Hundreds of people in Barbados, especially young boys, are showing a “burning” desire to be formally trained in music and song, specifically for use in church.
That is the information coming out of Notes of Praise, a Christian music school that’s been inundated by an average 300 students each academic year.
Managing Director and founder, Vallis Jemmott told High Note that enrollment continues to be so overwhelming, that he has been forced to consider relocating from the school’s existing venue at the Nazarene Tablernacle on Eagle, Hall, St. Michael.
Jemmott preferred not to provide details about the relocation plans, because the matter was still under discussion.
“The classes are dominated by males, particularly children. When we started there were more adults, but that has shifted to children, where the males are dominating,” pointed out the associate degree music graduate and professional accountant.
He said too that the school, now in its 10th year of existence, is getting “a lot of families enrolling together” to do different types of courses and “we give them discounts,” added the musicial executive.
Jemmott explained that Notes of Praise, whose focus was to produce musicians for churches, also prepared students for the external examinations of the Royal School of Music in piano, theory and singing.
Outside of that, courses are also conducted in bass guitar, rhythm guitar, voice, steel pan, drums, key board, kids music, kids drums, music theory, studio recording and production, sound reinforcement (sound engineering) and praise ensemble where school representatives go to churches and “take over” the worship singing rehearsals.
Instructions are also done in CXC music, two persons having already successfully sat it in June and July.
While the focus of Notes of Praise is on preparing persons for music and song in churches, the school’s administrator made it clear that obviously, the information can be transferred to any genre of music.
The institution, which operates along the same academic year as the regular school, runs courses of between 10 weeks and 12 weeks duration.
Jemmott said students are however, urged to commit to at least a year. Grades, he stated, are one to eight.
He revealed that persons as young as three and as old as 77, have successfully pursued the music courses.
The 77-year-old did the piano “as a total beginner,” declared the Notes of Praise boss.
He disclosed since its beginning, more than 1,000 people have been trained by the institution with a success rate of between 70 per cent and 80 per cent.
“People return to do over courses. We have a high return rate, and we have people who remain as many as four to five years to take different aspects of a course,” Jemmott announced.