TSOM band send-off to Kuwait

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Teenzone was honoured to be a part of the Tshwane School of Music (TSOM) send-off to Kuwait on 23 March 2017. TSOM has been invited by Kuwait to represent South Africa on 31 March to 8 April 2017. Members of the public, media, Momentum and the South African Department of Arts and Culture all gathered to celebrate their achievement and to wish them luck for their international experience. 

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The Tshwane School of Music was conceptualised in 2009 out of the desire to see music education and exposure to the arts made accessible to children and youth in the previously disadvantaged community of Eersterust. The dream was driven by Freddy Arendse after realising the unique potential of children to learn and play music, which he discovered in working with his own children. 

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Arendse’s children and some friends of theirs learnt to play and established the band, Freeborn. The band consists of members aged 8 – 14 years old. Freeborn has shared prestigious stages around South Africa. The most important part, however, is that they have served as a catalyst to lobby for the same access they had to instruments and mentoring for thousands of children in our communities. 

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TSOM finally started in March 2013 with 50 children. There were over 300 children that auditioned for the first 50 spaces for tutoring in bass, guitar, drums, vocals and piano. In 2014 the Tshwane Metro donated the disused clinic building, in the community, to TSOM. In 2015 the school doubled its intake to 140 children. TSOM make quality jazz music available to the local community at a low cost. The community center also offers life skills programs, workshops and master classes. They are currently working towards being the first arts primary schools in the country over the next few years.   

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The school lives by the phrase, ‘Purpose ends addiction.’ They form a key component of the sustainability plan. Thus far more than 100 children have been empowered through the program. Teenzone is proud to have been one of the media members in attendance to send the children off to Kuwait. We expect to see great things from them in the future!

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By: Kriszti Bottyan

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