Editorial: Borrow a leaf from Nyundo School of Art and Music

Within just three years of its inception, the music department at Nyundo School of Art and Music is already redefining the local music industry terrain.

The pioneer graduates, who only graduated last year, have taken the local music industry by storm. They are all working in studios, regularly back up big stars, and perform at big corporate parties, presidential galas and high-level national events.

Some of them have released songs and the feedback is impressive.

Although it is in its nascent stage, the school has set the bar high as far as the future of the local music industry is concerned.

If plans to establish a new modern recording studio and performance space materialise, we could soon see an emergence of a regional hub for music talent.

The department opened doors in March 2014 with 30 students selected after a thorough countrywide recruitment process. This was part of the government’s plan to professionalise the music industry through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA).

In the broader context of creating at least 200,000 off-farm jobs annually, it is another sustainable programme that will not only hone the talent of gifted youth, but will also empower them to alleviate poverty by creating own jobs.

The school is commercially oriented and offers skills that are relevant to the job market. It has now started to produce professional musicians who can make a difference in the multi-million dollar global music industry.

This will also come with competition and eventually good quality music. The era of having a few veteran musicians dominating the industry may soon be history. Indeed, Nyundo School of Art and Music has lessons that other stakeholders should pick.

One is innovation and understanding what the market needs. Training institutions must learn to match the skills they impart to their students with market demand. It is not enough to just churn out graduates without the skills that respond to the market needs.