An American vocalist, Heather Maxwell who is the producer and host of the award winning radio program “Music Time in Africa” on the Voice of Africa advised Rwanda students on how they can become successful artists.
Maxwell on May 29, 2014 met with 30 students who joined the first music school in Rwanda to guide them through the music career, while embracing their culture.
Maxwell is also a composer and ethnomusicologist who specializes in jazz and West African music.
Heather Maxwell staged a concert on May 28, 2014, in Kigali to share her skills with the students who started music classes in March 2014 at Nyundo art school located in Rubavu district, Western Province.
“You get success by what you merit and this requires daily practice in your lifetime”, Maxwell told students.
The 30 students were selected out of seventy six competitors who passed preliminary competitions in December 2013 from all provinces and Kigali city.
They include 25 males and 5 females, taking a 3 year course. Heather Maxwell also encouraged them to promote Rwandan cultural music up to international scene.
According to the Director of this music school Jaques Murigande, students have already covered six modules and plans are under way to introduce short course programs very soon.
For the first year, the 30 students will study 1,200 hours where a student gets a certificate and can decide to go or continue for the next two years.
“This training is hands-on and competence- based, requiring a student to do constant practice”, Muringande said.
Mbonimpa Metusera one of the students expressed how this course has helped him to improve his talent.
“I have learnt music theory, voice control, music lyrics, song composition and am very proud to be here”, Metusera said.
Another student Alice Nikuze said that apart from gaining skills in playing guitar and piano, she has also acquired knowledge on entrepreneurship.
Music students are also taught how to make business plans so that in future they can boost the music industry in Rwanda.
Heather Maxwell started liking African music when she was 18. She is a vocalist who sings in English, French, Portuguese and several African languages. Her success tips to music students follow the government’s initiative through WDA to promote and professionalize the art industry in Rwanda.