[ Vuyani Bonakele Mrwarwaza was one of three students selected for an exchange programme with the Royal College of Music in Stockholm from August 2017 to January 2018. This is the 4th and final part of his story (lightly edited for clarity and flow). ]
Voice lessons with Bo Rosenkull
One of the lecturers I worked with the closest is Bo Rosenkull. I really enjoyed being his vocal student. He is much fun to be around and he is so professional. He really inspired me in his teachings and I’m going to adopt some of his styles when I teach my own voice students. What I like about him is that he’s much the same as my teacher in South Africa. He understands my voice very well and always inspired me to work more on my technique. He helped me with the prescribed repertoire for my pre-recital for the 2017 academic year which I presented in an exam concert on 11 January 2018.
Accompanied by Susan Yondt
My repertoire is nothing without piano accompaniment, and Susan Yondt was a darling in this department. She accompanied me right from our very first rehearsal together. Her sight reading skills are out of this world and we clicked and enjoyed working together. What I really like about her is that she is always open for any suggestions I brought forward in our rehearsals and I couldn’t wait to perform with her in my pre recital.
Pre-recital / Singing examination concert (11 January 2018)
This day I had anticipated for as long as I’d been in Sweden, as it served as my pre-recital for the fulfilment of the BA Music & Society curriculum. I must say I was well prepared and had worked hard under the guidance of my voice lecturer, Bo. I really appreciated the presence of fellow classmates at the exam, which gave me strength and inspired me to be the best I could be. I was very happy about my performance. My aim was more to entertain the audience than being examined. I enjoyed myself and shared my passion with everyone in the choir room (concert venue). I also managed to apply some Eurhythmics principles of showing the music and putting it through my body.
Dalcroze Eurhythmics examination (12-13 January 2018)
This was the moment of truth — finally, our exam in Eurhythmics. We had a good preparatory class on the Friday where we got two songs to work on as part of our exams together with our fellow classmates. It went really well as we managed to find something to show in the form of singing, dancing and using objects and musical instruments of our choice. The big day was on Saturday, the moment of reality, as we had to show and perform everything we had prepared the previous day. I think it went well as the class gave us positive feedback. We also taught our classmates the pause dance that we had composed and it was so much fun. I want to commend the music teachers for inspiring me. Their presentations were so brilliant and I was amazed by the fact that their methods of teaching worked with children of different age groups. They are truly dedicated to their work and I wish them all the best with their learners. I hope to see them all again someday.
Living at Lappis and in Stockholm
Sweden has been a wonderful country to visit. I would jump at any opportunity to go back. Forskarbacken 3 is where I was housed the entire semester and I really enjoyed living there with fellow international students. In my corridor there were students from China, India, Bulgaria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Kenya, Uganda and, of course, South Africa. It was nice to learn from different people of different cultures and beliefs. We socialised and connected through corridor meetings and dinners.
I just want to commend the transport system in Stockholm. It’s probably one of the best in the world. With just one travel card you get access to the bus, train, tram and commuter rails and I didn’t experience many delays.
In conclusion, thank you very much Sweden for being such a wonderful home to me. I will forever hold you in my heart and recommend you to anyone who would like to see Europe. HEJA SVERIGE!