Flashback : Swaziland Chronicles - Day 2 - Workshops - Musicians & Kids

Updated: Apr 29

We're scheduled to meet with some local musicians for a program hosted by Stanley Dlamini of the Swaziland National Arts Council (SNAC). We tried our best to talk our way out of an 8:30am pick-up, but it seems there's little room for negotiation on this one.

Originally Posted by Keri Chryst on October 5, 2011 at 4:55 PM

Morning Workshop - Music Biz Professionals

I'm glad that I chose to trade sleep for productivity the night before though because the powerpoints prove to be very handy for guiding the discussions we've been asked to present. We opt to start with a little music and do a few selections from "The French Connection" - this all goes down exceptionally well for such an early start. The audience, mostly singers and aspiring artist managers, seems to be especially hungry for the improvisational aspects of what we do - and a little audience participation on Oscar Brown Junior's "Work Song" lyric is right up their ally.


We're running a tight schedule which unfortunately doesn't leave a whole lot of time for interaction and questions - but we're told we'll be seeing most of these folks again in a couple of days at another workshop. A quick, cheap & tasty lunch at a nearby cafe, and we're back to the Embassy to meet with young teens from 3 local schools.

Afternoon Workshop - Young Music Students

Everyone has done their best to brief us, but still, it's difficult to know in advance just exactly what we'll be dealing with, so Jeff & I are somewhat surprised to see more than half the kids show up guitar-in-hand. But we planned our programs to be fairly adaptable and quickly outline a framework for discussion, interaction and above all MUSIC making with these kids.

We soon have them singing and playing along as we give them an introduction to the Blues, starting at "Duke's Place" ("C Jam Blues") for a little call and response action. We use the rest of the all-too-brief hour to give them a taste of the Blues pentatonic - "the scale you didn't know you already knew" - and the basic tonal structure of a 12-bar blues. We're a bit surprised to find that this classic structure that we take so for granted in our culture seems to be almost completely unfamiliar to them - but then again... that's why we're here, n'est-ce pas?