Music Education in the Contemporary African Context | New Pedagogies

Music Education in the Contemporary African Context | New Pedagogies
past over 2 years ago

Wed, Jan 27. 2:00PM - 5:00PM

Cape Town, South Africa Cape Town, South Africa

Event Details

People’s Education is embarking on a music education project that is intended to run until December this year.

This is a response to the lack of study and practice of African music given our musical legacy and the role it plays in the everyday lives of Africans.

This project seeks to bring on board musicians, artists, writers, academics, community workers, audience members in an exploration of African music. We cordially invite you to join us for the project in the upcoming months.

Some overarching questions:

1. Can we talk about African music as an exceptional music? Or is all music universal, belonging to humanity? While this may speak to modernity and hybridisation, globally, music is very much driven by the market and the music industry. What are the implications of the Westernisation of various musical forms for our lives?

2. What is African music? We posit that, culturally speaking, it is firmly within the everyday. It is not normatively a specialized activity of mind or body. In the contemporary, its dislocation or separation from the local / the everyday is broadly a function of colonisation. In modern life, our use of music is a function of the ability of the market to monetize it. It is identified as a discrete ‘thing’, so as to enable commodification.

Is there a different way of being in / relating to music? In terms of a pre-colonial African community, everyone is a musician. If this is one possible way of being in it, how do we engage music in a way that enhances its everydayness in our lives?

3. We would like to reflect on the role of music in our spiritual lives. Spirituality in this context is necessarily indigenous/ancestral. We would want to identify, in this process, sound-waves as spirit-waves, and musical creation as spiritual rejuvenation.

Music has the capacity to unlock the imagination and unleash its power, heal trauma and resolve issues of the self. We embody and inhabit our ancestral forms through music.

We would note that Monotheist forms of worship have successfully harnessed music within their practice.

4. We are aware there are numerous existing Pan Africanist popular music genres. These have their own genealogy, their own history of interaction, influences and cross-pollination. How do we start to dig deeper into this conversation, and popularize African music in its richness?

With an understanding that this is first and foremost an organic and socially invested venture, we would like to keep the space open to much collaborative work. We are open to any and all ideas.

Contact us on

Please follow this page for updates around the project and feel free to contribute when and where you please.

Let’s make new African music!