Ghetto Classics / Kenya
During their Africa Tour in 2015, Salut Salon have worked with the children of "Ghetto Classics" in Korogocho. Korogocho is one of the largest slum neighbourhoods of Kenya's capital, located directly at the only dump site of Nairobi. The project "Ghetto Classics", sponsored by the foundation "Art of Music", aims to give children and teenagers the opportunity to take responsibility for their lives and develop other perspectives than collecting rubbish. Not everyone, who studies violin with the "Ghetto Classics", becomes a violinist. But he/she is guaranteed to graduate school and thus creates the conditions for him-/herself to escape the life in a slum. Music requires passion, discipline, intransigence. Music is the beginning.
While working with the teenagers, the musicians from Hamburg noticed, that they lacked a lot of basic information. The problem is that there are still too few instrumental teachers in Kenya. How do I properly tune a violin, how do I play staccato, how do I even practice... – there were about a thousand questions left unanswered, since unfortunately there was not time to go through all of them.
Back home in Hamburg, violinist Angelika Bachmann kept thinking about how to bring together teachers from Europe with the violin and cello students in Korogocho. Then an idea hit her: Why not use the internet and teach the children over Skype?! Together with Stephanie Schiller as project leader, they started "Skype Lessons". On June 13, 2015, the first lesson took place. Since then, it has been taking place weekly.
Salut Salon are sponsors of the project and it is financed by donations, which are collected by the musicians after every show. Have all of the thousand questions been answered since? If so, there are a thousand new ones. The first class consisted of six students. Now, it has grown to a group of sixty students. Playing the violin in Korogocho suddenly became cool. Unfortunately, not every student has their own instrument. During practice, the young violinists and cellists have to take turns, not everyone can join the concerts. But this is about to change: Salut Salon collected 18.700 Euro during a charity concert at the Business Club Hamburg in June 2018 – that means 50 violins for Korogocho! Together with Prof. Dr. Maximilan Gege from B.A.U.M. e.V. and the joint foundation "Chancen für Kinder", Salut Salon also offer and support regular on-site-workshops with the children: such as the training of mentors according to the coach-the-coach-technique, intensive ensemble practice, or conducting lessons.
›Ghetto Classics‹ on SWR2
[A broadcast by Bettina Rühl, correspondent in Nairobi]