Music instrument building & repair training in SA


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The Music In Africa Foundation
The Music In Africa Foundation

The Music In Africa Foundation calls for participants to train in building and repairing music instruments in Johannesburg, SA from 20 to 26 November.

The Music In Africa Foundation’s instrument building and repair workshop will train participants to build and repair music instruments, as well as how to monetize the craft. It’s an intense workshop that will be facilitated by experts in the field in Johannesburg, South Africa from 20 to 26 November 2016.

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The workshop will culminate in a concert on traditional instruments at the Wits Theatre on 25 November 2016, where some participants will collaborate with some of South Africa’s best traditional instrumentalists.

One of the main objectives of this initiative is to encourage the formalization and professionalization of instrument making and repair in Africa, especially in relation to indigenous instruments. Participants will also have the opportunity to visit and learn from established music instrument making companies in Johannesburg as part of the training. Certificates of participation will be given at the end of the workshop.

The workshop also aims to:

  • Foster the rapid monetization and sustainable development of instrument making and repair in Africa.
  • Help instrument makers develop their careers.
  • Develop awareness of music instrument makers in Africa with a view to promote their works to a wider global audience.
  • Facilitate the sharing and transfer of skills in indigenous instruments between countries on the continent.
  • Promote constant exchange of ideas, expertise, experiences and know-how among instrument makers in Africa.
  • Facilitate the identification of existing gaps in the field with a view to contribute new solutions.
  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills in indigenous instruments between new and older generations.

The training will cover two categories of music instruments:

  • Conventional Instrument: acoustic guitar making, maintenance and repair
  • Traditional Instruments: umakhweyana and marimba making, maintenance and repair

Who can apply?

  • The workshop is open to persons from these countries/regions:
    • South Africa (22 trainees will be accepted from all provinces)
    • East Africa (1 trainee will be selected)
    • West Africa (1 trainee will be selected)
    • Central Africa (1 trainee will be selected)

Preference will be given to candidates who already have basic knowledge of instruments, instrument building or repair. Participants will be required to attend all sessions.

How to enter:

To be considered send your application to before or on 10 October 2016.
Note: your application should include the following:

  • Short motivation (why is it important for you to be trained, how will this benefit you and other people?).
  • Indicate which instrument you want to learn (between the guitar group or the marimba and umakhweyana group).
  • 1-page CV
  • Proof of involvement or knowledge of instrument building (formal or informal) will be an advantage. Pictures will be accepted.

Travel expenses
Participants from outside Johannesburg will be offered free accommodation and travel and a per diem. The full programme, including trainers, venue and performers will be announced in the last week of September. Successful candidates will be informed by 15 October 2016.

For more information, please e-mail or call 011 442 3232.

The Music In Africa Instrument Building And Repair Project is funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC). Supporting partners are the Wits Music Division, Goethe-Institut, Siemens Stiftung and the SAMRO Foundation.

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