Popularising Music Education by Mounting Market-Driven and Skill-Based Programmes: A case of Kabarak University, Kenya

Music education in most cases receives low funding and poor moral support from academic institutions and governments in many countries around the world.

More often, it is assumed that the proactivity of music students, in terms of securing jobs and/or earning an adequate income, if one is self-employed, is not guaranteed.

However, in this paper I argue that the mode of packaging content and the methodology employed plays a central role in popularising music education.

Through interviews and focus group discussions with stakeholders, i.e. students, parents and lecturers at Kabarak University, School of Music and Performing Arts, where I serve as the Founding Dean of the school, I qualitatively analysed responses and corroborated my findings with related literature regarding rejuvenation, development and sensitisation of the role of music education in the improvement of community life and general human socio-economic development.

The study findings reveal that music education can attract enrolment from a wide range of learners if programmes are market-driven, skill-based, diversified across learners’ ages and music careers.

Adoption of a community-based life-long learning approach will also enhance the learner’s interest in the programmes. This study’s findings will inform the management and popularisation of music programmes in schools, colleges and universities in Kenya and beyond.

Mellitus N. WANYAMA, Kabarak University.


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