Music students selection slated for Monday

The screening of students for next year's intake at Nyundo Music School will start on Monday. The exercise will take place at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) in each province and Kigali.
WDA Director General Jerome Gasana (R) and Jacques Muligande a music teacher, at the press conference yesterday. (John Mbanda)
WDA Director General Jerome Gasana (R) and Jacques Muligande a music teacher, at the press conference yesterday. (John Mbanda)

The screening of students for next year’s intake at Nyundo Music School will start on Monday.

The exercise will take place at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) in each province and Kigali.

Jerome Gasana, the director-general of the Work Force Development Authority (WDA), said the selection will start with Western Province.

Of the 60 students, 30 will be given the green light to participate in the final screening exercise at Petit Stade Kigali on December 23.

“Those eligible should have attended nine years basic education, have music talent and knowledge of the English language,” Gasana said.

He said the prospective students will perform before a panel of five judges.

He encouraged more girls to participate, saying there is a deliberate policy to attract more girls into the music industry with one of the days of screening reserved exclusively for girls.

Last selection saw the admission of only five girls out of 30 students.

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Jacques Muligande a music teacher (L) speaks to journalists as WDA Director General Jerome Gasana looks on yesterday.

The first vocational public music school in Nyundo was established in March with 30 students who were selected after a nationwide talent search.

The school was officially launched in October.

It has five teachers from Rwanda and two experts from the US.

Jacques Murigande, a teacher at the school, says the students have gone through intense hands-on training in music instrument fundamentals, vocal techniques, music theory, music traditions as well as music business practices to prepare them for life after school.

“All students now have a business plan and are conversant with the music industry,” he said.
Some of the students have started participating in different music competitions in the country and beyond.

“Before joining the school, I could not play any music instrument but after getting the skills I took part in the East African gospel music competitions in June. I was selected to compete in the $1 million Africa music competitions due in South Africa in April next year,” said Yves Rugamba, a student at the Rubavu-based school.

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Jacques Muligande a music teacher (L) and WDA Director General Jerome Gasana at the press conference yesterday. (Photos by John Mbanda)

Gasana said there is need for concerted efforts to increase music schools and student enrolment by 2017.

He revealed that there is an investor who has expressed interest in opening up a music school in Muhanga District and would be granted a go ahead after assessment.

Gasana explained that encouraging more music students is part of government’s target to increase TVET intake from the current 40 per cent to 60 per cent by 2018.

Today, there are 365 TVET schools and 65 per cent of them are privately owned.

The music students have a choice to study for one or two years and get certificates or three years and qualify with a diploma in music.

The curriculum involves training and connecting the students to expert teachers in other schools outside the country for exposure and making music instruments among other things.

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