Holiday Camp Architects of Music January 2020
AGENDA 13.01.2020 - 19.01.2020
08:00 am - 08:30 am Arrival of members
08:30 am -09:00 am Breakfast
09:15 am - 09:45 am Physicals
10:00 am - 11:30 am Flute playing
11:45 am - 01:00 pm Song composition
01:00 pm - 02:00 pm Lunch
02:00 pm - 02:15 pm Physicals
02:30 pm - 04:00 pm Dances
04:00 pm - 05:00 pm Learning instrumental skills
05:00 pm - 06:00 pm Playing instruments and singing
Briefing and Departure
The first Architects of Music camp in 2020 took part from the 13th of January to 19th January 2020 at our base in Namere Mpererwe and was attended by both the old and new members of the group. The camp comprised of various activities like flute lessons, dance lessons, singing, physicals, learning instruments and composition of songs which equipped the members with new skills in playing both local and international music instruments, body fitness, innovation in the context of composing songs, dance motifs and vocal drills.
LIST OF ACTIVITIES
We always started with the breath exercises with the aim of learning how to control our breath while playing the flute. This was always after our breakfast and it would last for 30 minutes throughout the camp. We learnt and played different keys and scales like the D major, C major and used the pieces in the flute book to master more skills. This was of great help for both the new and old members to master the keys on the flute since we would play the songs in the book. We would also play the traditional songs that the members know, like Mwana wa Mberi, What A Friend, Ruhanga Ishitwe, Amazing Grace to help new members catch up. Mr Ocen always divided the members into groups of 5 to play a song separately each day and on Saturday 18th, every member was given a task of writing What A Friend We Have in Jesus with music notation in their music books. The exercise called for collaboration, mastering of keys and showcasing what we had learnt in the course of the week since every member had to give in their work for approval. This helped us understand where we needed to put more effort and understand how to write and rate the beats in a song for example the 4 by 4, how to show that a song is continuing and how it ends. Such lessons helped the team display an excellent performance when we were performing for the congregation at the Church in Luteete.
2. Song Composition
On Monday morning, Joseph Ocen told members about the upcoming music writing competition slated for Febuary 2020 which will run under the theme “Cultural Diversity and Exchange“. He then divided the members into three groups, which were led by Kafuko Afan, Joseph Ocen and Kalanzi Ronald. Each of these groups had to come up with their own song that was in line with the competition theme. Every member was given the opportunity to bring their ideas on the genre, language and words that would fit their song. The exercise required a lot of concentration, creativity, art and team work since the members of each group had to present their work to the other members. This exercise helped members in stretching their minds since it called for getting out of comfort zones to come up with the best piece. It also built strong relations and cooperation since each team member had to be responsible for their song in a way that they would sing along or play an instrument. The exercise also helped members master the art of respect because more than 2 people cannot agree on the same thing without respecting each other’s idea. It was also decided that the three songs would be used to get a joint song that would be used by the group during the competition.
Every time after a meal, the members would be taken through a physical fitness exercise to ease, stretch and relax their muscles in preparation for the next activity on the agenda. The trainers that is Joseph, Ronald and Afan always took the members through the exercise. The exercises helped the members to relax their minds and get ready for the next tasks. It also greatly helped in preparing members for the massive show on Sunday at the Church.
The trainers took the members through different dances every day. Both members and trainers had a task of learning and training two dances each day and improve the ones that had been choreographed before. Kalanz, Afan and Joseph trained several traditional dances with the members throughout the week, like Ekitaguriro, Ekizino, Bakisimba, Orunyege dances.
On Sunday, the members presented the prepared dances before the congregates at Luteete church.
The trainings helped members become well conversant with the flow of dances, coordinate with the instrumentalists and musicians. The training also helped new members get to the same level with the old members hence bringing about uniformity and neatness on stage during the performance. The dance trainings also helped in the mastering of foot works and beats that follow dances.
Joseph and Solomon, one of our members, always taught members how to play the Adungu. A section of members was trained on how to play the solo Adungu, others bass Adungu and tenor Adungu. Here, each member would be given their own Adungu and receive lessons on how to play the different strings and how to come up with a song in their respective sections. The members were also trained on how to tune the Adungu. The members were able to record different songs like Olonge and Ruhanga Ishitwe, while playing the Adungu and singing with the skills attained during the camp.
Kalanzi trained the members on how to play different traditional beats on the drums. The members also acquired skills in listening and reacting to the fellow musicians and dancers.
Joseph, Afan and Kalanzi also taught the members how to play the Miguddo. This helped members in mastering new skills about another African instrument. Members also got the confidence of growing their talent and perfecting some skills.
We want to emphasize that with Architects of Music equally men and women learn how to play and master the instruments - both traditional and western instruments.
A traditional dance always goes with a traditional song which is an essential part of performing the dance. During the camp the members learnt the melodies and lyrics of this traditional songs. This helped the members to get the confidence to sing especially during big performances, even when the are not yet used to it, because they were well conversant with the songs.
7. Sunday Performance
The members had the chance to perform for the congregates at Luteete church after their 6 days of intense training. The show was extraordinary given the comments we received from the pastors, the organizers and most of the congregates that we got to interact with. We started with the flute playing What a friend we have in Jesus, then performed various dances.
We - as trainers - are thrilled by the love and commitment the members showed while performing their newly gained skills. I also want to thank the sponsors and organisers for their relentless support in order to ensure that Architects of Music can keep the good work up.
Compared to the December camp, there has been great improvement. Especially I´m proud of the ladies, who have learnt how to play also the traditional instruments. The new members have also started to learn how to play the flute during this week. All of the boys and girls took part in composing their own songs and we are very proud of the outcome.
Thoughts for Improvements:
This time the trainings during the holiday camp got interrupted by rain a few times and due to climate change we are expecting tougher weather conditions to deal with in the future. Therefore it would be a great improvement to have a proper base for Architects of Music, where there is space for instruments, classrooms and a training ground.
We would like to thank the sponsors and directors both in Germany and Uganda for the efforts they put into the facilitation of the group activities. With your help we were able to provide breakfast and lunch during the camp and we now also have a first aid kit on hand for potential problems during our trainings.
We extend our sincere thanks to all the trainers in a special way for their support and commitment in ensuring that all the members attain new skills.
We are thankful for the new members that joined the group in order to learn new skills and adopt to the Architects of Music culture. And also we are thankful for the love and commitment all the Architects of Music members show.