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Marimba Jam students from Wynberg Girls’ High School and Livingstone High School perform with Craig Lucas at the Marimba Jam Festival 2019!
Our outreach programme has grown into the newly established Rising Stars Program, under the work of our NPO, Marimba Jam Cares, as a means to reach greater communities and expand the outreach work and contribution to social development, following our motto “Finding Harmony in Community”.
The objective of our the Rising Stars Program, according to our Constitution, is to provide music education to underprivileged communities in the form of sustainable weekly marimba band lessons, as well as use African music to connect the youth of South Africa across the socio-economic barriers that separate them, thereby promoting nation-building amongst the youth.
We believe that increasing access to music education can bridge the gaps of inequality amongst South African scholars – the Rising Stars Program acts as the main catalyst of this ideology. Our certified Marimba teachers offer free tuition to disadvantaged schools in Cape Town, reaching schools such as Wittebome High school, Livingstone High school, Athlone High school, and Chris Hani Secondary school.
We begin our work at these schools by extending an invitation to the students to audition – these are merely to draw interest and to establish bands of 10 members each. Often, we are overwhelmed by the positive interest and musical affinities demonstrated by our outreach students. Currently, our Rising Star students make up 60 of our scholars. Once the students have been sorted into bands, they are assigned a teacher who will lead their Marimba band rehearsals once per week within every school term.
There is no difference between the functioning of our Rising Stars Program bands in comparison to our other school bands – every student is treated with the same respect, and is expected to demonstrate the same commitment and responsibility to their marimba obligations. This touches on the invaluable aspects of music education which manifest as life skills – teamwork, confidence, discipline and passion.
Although MARIMBA JAM (as an entity) reaches over 500 students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, Marimba Jam Cares NPO aims to constantly seek out other schools who cannot afford to offer additional cultural activities to their scholars as a result of lack of resources or funds. We aim to actively connect students from both privileged and under-privileged schools through our teaching as well as our annual events which fall under the banner of MARIMBA JAM.