Safaricom Youth Orchestra students set for e-learning classes

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Executive Director Art of Music Foundation and Safaricom Youth Ochestra (SYO) Manager Elizabeth Njoroge (left) records an online session of Dennis Ngige (centre), as he plays the Viola, looking on is the Music Director Safaricom Youth Orchestra Dr.Duncan Wambugu

Members of the Safaricom Youth Orchestra are set to receive music lessons through e-learning, following a handover of 4G enabled mobile handsets from Safaricom. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the physical practice sessions, the over 80 students who make up the orchestra will now receive music instructions from home, with the first online class set for 16th May 2020.

“We acknowledge the significant role that music plays in our daily lives, more so to the 10-17 year old boys and girls who get the chance to play for the Safaricom Youth Orchestra. Being in the technology industry, we aim to bridge the divide brought about by the restriction of movement by enabling the students get access to their music tutors through e-learning,” said Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom.

The orchestra draws together 45% of its students from public schools, 30% from the Ghetto Classics programme, and 25% from private schools with aim of providing the necessary skill to become Kenya’s next generation of professional musicians.

“Interaction among students and with their music tutors goes a long way in shaping who they are. Not only are the students equipped with musical knowledge but personal development and leadership skills necessary to inform their way of living. On behalf of the Orchestra, I wish to thank Safaricom for enabling the students get back to class and for always supporting us since we started this transformative initiative,” said Elizabeth Njoroge, Safaricom Youth Orchestra Manager.

Safaricom has also partnered with Eneza Education, Longhorn Publishers and Viusasa to provide free access to educational content for Primary and Secondary school students studying from home since the beginning of April.

Students have access to revision content on the SMS-based Shupavu291 free of charge following a waiver of the KES 3 subscription fee. Learners can also access Longhorn E-learning, Shupavu Web and Viusasa Elimu through a free daily education bundle accessible via *544#.

Started in 2014, the orchestra has over the years seen 120 of its members graduate from its programme, with some its stellar performances showcased at the Safaricom International Jazz Festival performing alongside world renown international artistes such as Marcus Miller and the late Manu Dibango.