During the last two weeks of May, Bridging Worlds Through Music co-Founder Christie Ulicny travelled to Geita, Tanzania for a music teacher training and monitoring visit. Working alongside the BWTM music teacher Paul, they co-led a teacher training for 12 teachers on music theory, performance, keyboard, ukulele and guitar techniques. Paul is a skilled musician and educator, but was also happy to receive some mentorship in music pedagogy. They also spent mornings in an intensive adult class and then worked with 60 elementary school students in the afternoons running a 30 minute early childhood music class and an upper year music education class (percussion, keyboard basics, and theory).
A donation from the Peterborough Rotary Club received in November 2017 allowed for the purchase 11 keyboards in early 2018. These keyboards have opened the door for more impactful programming as it helps make music theory come alive. The community has been really excited by this investment and it has spurred discussion about expanding programs moving forward. In general, the community would like to see more access for out-of-school youth as well as an evening program for college aged students to keep the spirit of music education going with the younger generation.
While not making music with teachers and students, Christie took time for meaningful conversation and consultation with our partners as they explored ways to create a more sustainable program where we can generate revenue that will feed back into programming. While paid after school programs is not really a concept that exists in this community, the team is considering creating a pilot summer camp. This would subsidize programming for students in need. Additionally, the local Bible College expressed an interest in starting a 1-year certificate program in music education, inspired in part by the wonderful work of BWTM!