of Music School BFT has been so wonderful!
The next step will be to educate the teachers and give them support for their teaching. Above all, it will be about providing them with the necessary training in didactics. So they can offer a good structured lesson.
We look back gratefully on a fulfilling and successful road trip and hope that this launch will be the beginning of a thriving BFT Music School!