Music Schools in the Community

Music Schools in the Community- 2018 Programme                                                                            

The 2018 edition of the Ministry of Community Development Culture and the Arts’ Music Schools in the Community programme commences on July 12th and runs for a period of 4 weeks. This initiative, which provides formal musical training to student across Trinidad, is open to persons of all ages with intermediate knowledge level of music and takes place at five (5) locations in Trinidad. The schools featured in this year’s programme are Pan Jammers, Golden Hands, Desperadoes, Deltones Institute of Music, and the SWAHA Hindu College.

The programme focuses on students 12 to 18 years and has been re-designed to include a scholarship programme which give students an opportunity to further develop their skills in a community based music school, an internship programme with the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO) and the National Philharmonic Orchestra (NPO) and a capacity building programme aimed at developing the management capability of cultural and artistic community organizations and individuals.

The Music School in the Community programme, first titled “Music Schools in the Panyard”, was launched in June 2012 in five (5) Panyards in communities however in 2013, the programme was re-branded “Music Schools in the Community” and extended to other community spaces. Since its launch, over 1700 students have participated in the programme which has as its focus music literacy and instrument performance. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in the Royal School of Music Theory examinations and in 2017 of the 24 students sponsored to write the Grade 1 Examination; 23 passed, with 19 obtaining Distinctions.

In 2017, to culminate the programme and to demonstrate the extraordinary talent of these students the “Dream Big” concert was held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA). “Dream Big” brought together all the students, from as young four (4) to those who have retired and always wanted to learn an instrument; they all fulfilled their dreams on the prestigious NAPA stage. Each school showcased individual pieces and with the final performance of the night as a joint orchestra under the direction of Akua Leith, Musical Director of the National Steel Symphony Orchestra. Dream Big 2017 was an outstanding success.

Music Schools in the Community is focused on teaching, developing and enhancing instrument performance skills, theoretical knowledge and character development training while providing opportunities for participants to increase their personal, socially-useful and even commercially viable talent. The goal is to discover and develop the nascent talent that exist in communities and provide opportunities to make their talents sustainable.