Artists in School programme – Working with artists to improve music and dance education in Western Cape Schools

12 Jul 2021

Artists in School programme – Working with artists to improve music and dance education in
Western Cape Schools
“This program isn’t just for today or tomorrow but it’s a long journey where you can live your dreams in music.” – Nathan Marang, Music Artist-facilitator (Phakama Arts Foundation, West Coast)
“What I’m looking forward to is to do this with the students. I want to learn more. I want to teach them how to be creative and how to use your imagination and create rhythms, and use anything as an instrument.” – Shannon Kelly Ryan, Music Artist-facilitator (Klapmuts Primary School, Cape Winelands

Artists have an important role to play in the education sector especially those who are teaching artists or as we like to call them artist-facilitators. The idea of artists working in schools has been on the national agenda of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sports (DCAS) ASSITEJ South Africa together with the DCAS Western Cape has launched a small pilot with 20 artist-facilitators that is aimed at having artists assist teachers with the Music and Dance components of the CAPS curriculum. We are working with six different primary and high schools in the Cape Winelands, West Coast, and Central Karoo. The artist-facilitators are currently initiating after school programmes at
the schools identified and are learning about the CAPS curriculum. We are hopeful to have them team teaching in school during the third term.

Cape Winelands – Dance for All
In the Cape Winelands, we are working with two dancers Bruno Wani and Luyanda Mdingi from Dance For All. Luyanda is a multi-hyphenate creative practitioner with skills that range from dance to dee-jaying. After years working as a professional performer Luyanda wanted to share his knowledge through dance. He is working with Makapula Secondary School in Kayamandi. Bruno hails from Langa. He is an experienced dancer who began his training with JazzArt Dance Theatre and has worked with well-known dancers and choreographers Mpotsheng Shuping and Sonwabo Masepe. He has now fallen in love with teaching. Bruno is keen to understand the Dance component of the CAPS curriculum and how his skills can be transferred into the classroom. He is working with Klapmuts Primary School.

Our music artist-facilitators in the Cape Winelands are diverse and exciting talents. Anga Bixa and Sinomtha Zake are currently studying Music at Stellenbosch University. Anga has not yet chosen his major but is a competent pianist. Sinomtha is majoring in recorder and had previously done choral conducting. Together they will be assisting Makapula Secondary School with their choir programme. When they are not doing their course work Anga and Sinomtha enjoy giving their time back through community work.

Theodore Cloete, Jean-Henry Snyders, and Shannon Kelly Ryan all reside in Klapmuts and will be working with Klapmuts Primary School. For Shannon and Theodore their connection with the school is a personal one having both gone there in their youth and participating in their music programmes. Klapmuts Primary School no longer have a music programme but Theodore, Jean-Henry, and Shannon are busy gathering support to make this happen. Theodore is a well-known musician in the area. He is a sought-after keyboard player, sound engineer, and technician. Jean-Henry was working as a music producer in Johannesburg. He is an experience jazz musician and is keen to share his expertise with younger learners. Shannon grew up playing drums at church where she would sometimes offer lessons to children. She currently works as a teacher assistant at Klapmuts Primary School and is excited at the opportunity to merge her two loves.

Karoo – Prince Albert Community Trust
In Prince Albert the Prince Albert Community Trust has five new recruits who we are happy to have on the programme. Claudia Hendricks, Rowina Pietersen, Corbin Pienaar, Raphael Darries, and Cheslin Koonthea all grew up in Prince Albert. They want to be seen as good role models for children in their community especially those who have a more creative edge. They are alumni of the Prince Albert Primary School. They know that working side by side with their former teachers may be a little strange at first, but they are keen to give it a try.

Claudia and Rowina both grew up singing from a young age and have performed on many a stage in their short careers. Corbin is a former sports star turned passionate dancer. Raphael is the resident keyboardist at the centre, whereas Cheslin is known for has prowess on the drums.

West Coast – Phakama Arts Foundation

Our artist-facilitators in the West Coast are spread between Saldanha and Vredenburg working in Diazville High School and Weston Secondary School. Many of the artist-facilitators in The West Coast are well trusted creatives in their communities. None of them have any facilitation or training teaching and are seeing this as an opportunity to expand their practice.

Mary-Jane is the only dancer in the West Coast who is working with us currently. She has a deep passion for dance which has recently been reignited. She is always looking for opportunities to learn and to share with those around her, especially the youth. Nathan Marang found his passion for music through the church where he plays the keyboard. Jamelo and Tarsha Boois are a powerhouse couple who together run a music company. They often play together where Tarsha sings while Jamelo plays the keys. Completing our artist-facilitator list are Marlin Klaase and Anwell Bergh who are both great guitar players.
“I am looking forward to help, inspire and educate young people in music and to go as far as I can to inspire others to do their best.” – Nathan Marang, Music Artist-Facilitator (Phakama Arts Foundation, West Coast)

The Artists in School Progamme is a 6-month pilot that runs from April-September 2021.

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