An outdoor double bass school which attracts more than 500 amateur musicians to its weekly session in a Dominican Republic park is amongst three recipients of this year’s ABRSM International Sponsorship Fund.
The Fund – celebrating its 10th anniversary – supports projects around the world that tackle barriers to music learning. This year it will also support an Indian school which puts music at the heart of free education for local children and a South African scheme which gives children from disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to learn music in a safe environment.
ABRSM Chief Executive Chris Cobb said:
“Supporting these three great projects is a fantastic way to mark ten years of our International Sponsorship Fund. Each of these projects is about opening up opportunities for people to access music and the funding we provide will make a real difference – whether it is by paying for teaching materials and instruments or providing safe places to store them. We look forward to seeing how they get on over the coming year.”
The Gandhi Ashram School near Darjeeling uses its music programme to enrich lives through the beauty of music and the development of a wide range of skills, and includes activities ranging from ensemble playing to composition and improvisation. It plans to add ukulele and melodica tuition to its music activities.
The South African project, run by Education Africa, creates and delivers programmes that focus on poverty alleviation through education and will expand its Marimba Hub programme, with the creation of a new hub in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The programme currently reaches 1,100 children every week.
The third funded project, La Escuela Paralela double bass school, meanwhile works with professional musicians and more than 500 children, young people and adults who come together every Sunday to make music. It will use its ABRSM funding to rent a dedicated space near the park in the Dominican Republic’s capital to support with enhanced tuition and storage and to buy instruments for students that don’t have their own.
The three projects were selected for their commitment to providing opportunities to access and progress in music, with a focus on inclusive music-making, wellbeing and community engagement.