Oct 31, 2016, 9:48 AM
The MandingMorry Academy of Music (MAM), a one-year youth pilot music training project, recently graduated sixteen students in music theory and practical.
The project is being funded by the Roskilde Festival Society in Denmark.
The students underwent the theory and practical of music, which included music language and notes, vocals and songwriting such as singing, harmony, speech and ear training, and arranging music communications and performance.
The other aspects of the training were how to use drumming set and Djembe, guitar (acoustic, rhythm and bass), African instrument ( like Kora and Balafong), and music business and administration ( including copyright and publishing, public speaking and communication, artistes management, marketing, music technology and new media, and finance and live event management).
The academy has an equipped music studio for practical work and recording.
Cognizant of the increasing number of young Gambians taking up music as career and means of livelihood without any professional music training to produce quality music for public consumption, the MAM training initiative is now playing a novel role in transforming the standard of music and caliber of artistes to one of high professionalism, thereby creating also a means of livelihood for them.
This objective was what triggered the establishment of a music academy for the aspiring talents, providing them with professional music training and mentorship towards their development as self-employed youths.
The direct impact of this project is an increase in youth employability and the creation of decent job opportunities for youths in the billion dollar creative industry.
The significance of this development extends beyond the graduation ceremony as stated by the academy.
The aspirations of MandingMorry Foundation of Performing Arts (MANFOPA) on what this academy will achieve for young and upcoming musicians and above all for our staggering music industry is perhaps the most important dimension.
The Gambia, it has been noted, created economic benefit of more than D18 million to foreign musicians contracted for performance between 2011 and February 2014.
“It is our aim that in two years’ time the Music Academy will produce musicians and talents that will be able to compete internationally and produce quality music for public consumption to reduce influx of foreign musicians,” the academy pioneers stated.
“Is true that music has no borders but charity, they say, begins at home,” said MANFOPA executive director Ibrahim Ceesay, in an interview with Point Entertainment and Lifestyle.
He continued: “To the graduands, our future music stars, there are no safe or guaranteed career paths, no matter what music school you go to.
“You will guide your own success, and you’ll be surprised at how much power you actually have to carve this path, despite what your friends may whisper in your ear.”
MAM and MANFOPA is a non-profit art advocacy organization formed in 2011 with the main aim of enhancing professionalism, building capacity and creating opportunities for livelihoods in the performing arts that encourages public participation in the arts.
The primary objectives of the foundation include the following: promotion of the performing arts and African cultural heritage, and engaging in practices through training and capacity building for performing artistes with a special focus on young talents.