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Expanding into South Asia

The Global Music Academy (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.

The Goethe-Institut in Sri Lanka and the Goethe-Institut in Munich agreed to assist in developing the pilot workshop program in 2017.

2017 - 2018

  • Students group at South Asia Global Music Campus, a music teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • Women singing at South Asia Global Music Campus, a music teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • Music class at South Asia Global Music Campus, a music teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • Violin lessons at South Asia Global Music Campus, a music teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • Writing lessons at South Asia Global Music Campus, a music teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • Student at South Asia Global Music Campus, a music teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • Student writing on the black board at the South Asia Global Music Campus
  • Students at the South Asia Global Music Campus
  • Rhythm lessons at Global Music Campus in Sri Lanka
  • Teacher & Student at Global Music Campus in Sri Lanka
  • Playing a traditional instrument at Global Music Campus in Sri Lanka
  • Piano lessons at the Music Teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • Dietrich Wöhrlin giving a lesson at Global Music Campus in Sri Lanka
  • A woman singing at Global Music Campus in Sri Lanka
  • A student from the Music teacher training in Sri Lanka
  • A woman receiving the certificate of participation from the South Asian Global Music Campus
  • Will Ramsay at South Asian Global Music Campus
2017 Pilot Workshop Sri Lanka

In August 2017 the GMA staged a 10 day workshop for music teachers selected from different teacher training colleges around the country. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Education was a Stakeholder in the project and the workshop was held at the Sri Pada Teachers Training College in Nuwara Eliya. A group of 27 participants from Sri Lanka and two participants from the Bulbulik Heritage Centre, Gulmit, Upper Hunza, Pakistan attended the workshop.

The training was 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:
– The Sri Lankan Ministry of Education
– The Centre for Performing Arts Centre in Jaffna
– The Bulbulik Music School, Gulmit, Upper Hunza, Pakistan

  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
  • South Asian Campus 2018 Sri Lanka
2018 Pilot Workshops in Batticaloa and Colombo, Sri Lanka

Following the first workshop the partners decided to alter the format for 2018. The GAM partnered with the Eastern University in Batticaloa through the Swami Vipulananda Institute of Aesthetic Studies (SVIAS) and the University of the Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo. The thrid partner was again the Bulbulik Heritage Centre, Gulmit, Upper Hunza, Pakistan.

A 7 day workshop with 40 participants was held at SVIAS in Batticaloa after which the trainers travelled to Columbo to hold a workshop at the University. Altogether 39 musicians and music students took part in Batticaloa and 49 music students took part in Colombo. In addition 4 musicians from the Bulbulik Heritage Centre in Pakistan attended both workshops.

The were performances at the end of each workshop by the trainers as well as the students and the trainers performed an additional concert at the Goethe-Institut in Colombo.

The Program

The GMA developed and tested a series of new teaching tools at the workshops as part of the development of a new training program for young musicians in South Asia.

There was intensive training in the following areas:
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. keyboard harmony
7. melodic reading

Watch Pilot Workshop South Asian Global Music Campus Sri Lanka 2017

The South Asian Pilot Campus is supported by:

Goethe Institute – International Partner of Global Music International
Sri Lanka Government logo – International Partner of Global Music International
Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka
Ministry of Education Sri Lanka