Aspiring musicians from across the province will soon have a place to perfect their music skills and flourish as musicians with the establishment of the new Music and Entrepreneur Academy.
The academy, which is spearheaded by the Bridges for Music, is the first of its kind in the townships and aims to take a holistic approach to music education.
The academy will equip budding artists with music and business skills as well as entrepreneurial knowledge to ensure that they are well prepared for the music industry and do not fall through the cracks.
Students will undergo an intense six-month training programme under the watchful eye of music producer and singer Thulani Headman, who will be assisted by some of the country’s leading musicians, as well as international artists.
The academy has also partnered with some of the province’s leading music festivals to give students a platform on which to launch their music careers.
Construction of the multi-million rand school is under way next to Langa clinic, on a site that previously housed the Tsoga environmental project. The building is expected to be completed next month, with the first intake of students in January.
When Vukani visited the site last week, construction workers were working hard to meet the completion deadline
The whole project is solely funded by international investors, who hope to give aspiring musicians of different races an opportunity to excel locally, nationally and at international level.
Once completed, the school will have a lecture room, small cubicles with DJ equipment, office space and an outdoor stage. However, only between 20 and 25 people would be able to enrol for a term.
With the assistance of Music for Bridges, Mr Headman said the school would see the realisation of his life-long dream. He said the project had been in the making since 2012 following his meeting with international guitarist Valentino Barrioseta.
Among other things, he said, they discussed the concept of bridging the gap between global and international music, and the development of artists from the disadvantaged communities.
He said townships had a lot of potential, but resources remained a challenge. Mr Headman said the academy would ensure each student received individual attention and support. They would not only be taught music, but management and financial skills in order to manage their lives without the assistance.
He said they would have stringent admission policies to ensure they registered people who were genuinely committed to the programme, and to prevent drop-outs.
“We want this to be a happy place and we are going to be very strict in terms of who we allow into the facility,” he said.
Mr Headman said the school would be like any other tertiary institution with Grade 12 as a * admission requirement. “It is open to anyone, not just people from Langa. The idea is to bridge that gap between communities,” he said.
The Ndawusuka ndikhulule hitmaker said as a result of lack of resources and community infrastructure a lot of young people got involved in crime and through the school, he hoped to nurture and expose their students to the international music world.
Mr Headman said the launch of a local academy would also eliminate the need for aspiring musicians to go to Johannesburg for career opportunities.
“There is a lot of pressure in Johannesburg. That is why most people end up doing other stuff,” he said.