The KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra brought smiles and music “lessons” to pupils at West Ridge High School in Berea this week.
School principal Dr Suren Seetal said he approached the orchestra at a show, asking if they would bring classical music to his pupils.
“Our pupils are special and are not academically inclined, so such performances expose them to alternative ways of learning and provide a stimulus. Many are musically talented and this will uncover their talent. We want to create this partnership with the NPO for them to learn beyond books,” he said.
The orchestra, conducted by Lyk Temmingh, performed a two-part concert and in between taught them about the different families of instruments that make up an orchestra, from strings, woodwind and brass to percussion.
Grade 4 pupil Fezile Xulu briefly “conducted the orchestra” with enthusiasm.
Fellow pupil Siyethemba Mthembu said she was even more convinced that she wanted to pursue a musical career.
Violin player Refiloe Olifant said her journey with the orchestra began at school.
“It was an after-school activity until matric when I found out that I could pursue it as a career. I grew up without any knowledge that there was Western classical music at all. It came as a very unique and interesting concept and it still is. It helped me a lot, growing up in a township, to get away from negative teenage activities as a hobby,” she said.
Ayanda Makulwane, who plays the cello, said there were many attributes of music that parents should consider.
“Music as a career teaches you discipline, such as being on time, life lessons, appreciating other cultures during travels,” he said.
The Independent on Saturday