wasn't born humming Mozart. He liked music, but
that meant Kwaito or R&B. In fact, when the 12
year old first heard that the Melodi Music Project
would be offering recorder lessons in Soweto, "the
idea sounded boring", he recalls. But his
mother urged him to try it, since the boy had nothing
to do but lounge around the house on weekends.
didn't take Molefe long to discover that learning
recorder is not boring. Now he likes to arrive
early for rehearsals and lessons, hoping to catch
a little bit of extra time learning from his mentor.
2 years of studying music with the Melodi Music
project, Molefe plays descant recorder with the
chamber group, performing all around Johannesburg.
Eventually, he would like to take up the Oboe.
the youngster hasn't given up on his dream of becoming
a doctor, he says, "I want to do music until
15, Mpumelelo was convinced that this was the opportunity
he had been waiting for. "Here's something
maybe that could change my life," thought
Nyushman, because "sitting and doing nothing,
oldest and probably hardest working pupil has become
the first Melodi student to move on from the recorder
to a symphonic woodwind instrument; the Bassoon.
17, Mpumelelo would like to start a degree in accounting
and continue his musical education. "Every
spare moment after studying, I will practice my
music", he vows. "I want to play in a
national orchestra," he says, "I want
to be one of the best professional Bassoon players."
signed up for recorder lessons mostly to alleviate
the boredom of wandering the streets with friends
on the weekends. But recalling her introduction
to the recorder, she says, "the first time
I held it, I said, I'm going to do this for the
rest of my life".
speaks of music with the maturity of someone twice
her age. "I can use it to express myself," she
says, "I'm using it to express my feelings,
somehow". She waxes equally poetically when
recalling the symphony concerts she has heard on
outings with Melodi. "They open your heart," she
marvels, "you think of things you wouldn't
have thought of, and they release stress".
says that her friends don't quite appreciate her
music. "They think I'm odd", she says, "but
I'm used to it". Her friends feel differently
about her opportunities to play and perform on
the recorder, however. "They think I'm lucky,
because only the rich girls can do that. They didn't
think someone from the township could do that."