Lilongwe-based Music Crossroads Academy will recruit 50 music students for its new academic year to begin on Tuesday.
The institution’s administrator Vincent Maluwa said in an interview that the education on offer is meant to provide musicians in the country with basic knowledge in music “to cover the gaps in the already existing music education”.
He said: “Music plays a central role in Africa. However, despite a huge amount of musical talent, there are few music education opportunities. Where educational opportunities do exist, there is often poor coordination between music education institutions, meaning that gaps exist in the provision of basic or highly specialised music education.”
The Music Crossroads Academy project, which is also in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, seeks to enhance professionalism in performing arts and to create a formal learning institution for music teaching.
It also seeks to eliminate barriers that exist for girls to attain quality music education in their quest to pursue music as a career.
In Malawi, the institution was established in 2013 and 14 students have graduated. Some of the students who have gone through the academy include Malawi’s Airtel Trace Music Star Sam Mkandawire, musicians Ernest Ikwanga and Jaco Jana.
“It is pleasing to learn that most of the students who graduated from Music Crossroads Academy have opened up their own music recording studios, others have become established performing musicians who have toured China and Europe performing in different venues.
“However, the challenge in Malawi is that music remains a male-dominated sphere. Women continue to face barriers in accessing music education due to the region’s cultural stereotypes relating to women, leading them to be seen merely as backing vocalists or dancers. The academy exists to challenge such stereotypes and empower both male and female musicians equally,” said Maluwa.
Some of the courses on offer include music theory, ensemble training, improvisation, harmony, voice training, music management, events management, music business, sound engineering, copyrighting and lessons in music instruments.