From Monday 23rd to Wednesday 25th of July 2018 we had the pleasure of welcoming a group of 10 Music educators from the USA for a Cultural Experience at the CAC. They were from different professions including music therapy, university and high school music teachers, professional musicians and conductors and even two nurses.
At the CAC they started with a dancing class. Despite the age gap, soon the visitors were dancing along happily with the CAC artists, who were amazed, particularly at the oldest visitor who was 87 years old! As well as learning to dance, they had a class of drumming, and even learned to make a drum from a cow hide and a metal barrel. Of the drums that they made, some they generously donated to the School of St Judes, who didn't have enough in their music classes.
As well as learning at the CAC, they spent a morning with our partner outreach school, Uraki Secondary. There they sat in on a music class taught by our Artistic Director, Emmanuel Ndale, and had the opportunity to see how music is taught, and the challenges teachers face, in a government secondary school. To follow on from this experience the visitors had the opportunity to talk to and listen to the experiences of Tanzanian music teachers from around the Arusha area, who were all graduates of the Music Department at Tumaini University Makumira, and have gone on to different careers, as well as further study, in music.
During the three days they were at the CAC they also had the opportunity to visit our exhibition area, where they learned about instruments from around Tanzania, and the Traditional Village, with bomas (homesteads) from the Maasai, Meru Arusha people. Thankfully it has not been so rainy so the mud has reduced, and we have had to dig a trench to drain off the water from what turns out to be a natural spring right near where the bomas were built. This only appeared recently after exceptionally heavy rain this year.
A highlight of the week was food cooked by Mama Aisha! The visitors had the opportunity to taste Tanzanian food including ugali, pilau, chapati, kachumbari, mchuzi and ndizi, and they all tucked in happily after busy mornings of activity.
Finally at the end of their stay with us we were treated to a little performance by all of the visitors, and they received their certificates for participating in workshops with the CAC. We are looking forward to having more cheerful groups such as these!