Working with music leaders and choirs in the South of Zambia

Day 1
After a long overnight journey we arrived in Livingstone on Tuesday afternoon and were greeted by the blazing sunshine and clear blue skies. We were told that this is not hot (pushing 30C) as it can get up to 40C from November. We took advantage of our free afternoon to visit the magnificent Victoria Falls.  Here we are with the Livingstone bridge.
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Day 2

We were excited and nervous about our first day in Mukuni, and not sure what to expect, but we were warmly greeted and welcomed by Gift, one of the music leaders, who showed us the music centre.

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We spent the morning working with Gift and about 6 other music leaders, both adults and teenagers, starting our four days to start them reading music notation. We spent this morning on rhythms, and spent a lot of time stamping and clapping. Here is Tim and our very keen students.

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At lunchtime we were shown around the village and saw the health clinic and market.

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In the afternoon we spent some time with the youth choir of children aged around 14-18.  They sang us lots of their own songs and we taught them an arrangement of Wade in the Water and played various games to get to know them.  We hope to organise a short performance on Saturday which will be our last day.

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Day 3
We returned to Mukuni for our second day ready to introduce some notes to our pupils to add to the rhythms they’ve already learnt. We’re using solfa initially to help them understand pitches and their relationships just starting with doh, me, and soh. We practiced writing and reading the rhythms from yesterday, adding a few notes to the rhythms each time.

Our afternoon session was really fun with the youth choir. We started with some vocal warm-ups and the different ways we use our voices and we taught them a four part medley/round of When the Saints Go Marching In // Swing Low // I Wanna Sing // This Train is Bound for Glory.

They loved the competition of the different parts and we worked on them all keeping the same pulse – not slowing down if you have long notes, and not speeding up if you have fast ones!  We ended with some high energy games.

The cows seemed to be enjoying the music too and came rather close to the school!image7 image8

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