Cape Town Recorder Group
St Catherine's Catholic Church
Cape Town, South Africa
The Cape Town Recorder Group was founded in 2001 with the object of providing cultural resources for deprived children living in urban Cape Town.
There are a total of 27 children in the group being are mostly primary school children. They are between the ages of 6 and 16. At the moment (July 2001) we seem to attract only girls. They attend local public schools. Many of them come from single-parent homes. Their parents are mostly labourers or semi-skilled workers.
Our teachers, Judy Turner and Pauline Adams are both full time working people. They offer recorder classes on Saturday afternoons from 13h00 to 14h30. They both play the descant recorder, but are currently receiving valuable training from the University of Stellenbosch.
These webpages provide further information regarding background, the challenges and music programme.

Cape Town is South Africa's most beautiful, most romantic and most visited city. Indeed, few urban centres anywhere can match its setting along the Cape Peninsula spine, which slides like the might tail of the continent into the Atlantic Ocean. By far the most striking and famous of its sights is Table Mountain, rearing up from the middle of the city to provide a vista to the suburbs below. Standing on the table top you can look north for a giddy view of the city centre, its docks filled with match box ships. Turning south, beyond the leafy middle-class suburbs of Newlands and Constantia, lies the warmer but more distant False Bay seaboard, which curves around before fading off to Cape Point.

Sadly, when most travellers expound the unarguable delights of Cape Town, they are referring only to genteel Cape Town the formerly whites-only areas. The harsh reality for most Capetonians is one of crowded shanty towns, sky high murder rates, taxi wars, racketeering and gangland terror.

Many children living in these areas are drawn into activities of crime and violence not by choice, but by circumstances. It is therefore that the Kolping Family of Kleinvlei (a suburb north of Cape Town) embarked on a music programme which entails teaching youngsters to play the recorder. The programme will offer youngsters viable alternatives. Through developing an interest in music, it becomes possible to change the direction that many unfortunate children's lives take. The music programme is one of very few options children have and we hope to offer more services through our music programme
The Challenges

Resources for Children
Over the years, sub-economic black areas were very scarcely provided with resources to develop or train children. Public schools have very low budgets and are forced to deal with overcrowded classrooms. Besides the ill equipped school and small public library, there is not much else that any child can choose from for further development. Our project aim to offer a further resource.

Parent Involvement
Parents from sub-economic areas hardly see the necessity for enriching their children. Their main concern is where their next meal will come from. Operating against such odds often make parents neglect the development of their children. Our project aims to assist parents with enriching their children by conducting parenting skills workshops for parents.

Outside Influence
The devil makes work for idle hands. This term most aptly describes what happens to the many children coming from sub-economic areas. Children are placed under tremendous pressure to join unsavoury company in the neighbourhoods and end up in trouble. Our project aims to keep children off the street and reduce the negative pressure on them.

Saving our Children
Through our music programme, we want to give children a chance in life. To give children the opportunity of a brighter future. Our music programme will result in developing our children's ability to choose good things for themselves and they will make wiser choices in other areas of their life as well.
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  Cape Recorder Kids on the altar of St Catherine's Catholic Church playing for visitors Some of the older members with the first boy who joined the group
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Two junior girls with the second boy that joined the group. There are officially now 2 boys in the group and +/- 12 girls Having lots of smiles while playing - distracted by something funny Two friends who always want to play a piece alone together
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The group listening to Judy Turner Judy explaining what to play next Judy joining the group playing the National Anthem (Nkosi Sikilele)
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The group on the step outside the church with a small boy listening in the corner A picture of our church building  
Sound Samples

Here are some of our first recordings: "All through the night" was featured on the "Recorder Music Webring, DAM-CD for UNICEF" until the end of 2003 when closed down along with other children from Parkside School, Yorkshire, England as well as international recorder artists such as Jill Kemp and the Berkshire Recorder Consort.
Music Programme

Our music programme is being implemented through:
  • Training workshops for instructors
  • Training lessons for learners
  • Workshops for parents

Local Partnerships
A partnership has been established with the music department of the local University of Stellenbosch. With the assistance of the departments outreach programme, recorder teachers are trained to a high standard to be able to deliver quality teaching to our children.

The Cape Town Recorder Group was founded in 2001 with the object of providing cultural resources for deprived children living in urban Cape Town. There are a total of 27 children in the group being are mostly primary school children and are between the ages of 6 and 16. We are members of the webrings shown below.

The Recorder Music Webring
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Children's Music Webring
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The South African Music Webring
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