We categorized our children in to three different categories basing on their musical skills that they have so far learnt and perfected in.
The first category consists of 30 (thirty) children and youth, these can read music and play very well but still in this 1st group I divided it into two other groups, each group consisting 15(fifteen) players per the group. The reason is because due to the few instruments that we have, all of them cannot practice at the same time, so we do the practice in shifts so that we can move on the same level.
The second group consists of 25 (twenty five) children, these Children can play music and read but not so good yet, so for these we always do practical practice twice a week with all of them and since most of them are still in primary level so, these one start their practices very earl every day by 2pm, we start practice up to 4:00pm, so that those in the first group find when the instruments are free. Then for them they continue with theory practice.
The third group, it’s the buglers and joiners who are practicing on making their lips used to the instrument and playing the 5 key scales. As I said before that many children are being brought by their parents to join Kamuli community brass band, we are doing well musically but with challenges in many areas;
So far we have only 25 instruments, some that I bought and those that were donated by friends. these are shared by the 140 children in the band due to the few instruments we have at the moment, this has hindered the smooth running of the band music practices since every child has to get a chance to play,so this makes the process to be so slow but with Gods favour we are doing well. But we are really in need of instruments (brass, wind and jazz instruments), music stands, books and uniforms to boost the project.
I don’t have support so far or funders (financial support) for this project but with the little savings I make, I use it to buy maize and beans which we make maize flour for the children to take porridge as breakfast, then posho and beans for lunch and supper and also during band lessons over the weekend.
Through this program i am trying to see that with music, they can also be able to access education at all levels from primary, secondary and also technical /vocational where they can attain skills for example driving and Motor vehicle mechanics, carpentry and joinery, plumbing and welding, brick laying and concrete product, tailoring and garment cutting which can add on their value and hence improving on their families and their general lives both social and economic.
However, this can only be achieve depending on the availability of funds to support these children in school. Therefore, in case of any kind support towards this we welcome it happily because it can also be a motivating factor to these children and save many children from a lost life.
There are those children who are really living in very poor families and those that were refuges and street children (Total orphans), I have a house am renting $400 Euros per month and that’s where I keep some 40 children who totally have no relatives and they have no other home to go to.
At first I was keeping them at my parents home but it was so heavy on me, some families around whose children are in the band, also decided to provide shelter to some children and take care of them but still with my support and this is a temporary solution, but to sustain it, if possible with the availability of financial support ,we can set up a children center with an orphanage (dormitory) and a band hall where these children can be taken care of and also where we conduct our daily band lessons and practice activities smoothly.it can act as a community center.
This music project has changed many lives and most of the children (youth) have joined the Uganda police, army and prisons bands, other are successful in other fields they joined and this has inspired many children and youth to join the band.