Key Focus Areas


Our dream is that every child is given the opportunity to try their hand at music. We provide a choice of 26 instruments for the pupils to choose from and these instruments are taught by professional Cape Town teachers. Pupils begin on recorder or violin and progress on an annual basis through a choice of different instruments. For those who do not continue, at the very least they have experienced the joy of music, which they otherwise would never have been able to do. All pupils are required to play in one or more of the following: Orchestras, Choirs or Jazz Bands. A shared musical experience cuts across language barriers, cultural differences, and socio-economic differences to create a community. Ensembles become a safe shared place for children emotionally and helps them develop as positive, healthy young adults. Performing in ensembles brings young people together which encourages teamwork and mutual support all the while creating unforgettable memories.


The creation of an African Instrument Orchestra where South African children of all races perform side by side on our country’s indigenous instruments, is our dream. All pupils partake in indigenous cultural instrument tuition for 1 year as part of their basic education at which point selected pupils are auditioned to join the African Instrument Orchestra. Indigenous cultural musical heritage in South Africa is vast and complex but we focus on Mbira, Djembe, Reed Shakers, Uhadi Bow, Ngyunga and Kudu Horns. This project has been initiated under the guidance of South African icon, Dizu Plaatjies and we believe it contributes to increased understanding of South African indigenous cultural history and its natural participation in everyday life. The AIO collaborates with our other ensembles, in an experimental inclusion of cross-racial and cross-cultural participation as a one of its kind creative platform.


The high schools in Hout Bay do not offer music as a matric subject and at present, gifted individuals, who show a good aptitude for music and a passion for pursuing music as a career, are left unqualified for auditions after matric. For pupils interested in tertiary education studies, KMA provides focused training and qualifications until they are ready. KMA has successfully entered 4 of its senior pupils into the UCT Jazz Degree programme. Our pre-University course covers basic music education such as harmony, theory, music history, technical instrumental understanding and Aural skills training. KMA is available to our Tertiary pupils for additional resources, tutorship or financial help. Bridging that gap for our young adults is the goal of this programme.


The development of young people’s beliefs about their abilities is necessary for developing a growth mindset as a means of achieving successful performance outcomes in life in general. Music contributes substantially to this. Our many opportunities to perform throughout the year offer the pupil chances to try it out and ultimately to enjoy presenting their talents and efforts to an adoring audience. Pupils perform in monthly lunchtime concerts, quarterly soirees and monthly department concerts. We hold a pupil showcase once a year, including adhoc requests for performances. KMA also takes relevant pupils to the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsals to expose pupils to professional musicians. Regular performances for both pupils as well as the broader community form an important link to providing cultural experiences to the Hout Bay valley: KMA transforms into a professional Intimate Soiree Venue on an average of once a month to support South African music artists and guests from abroad. These wonderful soirees provide opportunities for the pupils and community to attend concerts and become part of the audience. The KMA Jazz Bands hold an annual fundraiser which includes professional Cape Town Jazz musicians who play with the band for the evening.


In addition to our music education course, we are also concerned with the general well-being of each child. Our school bus provides safe transport to and from KMA, and our Lunch Club offers a daily nourishing meal for every pupil. We have our children’s eyes tested and supply glasses, provide clothing and intervene with medical assistance. Covid-19 necessitated our involvement in food security for pupils’ families and we have chosen to continue with this for the time being, as far as possible. Fresh veggies from our garden and a partnership with local food growers contributes weekly to food security.


“Play” is our middle name, and our Music Therapy programme encourages creativity and expression in a safe, non-verbal medium. Assessing the mental and emotional health of our pupils is managed through in-house surveys and psychometric testing, which also contributes to our impact assessments. Our Social Worker provides ongoing support to traumatised children and, together with the music therapist, ensures every child participates in a focus group through the year. The focus group themes are drawn from predominant issues that arise in assessments, such as bullying and managing anxiety, and are centered around 21st Century skills development.


The pandemic exacerbated an already desperate situation in South African schools and KMA is dedicated to supporting the growing Zero Drop-Out campaign by engaging in school homework support, and our reading library is overflowing with beautiful books to help with literacy. We know that every child at KMA is the future, and our mentorship project contributes to awakening the thought leaders in each one. “Heroes” come share their stories with our children and our peer-mentors learn how to care for the younger, vulnerable pupils in need of a friend.