David’s Temple Music School offers drum, guitar, piano and the traditional instrument Inanga along with singing lessons starting for three-year-olds and continuing through to 18-year-olds. The school has demonstrated to develop discipline and confidence that will serve children well throughout their lives. Peter Ntigurirwa who founded the school in 2015 views music as an essential way that human beings connect with others and explore their creativity. He had a chat with Sharon Kantengwa on the impact of the school and his aspirations.
How did the idea to start a music school for kids come about?
The school was founded in 2015 with a purpose of nurturing musical talents in kids from the age of three to 18. The inspiration came when I read a research article that proved that learning music at an early stage opens up children’s minds from the concentration that they have when playing the instruments because they use the hands or feet while also using the eyes at the same time.
Secondly, there is a difference in concentration levels between learning music at an early age and adulthood. As an adult you already have a lot of things that have occupied your mind and therefore learning usually takes a larger space of time. Before we began teaching kids we had a music school for adults but we were compelled to close it because students would pay but fail to attend class because they were busy with other engagements.
Also, we believe instilling discipline among our students. Most of our schools are based at church schools because we believe that the students will join Sunday school where they will play the instrument or entertain their colleagues at school.
What can you say of your experience since you started this school?
Since we began we have released 300 students who have left aware of their talents. Some students who register for piano lessons and end up learning drums because they feel that is what suits them best. The traditional inanga also comes as a compulsory package and so those who love it or are good at will play the instruments at functions, and so we let the kids explore different instruments until they know where they belong.
We have many students who are already pursuing music. Some were enrolled at Nyundo School of Music, others are using their skills to serve God in church, while we have also been able to employ others to teach our students.
We teach during end of year holidays because short holidays are difficult for them since they usually have school assignments to do. Classes are classified in two models, the first aiming at training kids how to play, individually while with the second one, we form bands by mixing the different talents.
On the parents’ part, what feedback do they give you about their kids?
Their feedback is always that their kids are always bored at home and so bringing their kids here gives the parents relief while they are at work, because they know their kids are doing something productive, other than just watching television or roaming around the neighborhood. Even the few hours that they spend here are better than just sitting at home, so they are grateful for this initiative.
How do you envision the future of this project?
We hope that this project will yield many benefits, for example to the Ministry of Sports and Culture, because we are the only school that teaches music during holidays, and we teach the inanga. We ensure that the students make presentations before their parents, we stage Christmas concerts and we also award them with certificates, before their parents. We hope that we will be recognised by MINISPOC or Ministry of Youth and we hope to continue teaching children Christian values while also grooming their talents while instilling passion for culture among the kids. We want to be a leading example for others.