The Art of Music was founded in 2009; with a mission to promote the performance and appreciation of art music in Kenya and use it’s transformative power to change lives, particularly of those living in underprivileged areas of the country. We believe art music, with its traditions of structure, discipline and excellence, can offer a great awakening and opportunity to a broad spectrum of Kenyan youth. Our programmes center on mentorship, first-class training and performance opportunities – we see music uniting communities and changing lives.
The foundation focuses on two programmes. First is the Ghetto Classics, a community programme that involves over 500 children in Korogocho and hundreds more in satellite areas around Nairobi, Kiambu and Mombasa through the Link UP project. The second is a musical and leadership training programme, The National Youth Orchestra of Kenya (KNYO), a music ensemble that brings together talented young musicians from all walks of life in the country.
The Art of Music also manages the Safaricom Youth Orchestra (SYO) who are currently in their 5th year. The foundation is also a key stakeholder in the art music scene in Kenya and is often involved in hosting, funding and organizing numerous musical events and trainings throughout the year.
As the Art of Music gets ever closer to celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, there have been numerous achievements across its two programs to look back upon. For Ghetto Classics, as at December 2017 over 1500 children and young people have participated in the program, with some just learning the basics of music while others have gone on to perform in the orchestra and join SYO and KNYO. 8 Ghetto Classics alums have completed various advanced educational programs—from diplomas to certificates and undergraduate degrees—that have included arts management, journalism and music while over 30 KNYO alums have completed tertiary education. Meanwhile 12 Ghetto Classics alums and 20 KNYO members teach across the various Art of Music programs.