Thursday, December 10, 2015

Home Assignment in Cape Town

Kirstein speaks at Bellville Uitsig NG Kerk, Cape Town
The Combrink trio are now safely in Cape Town as we look forward to Christmas and New Year with Kirstein's family. We will have a great two months or so of quality family time, meeting with supporters and MAFSA, and reflecting on the last four years of Kirstein's time with MAF Tanzania.

We would love to see you at the following services:

13th December - Bellville Uitsig NG Kerk, Cape Town for Johann's Dedication
10th January - Table View NG Kerk, Cape Town
17th January - Neos Gemeente, Centurion Pretoria

Click here to view Kirstein's presentation slideshow so that you won't miss out on our latest news if we are unable to see you. As a family we would like to thank all our supporters for their prayers and for partnering with us financially for these first four years and for 2015 in particular.

May God bless you all with a peaceful and joyful Christmas time and New Year!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

So this happened...

Introducing my latest project - I have a feeling this will be a long-term, full-time endeavour...

Johann Peter Combrink 22.7.15

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Inauguration of the Cultural Arts Centre


Randy Stubbs presenting the new Cultural Arts Centre
I was so pleased to be able to attend the inauguration of the Cultural Arts Centre at Makumira University last Friday. What an inspiring event and they have only just begun! Randy Stubbs has worked tirelessly against multiple substantial challenges to get this project off the ground, and the presentations reflected the impact this centre has and will have. It was great to see the finished extension of the university assembly hall complete with new lighting and sound systems, as well as the nearby site where the new arts centre building will be constructed. These facilities are among the best you will find in East Africa. 

The project has been funded by the European Union Development Fund, and has two partners; Alliance Franco-Tanzanienne and the Kilimanjaro Film Institute. AFT are helping out with training in project management and entrepreneurship, and KFI are assisting in documenting field research in traditional music. In attendance at the ceremony were various university and church leaders, a representative for the EU ambassador, and the Executive Secretary of BASATA (the National Arts Council I mentioned in my last post). The centre will primarily be an archive of the cultural heritage of Northern Tanzania, as well as a performing space for cultural performances for tourists.

The performers who will be undertaking regular cultural performances as well as outreach workshops are in the middle of a month's intensive training before they are reduced from 30 to a team of 15. The amazing versatility of the musician-dancers was a treat to watch - they performed snapshots of traditional dances from various people groups of Northern Tanzania, as well as more contemporary Tanzanian music. The interaction of traditional rural and contemporary urban styles was fascinating and inspiring for me as I try to imagine a music curriculum for students, in the same context, that allows them to be cultural ambassadors and global citizens. Looking forward to the future of culture in Arusha!



Swahili Jazz

Masaai rap!

New lighting system in the assembly hall

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Music Policy Landscape of Kenya and Tanzania

I have just discovered the new National Music Policy of Kenya that was published at the beginning of this year and it got me thinking about music at a policy level in Tanzania also. The policy is immensely broad and encompasses all aspects of the music industry and education in Kenya. It highlights the many gaps and challenges existing and calls for the beginnings of many new, substantial initiatives and institutions such as the National Music Board and Tribunal. 

Whilst the Kenyan Constitution mentions the protection and promotion of music, there is little other legislation relating to music or organisations supporting musicians such as trade unions or professional associations. Yet it is estimated that over 100,000 people are employed in some way in the music industry.

The two policy objectives I am particularly interested in are:
iii) To spearhead the preservation and development of indigenous music as well as other music genres;
iv) To support the process of music education and training at all levels;

The use of music to express national identity and for tourism features as one way to preserve Kenyan traditional music, and it is interesting how the strategies they wish to adopt are similar to what the Cultural Arts Centre is following with music from Northern Tanzania. 

Music Education features in other education policy documents but it is great that a distinct National Music Education policy has been called for. Also it will be fascinating to see what "an academy for the teaching and learning of music in its diverse cultures" looks like in a Kenyan context if it materialises! Again they will only need to look to the Makumira Music Department for ample inspiration...

They intend to fund this all through the new Music Industry Development Fund - good luck to them!

As far as I can find out, Tanzania has an Education Policy and a Cultural Policy but no specific Music policy. Music is no longer seen as distinct in policymaking - in 1974 a National Music Council was formed, and ten years later this became the National Arts Council (BASATA) to include dramatic arts. I couldn't get on to their website (does it still exist?!) but I found this YouTube video of the Executive Secretary saying nothing much.

Tanzania seems to be ahead of Kenya in having already established important institutions within the music sector. There was a musicians union (CHAMADUTA) that was started in the 80s, and this may have been continued by the Tanzania Musicians Network with an English site found here. A group of artists went to Dodoma to call for the recognition of artists and Intellectual Property Rights in the new Tanzanian Constitution (Katiba) which will be voted on this year. Tanzania already has a Cultural Fund (Mfuko wa Utamaduni) developed in 1998 alongside the Swedish government to promote and strengthen the cultural sector in Tanzania. Between 1999 and 2005 it provided grants for 302 cultural projects, but the website has not been updated since... The Copyright Society of Tanzania (COSOTA) was set up in 1999 and seems to be pretty active.

Interestingly, since the end of colonial rule in 1961, musical genres influenced by Tanzanian traditional music such as 'modernised ngoma' and 'Swahili jazz' has had more media coverage than its counterparts in Kenya. Due to the government policy of encouraging a national music, the main broadcaster for the 1960s through to the millenium, Radio Tanzania, either had a 100% Tanzanian or a 50% Tanzanian, 45% African music policy. Kenya has had much more influence from Western classical music with organisations such as the Nairobi Music Society and the Kenya Conservatoire.This may explain why Tanzania established institutions relating to musicians in the 70s and 80s but unfortunately it seems that momentum wasn't sustained.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One month to go at the Pastoral Women's Council

Sponsored girls at Emanyata School, managed by PWC
Time has gone super fast since I wrote on my first month's experience at PWC. The pace hasn't really let up at all but I'm grateful for the experience in so many areas of programme management; establishing HR systems, recruiting, creating a fundraising strategy, writing proposals, donor reports, the Annual Narrative Report, organisational strategy and generally trying to get the PWC documents I inherited into a more workable system.

We moved the office at the end of February from town to a much quieter, more pleasant area near to the airport. We now have a mama who makes delicious lunches (beans and rice, pilau) and the caretaker Lucas makes the morning chai and is generally fabulous. He and his family live next door and they are also Masaai but from Monduli district which is closer to Arusha (PWC mostly works in Loliondo and Longido districts).

A highlight for me has been the recruitment of a new sponsorship officer. Lucia is from the village where Emanyata school is based, and was herself sponsored to go to MaaSae Girls secondary school in Monduli. This school was established by the father of some friends from church and has just celebrated 20 years. She later went on to complete her sixth form studies at another school in Arusha and then  an undergraduate degree in Community Development. She is passionate about girls receiving the same opportunities she did, and I'm confident the sponsorship programme will flourish under her direction. PWC is receiving more sponsorships from individual donors, and a challenge for the future will be more personalised communications between sponsor and student.  Lucia and I also enjoyed a visit to AfricAid who work with sponsored girls but in a different way: The Kisa Project Director was also a sponsored girl who went to school with Lucia - another wonderful result of girls sponsorship!

A definite lowlight these past few months was discovering that there was no editable copy of the constitution for the process of amendment to add an important new article. This involved typing all 18 pages out from scratch. I'm pretty familiar with the organisation now..

Now I'm at the final countdown to handing over to the new Programme Manager, after which I'm free to head home to the UK! It will be sad to say goodbye to my colleagues and to not be directly involved in such a great grassroots organisation, but looking forward to the next challenge!

Monday, February 23, 2015

El Sistema Fellow Teacher Training course

  An example of what we need more of!:
Master of Arts in Teaching Music
a partnership of JAMM, the Juneau Symphony and University of Alaska Southeast
In partnership with Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) and the Juneau Symphony (JS), the University of Alaska Southeast proudly announces its one-year Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Music K-12 certification program to reflect the changing role of today’s music teacher.  As part of the course requirements, MAT students will conduct their teaching internships at JAMM school sites and music classrooms within the Juneau School District, as well as perform in the Juneau Symphony. This  program gives preference to musicians interested in using music for social change. 
Through a competitive application process, up to four $10,000 scholarship are available to music majors/minors whose main instrument is violin, viola, cello, or bass.  MAT graduates are awarded a Master’s degree in Education with an Alaskan teaching certificate in K-12 Music.  Program begins July 26, 2015
Application Deadline:  April 1, 2015 (letter of intent for consideration of scholarship is March 1, 2015)
Living in Juneau, Alaska:  Located in Juneau, Alaska, this artistic community is surrounded by natural beauty and provides an idyllic environment to pursue a graduate degree focused on community engagement, positive youth development, and social change through the arts.  Accessible only by boat or plane, Alaska’s capital supports a symphony, two opera companies, several theatre companies, and a host of other arts opportunities throughout the community.  In 2013, Juneau was selected by the John F. Kennedy Center as the 11th city in the country for its Any Given Child program, an initiative committed to bringing equity and access to arts education for children in grades K-8.  
Interning at Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM): All MAT students will conduct their 9-month internship with JAMM, an El Sistema-inspired program, which uses the power of music and ensemble to help children reach their fullest potential.  JAMM serves 500 students in three elementary schools in the Juneau School District.  Lorrie Heagy will serve as the mentor teacher.  She is the 2011 Alaska Teacher of the Year, school music teacher, and one of fifty Sistema Fellows who studied at the New England Conservatory and in Venezuela to bring Sistema’s transformative approach to the United States.  In addition to general music classes and after-school JAMM programming, MAT students also will gain experiences in classes at the the middle and high school level. 
Quartet-in-Residence: JAMM and the Juneau Symphony, along with other key community stakeholders, will sponsor a Quartet-in-Residence by providing a $10,000 scholarship to four music majors/minors who play a stringed instrument:  violin, viola, cello, or bass.  The quartet will inspire JAMM students, as well as contribute to Juneau’s classical music community and teaching artist pool, while increasing teachers credentialed to work in the K-12 music classroom. 
Aligning the MAT Music (K-12) Certification with the Transformative Role of Today’s Music Teacher:
The role of the music teacher has changed. Music teachers are agents of change, where instrumental music serves as a critical opportunity for all children to have access to the social, emotional, and intellectual benefits that music provides.  The MAT Certification in K-12 Music provides its students coursework that prepares them for their multi-faceted role in today’s society:  as citizen, artist, teachers, and scholar. 
Brain-based Teaching Practices:    
Students will participate in Juneau’s Basic Arts Institute, where participants learn skills that will enable them to apply brain research into their classroom practice and learn first-hand knowledge of how the arts increase student engagement and achievement.  Participants will work with experts, local artists and cultural leaders to explore a variety of arts activities that they can use to integrate the performing, visual, cultural, and media arts into their curriculum.
Rehearsing and Performing with the Juneau Symphony: 
This course mutually benefits the Quartet-in-Residence, as well as the Juneau Symphony. By rehearsing and performing with the Juneau Symphony for its concert series, MAT students maintain their performance skills, while by actively engaging and contributing to Juneau’s musical community 
Emphasis on Positive Youth Development:
Students will apply Lerner’s Positive Youth Development model, as well as other educational theories that emphasize student empowerment, self-determination, efficacy, and resiliency.  Educational theorists such as Freire, Dewey, Bandura, and Dweck provide different lenses in which to understand and support a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional growth. 
Overview of Music Pedagogies and Music Technology Applications: 
Students will actively participate in and teach lessons demonstrating key principles from Dalcroze, Orff, Kodaly, Suzuki, Feierabend, and World Music Drumming.  The lessons also include brain-based teaching strategies that help motivate, engage, and empower students.  Other components of this technology course include GarageBand to create music, Finale to make simplified arrangements, and Web 2.0 tools to document learning as part of a professional educational portfolio. 
Classroom Management:
Although well-structured, developmentally appropriate, and engaging lessons often preclude behavioral issues, today’s music teacher faces challenges different from those of the regular classroom teacher.  Oftentimes, music teachers are tasked with teaching ensembles of fifty students or more (each with and instrument in hand) and  no other adult support.  Place this situation in an after-school context and classroom management can become even more challenging.  To equip MAT students with a more comprehensive tool kit, the internship provides students with an overview of effective classroom approaches, including the Responsive Classroom, Love and Logic, and Michael Grinder’s ENVoY.
Educational Research:   
The MAT K-12 Music Certification program embodies the scholar-practitioner model, which helps students apply new knowledge through action and civic engagement. As part of this research class, students will create and apply new knowledge to effect social change in their school and community.  Grant writing has become a necessity and required skill of today’s music teacher. Students will work alongside JAMM music teachers to identify a research project that will contribute meaningful data toward student outcomes, program effectiveness, or community engagement.  MAT students will incorporate this data into a grant application that they’ve identified and written to help support JAMM.    
Electronic Portfolio:
Throughout the MAT K-12 Music Certification program, students will document their work as citizens, artists, teachers, and scholars. By including rich media as part of their portfolios, UAS students not only will be contributing to the wider community, but also providing future employers evidence of their work. 
For more information contact: 
Scott Christian  (907) 796-6563
Lorrie Heagy