Serving at the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA)
Trevor has been serving as a music teacher since August 2012.
This was originally posted on his blog.
September 11, 2013
Last week we began a new semester here at the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA), this will be my third semester of teaching music. As you might imagine, Rwanda is a country where music education has understandably taken a backseat for the generation of students that now attend the University. So it has been a privilege to be able to introduce these students to new musical techniques, concepts, and ideas that haven’t been made widely available here. And I appreciate the investment the University is now making to make this type of education possible for the students.
AUCA is home to about 2,500 students. The University provides students with an opportunity to receive a degree in Business, Education, Accounting, Theology, and IT. In Rwanda, AUCA has a reputation for having very high academic standards and producing students that are ready to immediately begin work in their respective fields.
Here are some of the music students:
Clement is a new piano student this semester. Here in his second lesson he is learning how to play the melody of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.
Eric completely surprised me when I met him. He has taught himself over the years to read music and is very good at playing by ear. So far, Eric is the only Rwandan I’ve met who has a good understanding of written notation. He is the most advanced student I get to teach and now regularly plays at the University for Church service. Here we are going over some virtuosic piano techniques.
Nathalie has really impressed me with how quickly she is learning the fundamentals of piano. Soon I will begin teaching her improv techniques which will be rooted on the basic concepts of the music theory she is learning.
We also have our voice ensemble. There are seven of us, all guys; Danny, myself, and five AUCA students. Along with Danny (the Filipino looking guy in this pic), we are really working on harnessing the power of their voices to create a strong, pure, and harmonious sound. When you combine the power of an African voice with proper technique and pitch, there is nothing else like it.
Taking a break.
We are working hard with the ensemble to prepare for the 2nd annual Christmas music concert at the University. We will be performing some great music for the University and local community. Below is a clip from last year which shows just how much they love music here.
In the future we would also like to create a certificate program. This will allow students and community members to involve themselves in a very intensive two semester program where they will learn basic and intermediate theory, learn how to play an instrument, be a part of small and large music ensembles, and they will have an opportunity to be trained in music performance.
And this is my cat, Sharley. She sleeps in funny positions. Formerly a stray kitten fighting for survival, she now lives in luxury, most likely completely oblivious of the life from whence she came.