As our valley is surrounded by mountains and is at least 30km’s way from the closest music school, and given the local model C schools do not have music departments, this presents significant problems for the poorer members of our community, excluding them entirely from any musical tuition. Formed in 2007, our primary goal was to address the ongoing lack of cultural stimulation which faces youth at risk in Hout Bay.
Providing music education in as many forms and styles as possible to Hout Bay’s under-privileged and economically challenged communities fosters racial and social interaction and integration amongst the three very distinct communities in the area: Imizamu Yethu informal settlement, Hangberg fishing village and the greater Hout Bay Valley.
The very nature of our interaction with pupils and families, from all socio-economic groups means that we are, in essence, involved in humanitarian work. And so, we have high standards: teaching skills, aesthetics, quality and enriching opportunities enables us to use our work as a social bridge to make learning music both a life skill and a magical time in their lives.
Music education in itself contributes to language development, increased IQ, spatial-temporal skills and development of neural activity. What we love to see most is how music makes young lives magical, through giving our pupils a better understanding of themselves, “higher horizons” and, for many, the first ever taste of expressing themselves.
At any given time we have a minimum of 150 individual learners in lessons with 18 teachers who specialize in some 22 instruments. Our ensembles, workshops, and regular performances compliment our teaching programmes.