Expanding into South Asia

The GMA is currently expanding the Campus program into South Asia. In 2015 Manickam Yogeswaran, a renowned Sri Lankan musician and the co-ordinator of South Asian Music at the GMA, made a contact trip to conduct a needs assessment in Sri Lanka.

In August 2016 he returned to Sri Lanka accompanied by the artistic director of the GMA, Will Ramsay, where they followed up on the contacts made the year before and met with a number of musicians and institutions on the island to discuss the development of a pilot teacher training and curriculum development project.

Parallel to this Will Ramsay conducted a Needs Assessment in 2015 for the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Gilgit-Baltistan in Northern Pakistan and was able to meet a number of musicians and music institutions during the 6 weeks he spent there.

Developing a concept from the needs assessment

As a result of the needs assessments conducted in both Sri Lanka and Pakistan it became clear that although both countries are home to ancient traditions which have developed extremely refined methods to transmit music to young musicians, there was a clearly expressed need to develop new curricula and teaching methods sensitive to the musical traditions but addressing the needs of young people living in these countries today.

Many of the people we interviewed said that it was hard to find teachers and many expressed a desire to learn new ideas and teaching methods which would draw upon the traditions but give the musicians the opportunity to express themselves creatively using a combination of modern and traditional instruments. In addition there was a clear need to develop curriculum for teaching music in schools which would allow young people to develop and express their musical creativity within their own cultural environment.

Assesment of the Goethe-Institut

The Goethe-Institut in Sri Lanka and the Goethe-Institut in Munich agreed to assist in developing the pilot program in 2017. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Education is a Stakeholder in the project and will host Campus at the Sri Pada Teachers Training College in Nuwara Eliya.

2017 Pilot Campus Sri Lanka

A group of 27 participants from Sri Lanka and 2 further from Pakistan will take part in the 10 day pilot program in August 2017. The training will be conducted by a group of four experienced international trainers from the GMA in Berlin complemented by one further trainer from the National Institute of Education in Sri Lanka.

The institutions participating are:
  1. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Education
  2. The Centre for Performing Arts Centre in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
  3. Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
  4. The Bulbulik Music School, Gulmit, Upper Hunza, Pakistan
The Program

The GMA has developed a series of new teaching tools which will be tested and developed further at the pilot, which could form the basis for a new training program for young musicians in South Asia. The program will also bring the different music schools and communities together and enable them to learn from each other, exchange ideas and develop a co-operation network. The Goethe-Institut in Sri Lanka will make an independent evaluation of the pilot as part of the project.

There will be intensive training in the following disciplines
  1. rhythmic independence (body percussion)
  2. rhythmic reading
  3. modal theory
  4. vocal technique – including sargam (south Asian solfege) and melodic training
  5. the south Asian rhythmic system (Solkattu/Konnakol/Bols)
  6. Ensemble Training

The South Asian Pilot Campus is supported by:

Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka
Ministry of Education Sri Lanka