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As part of the Linneaus/Palme exchange programme between the School of Music and the Royal College of Music (KMH) in Stockholm, Dr Hannes Taljaard (senior lecturer in music theory and composition) and Dr Kapambwe Lumbwe (post-doctoral fellow) were able to experience the last part of the Swedish summer. For three weeks in September they presented classes and shared their experiences of African music and multi-cultural music education with music education students and lecturers. The classes were supposed to be a part of the current curricula and it was an especially daunting, though educational, experience to start in the second week of the Swedish academic year and ensure that the students commence their semester properly.

KMH Music Education class

Dr Lumbwe with a music education class. Can you spot Hattingh Davel and Joy Meyer amongst the students?!?

The KMH is one of the foremost institutions in Europe for the training of musicians and the only independent institution of its kind in Sweden. The place is buzzing and it is a pillar of one of the large cultural centres in Scandinavia. A new building is currently under construction in Valhallavägan and dynamite explosions could be heard and felt three times a day; the old buildings must be demolished and huge excavations are required for the construction.

KMH under construction

KMH under construction

The two Potchefstroom lecturers also worked with choirs and composers, and were part of workshops for music teachers from the whole of Sweden, and even Norway. Luckily, they did have time to walk around in Stockholm, attend fantastic concerts, and sail around in the archipelago.

After the visit to Sweden, Dr Taljaard also visited the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo for four days to discuss aural training with Prof Gro Shetelig. She is a world leader in this field and Dr Taljaard participated in classes and had stimulating discussions with her, also regarding closer cooperation between the Academy and the School of Music.