Kampala Music School
KMS started, almost by chance, following the successful “Pianos for Uganda” scheme, set up in 1998, which enabled pianos donated from the UK to be placed in schools and churches across the country. It seemed a logical step to find somewhere to place some pianos together, centrally in Kampala, and a disused basement was located in the YMCA building. This was duly rented and converted, and in these humble surroundings KMS began its life!
At first it was piano and singing lessons that were offered – free of charge to those who couldn’t afford to pay – and soon many talented young people began to pour in.
Their eagerness to learn, their willingness to work hard, coupled with the wonderful natural musical ability that many Ugandans have, soon led to remarkable progress being made. Generous donations of instruments, CDs, books and sheet music from individuals and schools in the UK were received with enthusiasm and immediately put to good use.
KMS grew rapidly and the surge in numbers brought a pressing need to find larger premises.
To coincide with the expiry of the 10 year lease at the YMCA, the Friends of KMS in the UK launched the Tenth Anniversary Appeal to finance a new home. Thanks to the generosity of so many well-wishers, KMS was able to move in 2012 from its humble basement to a large property, duly refurbished and transformed to create a spacious music school, with practice rooms, teaching rooms, places to rehearse, a library, common room, instrument storage, office spaces – and a garden!
Today, the School continues to make such an immense difference to so many, often bleak lives and there is a real sense of progress. More and more students are being taught individually and in groups. The facilities are beginning to attract more students from outside Uganda, thus emphasising its regional role. International performers are planning to go to Uganda to give performances and Master Classes in voice, strings, piano, jazz and composition. Plans are also well underway to develop further the outreach of KMS into both Ugandan and International schools with instrumental teaching and Music Therapy.