Ministry of Education, Guyana

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 13:12

Japanese Gov’t donates musical instruments to Boost National School of Music capacity

The Japanese Government has injected tangibly into the very vital Ministry of Education efforts to reintroduce music to the regular schools' curriculum.

On Monday members of the Japan International Co-operation Agency handed over Fifty-four (54) music tune bells, thirty-five (35) flutes and twenty-five (25) Yamaha Pianicas to the National School of Music. The donations also included an electrical piano.

Hon. Nicolette Henry Minister of Education upon receiving the instruments expressed the Guyana Government's gratitude to the Japanese for the timely donation and technical support as tangible signs of bilateral relations.

The donation pegged at $1.5 million will be further augmented by an additional handing over of Thirty-Five (35) Pianicas to the Cyril Potter College of Education taking the total donation to a value of about $2m.

Mr. Minoru Ito during the handover ceremony said this is part of ongoing cooperation with the Japanese Government and Guyana.

"This is to encourage the Ministry of Education to further focus on music development at the primary level. It is a pilot project that follows a project started by Guyanese classical vocalist Mr. Paul Cort, "the Japanese representative said.

The aim is to train teachers who will, in turn, teach students.

"Music is not only for entertainment it trains one to be sharper and improves intelligence while building or bridging the cultural divide, "according to Japanese Ms. Yuko Aoki who was also at the handover ceremony.

A graduate of the Master class with a master and bachelors of Music at the world class Japanese University Ms. Yuko Aoki has been involved in music as a specialty from aged three and her overall experience spans sixty years.

"Guyanese people are talented and express the aptitude to learn once given the opportunity and from my experience begin her since April, has proven that Guyanese are eager to learn music. They have a great sense of melody, harmony and symphony of songs. I also believe that they can produce with the right guidance and support, world-class musicians who can read, arrange and produce as well as write music. I see much potential because they adapt and learn quickly," the Japanese Musical genius instructor said.

In 2016, the Japanese Government facilitated a music teacher completing a training stint with the National Music School. Now another music instructor in the person of Ms. Aoki Yuko who is on attachment at the National School of Music providing musical training to piano teachers, primary school teachers and students as well as elementary students. They are also being thought vocal training. The most recent instruments handed over will be used to begin teaching piano at CPCE on how to use the Pianicas as Primary teachers. A Pianica is a mini keyboard.

Andrew Tyndall Administrator of the National School of Music sees the donation as an addition and support to the Ministry of Education's Primary school music Initiative. To him, "this Initiative will see more than 161 teachers from across Guyana being trained to deliver the music curriculum. At present, through the National School Music, many are given the opportunity to complete training and to sit the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, London. A fair amount also are afforded the opportunity to pursue certificates and diplomas through the Institute of Creative Arts music programme."

While training is always ongoing at the National School of Music during the August holiday period teachers from regions 3 and 4 as well as Georgetown will be exposed to musical workshops.

Further, there are several introductions to music children's workshops planned for the school vacation period.

Additionally, the school will host the annual Republic Bank pan minors music literacy camps which will see 135 children, aged 11-15 benefiting from an introductory steelpan course. This workshop is targeting schools that were beneficiaries of steel pans from the Ministry of Education's Steel Band development programme.

(Mondale Smith)

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