A number of Zimbabwean educators want music to join sports and athletics as non-academic subjects in the nation’s primary and secondary schools curricula.
Speaking recently at an end-of-term music competition at Victoria High School in Masvingo, Great Zimbabwe University music lecturer Webster Zimidzi, says schools should take music seriously as a medium for teaching and a way to help students who venture into the music industry later in life.
Zimidzi, who was the head adjudicator at the competition, also says music should be taught in indigenous languages so that it is easier for children to understand.
Zimidzi says musical instruction goes beyond learning songs, and can help children learn to read music, play a musical instrument, and sing well.
Nurturing children’s music talent also promotes the development of skills in key academic areas, such as maths.
Regina Mundi High School music teacher Chipo Makuyana agrees, saying children should be taught arts at a very tender age.
Makuyana says the community must first understand that children who excel in the arts but struggle with academics can learn a lot through music and may benefit from playing an instrument and singing if they fail academically.
The music competition in Masvingo was organized by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation under the theme and Walter Mujuru song called Ngati Shoropodzei Mhirizhonga (Let’s Denounce Violence).
The event director, Okay Machisa, says the competition is going to be an annual event. It was born, he said, out of the desire to demonstrate that there are peaceful and tolerant communities in the country and that human rights are inalienable.
The Masvingo music competition drew 10 selected schools from Masvingo and Midlands provinces.
St. Patrick of Masvingo won the competition for the second year running, followed by Regina Mundi High School. Members of the St. Patrick High School choir say they were overwhelmed by winning the competition.
Student Evans Bakure says the choir worked extra hard to win the competition.