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S. Africa supports kids to learn classical music

02-16-2012 11:17 BJT

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Soweto is a South African township steeped in history. It's well-known for being the home of two famous Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. It's also the epicenter of the struggle and protests against Apartheid rule. Now, it's also home to BUSKAID, a special musical project that gives formerly-disadvantaged township kids the opportunity to learn classical music. CCTV Correspondent Rene Del Carme brings us the story.

A typical morning in Diepkloof Soweto. Neighbours chatting on street corners and going about their chores. The devout making their way to church.

And the kids from the Busk-Aid Music School arriving for several hours of hard work on their instruments of string. They are aged 6 and above. And they have one thing in common, the passion for music. The school offers tuition and instruments to more than 90 young people all from Soweto and its environs. Admission to Busk-Aid is based more on proximity to school and the socio-economic circumstances of their families, than their musical prowess. Most of these little ones - who play either the violin, the viola or the cello - say they love their instruments, the music and their teachers.

Music teacher Rosemary Nalden, was a musician in the UK when she heard about the need for tuition and instruments in South African townships.

She was so moved, she came to South Africa to help and ended up founding BuskAid.

CCTV's Rene Del Carme said, "Rosemary says her decision to start the BUSKAID Project in 1997 was not a patronising act by a middle-class white woman. She says it was because she acknowledged the great potential of the children of Soweto, a traditionally-disadvantaged community. "

Rosemary Nalden, music teacher

Rosemary Nalden, music teacher, said, "I was taken. I was sort of intrigued. I was grabbed by these children, who had this sort of combination of being incredibly musical and incredibly motivated, and so without the sort of inhibitions that I was used to in England. It wasn't just because you wanted to sort of help little kids who were poor. It was because you saw something that a huge potential and that could rise out of this community and really take the world by storm."

Many of the talented young musicians from the Busk-Aid project have gone on to win scholarships from the Royal Academy of Music in London.

While others are music teachers or musicians in their own right in South Africa.And the Busk-Aid Ensemble has become well-known internationally for its high standards of musicality and performance.

BUSKAID's vision is to give all township children the opportunity to channel their creative energies and talents through learning and playing classical music to the highest standards.And it sure sounds as though, they're hitting the right notes.


Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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