Ghetto Classics – Changing lives through music

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Ghetto Classics is the flagship programme of the Art of Music Foundation. It is a community programme that involves over 300 children in Korogocho – one of Kenya’s biggest slums that is home to about 300,000 urban poor and over 600 more children in 10 satellite areas around Nairobi, 1 in Kiambu and 4 in Mombasa through the Link Up Programme. Music education provides the youth with opportunities to better themselves and their community, by instilling in them the life skills that come with the discipline of studying art music. The programme also provides them with income generating opportunities.  Some of the graduates jointed the Safaricom Youth Orchestra, which also supportes them with basis needs like food, shelter, school fees and clothes. 


Some graduates are now tutors at Ghetto Classics. They were able to gain sponsorship from the Kenya Conservatoire and Art of Music Foundation to do the ABRSM exams, while teaching at St. John’s school during the week and on weekends. With the help of Ghetto Classic, tutors have managed to access and own their own personal instruments. They have gone on to create their own band and perform at events in the community. Through the Orchestra for Schools Initiative programme Ghetto Classics has managed to expand its operation to other schools within our community and further afield. We have begun teaching the recorder to 800 new students, from 9 different primary schools in Nairobi, 1 in Kiambu and 4 in Mombasa, using the Carnegie Hall methodology and technical assistance with the end goal of having a concert featuring all the students with the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya.


Ghetto Classics has attracted more supporters both locally and international e.g. Australia Music Society, Carnegie Hall Link Up, The Concordia Foundation, The Opus 1 Foundation, Safaricom and many more. 


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