Playing an instrument is more than just pure amusement. Elsies River High School aims to give their learners hope, self-confidence and the ability to strengthen themselves through music in an environment rife with gangsterism and crime. This is done by encouraging learners to join the school choir and orchestra or dance group.
The Music Instrument Project was born when Gilbert Thomas, the former principal of Elsies River High and an active member of the LA 21 Partnership’s Steering Committee, introduced the school and their music activities to a delegation from Aachen in 2003. The visitors were extremely impressed by the quality of the music. These impressions convinced them to assist the school by collecting music instruments in Aachen. The donated violins, celli, flutes, tubas, clarinets and saxophones were no longer used by their former owners. As the instruments are still in good condition, the learners’ benefit from these donations is huge. Many of them simply cannot afford to buy music instruments. The donated instruments have been used in music education programmes at Elsies River High since then.
In June 2004 it was decided that the school had received enough instruments, so the project was expanded within the broader community. Elsies River High decided to establish an “instrument library” where school children can have access to the instruments. This gives more children the opportunity to learn to play music instruments.
Meanwhile the project has expanded. The focus has widened from Elsies River High to include more schools in several townships on the Cape Flats. The organization MUSEDI offers professional music lessons in these areas.
The collection continues under the auspices of Sabine Verheyen, member of the European Parliament. Sabine Verheyen from Aachen is an avid musician herself and has provided her personal support to this project.
For further information and delivery or collection of instruments, please contact:
Elsies River Social Welfare Association