Andre Madison, a 2023 graduate of Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, who volunteered in the summer of 2022, returned to the Kijana Global Innovation School in the last few weeks to continue teaching music and share time and experiences with members of our school community. Working mostly with our new music and karate teacher, Matthews Were, he continued the efforts to teach students the descant recorder. All our students (grade 3 and above), now have their own descant recorder as a primary instrument to developing musical skills. Andre Madison and Matthews Were are pictured above with students and their descante recorders.
“My goals for this visit varied from last year as I focused on introducing the descant recorder to the younger students at the school, teaching grades 3,4,5,6, and 7 numerous lessons on the recorder, and in turn learning from the students and teachers myself. I am very proud of the incredible progress the students have made in their recorder studies as it was evident that they had done their fair share of practicing in my absence. This allowed me to teach them more advanced exercises and pieces, leaving them with an increased technical understanding of the instrument. I cannot wait to see what progress they make by next year! Throughout my stay I had the chance to work with numerous faculty and staff including Lawrence Inonda, the school photographer, teachers Martin, Mallack, Julius, and George. I also had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside the new talented music instructor, Matthews, as we worked collaboratively on continuing the descant recorder program here at the Kijana School. In addition to teaching the descant recorder in preparation for competitive exams every year, Teacher Matthews incorporates traditional Luhya and Luo instruments such as the marimba alongside the recorder in an unusual cross-cultural collaboration of East and West, creating an impressive, well rounded and hybrid music curriculum for the students at the Kijana Global Innovation School. He is also an accomplished karate instructor. I look forward to returning a third time to the Kijana Global Innovation School in 2024, I plan then to incorporate keyboards, guitars, and other instruments to further create a learning environment that reflects Kijana’s holistic vision of education in the arts for all students and faculty. I encourage others to travel to the Kijana Global Innovation School and community. It is a welcoming, comfortable, enjoyable and rewarding place to spend time. I have gained so much from this experience, and I know many others can too.”