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Dhow Countries Music Academy Zanzibar

Zanzibar is not only the legendary “island of spices”, but also a place with an interesting musical heritage: the music of Zanzibar reflects the numerous cultural influences of all the people who came to the island over the centuries: settlers, traders, sailors, colonial masters, etc. The island is a melting pot of African, Arabic, Indian and European cultural influences. Taarab as the traditional music of the island is the best example of this mix of cultures, mirroring influences from all of the above mentioned cultures.

The Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) in Zanzibar is a leading cultural institution in East and Central Africa for music education and research, conservation and advancement of traditional music on a local, regional and international level. The academy was founded in 2002 and is situated in the historical Stone Town of Zanzibar.

To enthusiastic hobby musicians it offers the opportunity to get a more formal music education, thus helping them to professionalize their music skills. Furthermore, the academy is open for everyone who wants to learn an instrument. Matching the financial situation of the population, school fees are low and talented students are often being granted scholarships.

The focus of the music education is on the local traditional music styles of the "Dhow Countries" Indian Ocean countries. This includes Zanzibar‘s music styles such as Taarab, Beni, Ngoma, Kidumbak and Ndege. The typical instruments for these styles are various types of percussions and rhythm instruments, western string instruments such as violin, contrabass and cello, Egyptian/Arabic instruments such as Oud, Qanun and Sanduku, the Arabic Ney-flute and (mostly electronical) keyboards. Besides, all other common western instruments, singing and traditional dance are being taught.

The academy further provides music education at private schools for children under ten. This program aims at introducing and approaching children to music by means of games, dance and singing. As the national curriculum at public schools is very tight, there is very little space for music education. For this reason, the academy regularly arranges educational concerts to show and explain children of public schools their traditional music roots. Additionally, the academy organizes seminars, workshops, concerts and master classes.

Volunteers are needed in the following areas:

* Teaching all instruments: there is a particular demandneeded for teachers of piano. Volunteers should have a good command of their instrument, but also should be able to teach. Both, professional music teachers as well as music students can teach at the music academy. It is expected that volunteers show an interest for Taarab, African, Arabic and Indian music.

* Child music education: Knowledge of music education is expected, especially in terms of child education. Volunteers in this field could be music teachers or students of being music teachers. In the beginning, they are going to assist the local teachers and can then teach on their own at a later point if they are qualified enough.

* Construction/restoration of instruments: in Zanzibar, one can find lots of old instruments in a bad state, which need to be repaired in a proper manner. At the moment, this is not being done due to a lack of expert knowledge. Volunteers can assist, locating and repairing old instruments and teaching the local population in the construction and renovation of music instruments.

* Public relations: Students and professional of public relations can assist in local, regional and international marketing, PR and communication of the academy’s work. Technical equipment (hardware, software, internet access) and financial budgets are sufficiently available to carry out this work.

* Librarianship: At the academy, there is a huge collection of books and musical scores, which have not yet been electronically registered. Volunteers (professionals, students) in this field are welcome to implement a librarian system.
 
Volunteers are given the opportunity to take part in lessons/activity of the DCMA free of charge as compensation for their efforts.
 
Website: www.zanzibarmusic.org

Info box:

Place: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Duration: min. 2 months

Specific qualification required: Yes 

Costs: free (Trouble-free package for € 500 is optional)

Accommodation: Not inclusive

Meals: Not inclusive

Included: Placement in the project; if you opt for the trouble-free package the whole range of services which is part of the trouble-free package is included

Not included: Travel, health insurance, visa, work permit

Book this placement now!