We have developed a process where the brass band training is a continuous process. This process started at the beginning of the year 2015 where most of the children who were attending primary school were enrolled in the new project and started to be trained from the real beginning – with the bugles. More than 50 children enrolled and they started doing the training. They were training once a week (Sunday) for about two hours from 4 pm to 6 pm. The practice went on and they started picking up; but just like any practical and technical activity, not all would manage to go through. By the close of the year, some had made a progress while others were still trying to catch up. Some of the children were able to participate in their first outing by the close of the year (in December) and it was a success (NB: they played alongside a few of their friends who were experienced) but it was a very nice and learning experience for them. Unfortunately the close of the year (2015) took 12 of them who were in primary seven since they were to join institutions away from Don Bosco either in Secondary or in Technical schools.
As the practice went on, we realized that the time for the practice was colliding with the football games. The field at the center was under “repair” (they had just planted new grass) and the children were to go to a field outside the center for practice and in most cases by the time for brass band practice, most of the children were always still away for football activities and this became a hindrance for the brass band practice. The trainer thus decided to change the time for practice from 6 pm to the time after Breakfast (11:00am) on Sunday – this enabled the children to have time for brass band and later football after lunch. This has worked quite well for the brass band especially this year 2016.
There are some children among those of the 2015 group who are very much interested and have started to instruct their colleagues on how to play a trumpet better. What is very interesting is that these children are in our school Don Bosco Primary school and are helping their own friends from the same school. This is something tremendous and we are doing all in our ability to encourage this kind of self-sacrifice and willingness to share knowledge; we are building on developing this ability in these children.
This year we got some new vulnerable children and we are decided not to lose any moment but start training them in brass band. The most fortunate thing is that they are all studying in Don Bosco Primary School and they are all learning how to play the bugles. Many of them have progressed and are soon fully learning the bugles after which they would start learning other valve or slide instruments. This will strengthen the Don Bosco Primary School brass band and will make it last forever, due to the continuity.