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Indigenous musical arts:

Instrumental music and dance:

a theory-based practical training programme

Course curriculum for classroom teachers/educators

• Duration of training course at the CIIMDA centre

A training course at the Centre will last two weeks; outreach master-class-training in the various school locations of participants in the selected SADC countries will follow.

 Rudiments of music [RM]
  • Introduction to basic musical literacy;
  • Elements of musical sound – pitch/tone, rhythm, melody;
  • Harmony, scales, music writing and reading;
  • One and half hours per day for 5 days in the first week; 1 hour per day for 4 days in the second weekdays;
  • Total: 11½ hours.
Theory & practice of African drum music [TPDM]
  • Learning theory and meaning of African indigenous creative & performance arts through practical experiences;
  • Philosophical, psychological, social, scientific and health basis of African musical arts intentions, creations and practice;
  • Playing technique – oral and literary;
  • Notation and rudiments of classical drumming;
  • Pulse and metric sense – common and compound times;
  • Thematic (Tonal/Melodic) principles;
  • Part playing and part relationships;
  • Formal principles and structures;
  • African harmonic philosophy and principles of part-playing;
  • Theory of duality and space consciousness;
  • Creative drumming;
  • Group and solo drumming;
  • Development devices and Improvisation;
  • Total: 21 hours.
Performance principles of mbira music [PPM]
  • Playing technique;
  • Construction technique;
  • Tuning; Scale/Tone row;
  • Melodic construction;
  • Solo & group playing;
  • Improvisation and accompaniment;
  • Research motivation;
  • Total: 16 hours.
Ensemble practice [EP]
  • Principles of African orchestra and ensemble music instruments;
  • Ensemble composition and arrangement – ensemble roles and structural relationships;
  • Oral and literary ensemble music practice – classroom musical arts making; Musical arts theatre - combining music, dance and drama activities for concert repertory production;
  • Principles of improvisation;
  • Workshop orientations and techniques;
  • Concert production;
  • Total: 18 hours.
Theory & practice of African dance [TPD]
  • Social relevance, philosophy and societal intentions of Africa dance;
  • Sense of pulse;
  • Movement, space and body awareness exercises;
  • Experiencing music and dance symbiosis;
  • Practical experiencing dance as visual music/music as sonic dance;
  • Dance creativity and improvisation;
  • Principles of choreography – stylized formation dance creation;
  • Dance characterization/dramatization – mime;
  • Music and dance games;
  • Total: 10 hours.
Practical presentations by participants for evaluation [PPE]
  • Participants will be expected to prepare a lesson plan as a guide to the 45 minutes individual presentations at the end of the second week of the Centre programme. Assessment results will be forwarded to the relevant Ministries of Education and Heads of schools.
  • Total: 14 ½ hours.

The courses offered at the Ciimda centre focus on training in specifically programmed learning packages and subsequent instruments. Course material for classes during outreach educational visits to the SADC school sites will derive from the above curriculum framework and content which will be adapted to suit given programme and instrument types.


Course Codes

Week 1

Week 2


Rudiments of Music


1½hrs per day / 5 days (7½hrs)

1hr per day /
4 days (4hrs)


Theory & Practice of African Drum Music


3hrs per day / 5 days (15hrs)

1½hrs per day /
4 days (6 hrs)


Performance Principles of Bow / Mbira Music



Running simultaneously: PPB: 16hrs

PPM: 16hrs

16hrs of programme schedule

Ensemble Practice


2hrs per day / 5 days (10hrs)

2 hrs per day /
4 days (8hrs)


Theory & Practice of African Dance


2hrs per day / 5 days (10hrs)



Practical Presentation for Evaluation





• Course timetable at the CIIMDA Centre

First week

Monday to Friday

Duration of Modules:

Rudiments of music: 7½ hours

Theory & practice of African drum music: 15 hours

Performance principles of bow music/mbira music: 10 hours

Theory & practice of African dance: 10 hours

Practical presentation for evaluation: 3 hours

45½ hours in total


Practical presentation for evaluation workshop presentation by participants: Individual experiences in workshop leadership (10 minutes per participant using the Soccajasco instructors as “learners”).


Three hours for group discussion.

Second week

Monday to Thursday

[Participants will be formed into two groups such that bow and mbira instruction will take place simultaneously in different locations, and the two groups will be alternating.]

Duration of Modules:

Rudiments of music: 4 hours

Performance principles of bow music: 16 hours

Performance principles mbira music: 16 hours

Theory & practice of African drum music: 6 hours

Theory & practice of African dance: 6 hours

Ensemble practice (music, dance, drama, mime and poetry): 8 hours

Friday and Saturday

Practical presentation for evaluation: Assessment

45½ hours in total of programme activities for the second week

For the assessment exercise, participants will take turns to deliver prepared classroom practical musical arts lesson on theory, creativity and performance – 45 minutes per participant. The instructors and other participants will serve as “learners”. Participants will be free to use music and/dance materials from their respective cultural backgrounds to demonstrate understanding of how to implement the material in the classroom, the knowledge gained during the two weeks of specialised musical arts training. This will be followed by three hours group discussion and a farewell concert performance cum get-together on Saturday evening.

[Participants will be encouraged to bring with them to the training sessions indigenous songs, stories, musical games and any instruments available in their respective cultural locations. These samples will be used for instructional exercises and workshop studies. Participants are required to bring loose and comfortable clothes suitable for free dance movements. Own stationary should be brought for purposes of note taking.]

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