An Examiner of the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music in the United Kingdom has completed practical music examinations at the Ballanta Music Academy.
Clive Simmonds, examined thirty-four candidates including nine from the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces band in varied instruments to include, the piano, singing, cornet, trombone, tuba and saxophone. The youngest of the examinees was aged 10.
At the teachers’ meeting which he gave at the end of the session, Clive expressed his delight at what he said he had heard about the academy. He passionately thanked the staff and students of the academy for their warm hospitality and friendliness, which he said have made him to warmly enjoy his visit to Sierra Leone.
He said he was impressed by the quality of play of the instruments and the singing attributes of the students. He went on to note the dedication and commitment of the staff and expressed appreciation for the wide range of instruments on hand at the academy.
In order to push the music training process forward, Clive suggested additional modules to the teaching scheme for teachers of the academy, to include, interpretation of style, how to do better at sight reading and what to expect for the oral part of the exam. He went on to demonstrate how scales ought to be played, and explained the reasons for including them in the exam. He however noted that the variety of instruments played for the exam was interesting.
Clive Simmonds is an accomplished and experienced Organist. During his sojourn, he visited the Buxton Memorial Methodist Church where the Assistant Organist, Christopher James presented him a sampler on the organ.
Mr. James who wishes to study the organ to a higher level, explained how there was deep love for church music in Freetown. He expressed concern for the need to train people on the repair and maintenance of organs.
The Ballanta Academy of Music is a centre for the ABRSM Examinations in theory of music. It holds two sessions each year. The practical exams are linked with those in Ghana and Nigeria and the same Examiner visited all the three West African countries during his tour. He expressed the hope that the number of examination candidates will increase as the years go by.
Monday May 26, 2014