Karien de Waal, composer mentor and all-round musical creative
Karien de Waal, composer mentor and all-round musical creative

Reddam House excited to welcome inspired by Berklee Artist in residence

By IOL Reporter Time of article published May 14, 2021

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Karien de Waal is an enthusiastic, all-round creative with a passion for helping the next generation develop their natural talents in music. After studying marketing, she pursued her dream of becoming a composer, which saw her accepted into the Berklee College of Music. Four-and-a-half years later, she returned to Cape Town with a seed planted deep in her heart to make a difference. In 2018, after freelancing in the music industry for a season, she founded Join Bands Not Gangs, a non-profit company that equips and trains youth in at-risk communities as a way to bring peace to gang-ridden communities through music.

De Waal was named as one of South Africa’s 100 Young Mandelas of 2019. She was also awarded a Triga Ventures Fellowship in 2020. Karien is currently working on an online song-writing course. She describes herself as an average chilled-out Capetonian, who loves nature, music, and people.

Three days of Inspiration

Artist in Residence visits by Berklee (US) artists provide the opportunity for inspired pupils to engage first-hand with experienced musicians. Reddam House has chosen to work on ‘It’s All in the Song’ – an opportunity for pupils to explore creative expression through the processes and techniques involved in writing and performing a song from conception to completion.

Artist in Residence visits for ‘It’s All in the Song’ sessions will address song form, generating and writing to titles, concept ideation, narrative development, and lyrical concepts such as rhyme, proxy words, and pre-writing techniques. Song-writing technique sessions focus on pre-writing techniques such as generating song titles, making word lists, and creating rhyming options, and helping students begin the song-writing process by establishing material to draw upon for the compositional process. Through guided collaborations, pupils are taught to create a safe space to write lyrics as a group, improvise in the moment, set lyrics to melodies, and choose ideas and themes, refining them into an official setting for the lyrics. Performances by the Artist in Residence and selected pupils will kick off and wrap up each visit.

This partnership with Berklee benefited participating schools globally since 2019, with artists assigned from Berklee’s faculty, student and alumni base, who work with school faculties and pupils to develop contemporary music, dance, theatre, and creative education programmes and experiences at the schools.

Pupils, teachers and parents were delighted to welcome Karien de Waal as part of this artists-in-residence programme.

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