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MusicWorks

MusicWorks is a dynamic non-profit organisation that uses music to unlock potential in the lives of children in marginalised communities in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s not about teaching kids to play musical instruments (although that is the happy outcome in some instances); it’s about creating safe spaces for children where we use music as a means for healing and transformation. We believe music can bring about social change. Our programmes are based on the discipline of Music Therapy – a recognised and regulated profession in South Africa (the same as psychology or occupational therapy), and actually recognised by medical aids. It is our mission to make music therapy sessions available to vulnerable youngsters who do not have access to adequate psychosocial support (and medical aid). And there are many of them in Cape Town.

We’ve had 11 incredible years running various programmes in many under-privileged areas and townships in Cape Town . The children we work with come from impoverished communities and have been exposed to trauma including domestic violence, gang violence, sexual abuse, illness (such HIV&AIDS and TB), substance abuse and neglect.

The sessions are facilitated by registered music therapists and give children an opportunity to process the trauma they have experienced. We also work in hospital settings, where music therapy sessions offer children battling illnesses a chance to express that which is healthy and hopeful within them. We also have Music for Life after-school music programmes where community musicians run marimba bands, choirs, drumming circles, and gumboot dancing. All these programmes provide a safe space where children can come to and experience a sense of belonging and a sense of self-worth. We have connected with around 2 750 children since our establishment in 2002.

Funded by Awesome Without Borders (November 2014)