Original Research

The church organist’s rappers: Redefining roles and strategies in music education

Rosa van As, Jaco Kruger
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 10, No 2 | a112 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v10i2.112 | © 2014 Rosa van As, Jaco Kruger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 February 2016 | Published: 30 November 2014

About the author(s)

Rosa van As, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Jaco Kruger, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus

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Arts and culture teachers often are ill-equipped to meet the requirements of school music programmes. They labour especially to accommodate the diverse musical preferences of learners. This discussion accordingly describes the implementation of a once-off rap programme at an inner-city secondary school in Pretoria. It shows the programme evolving fitfully into a remarkably effective synergy between a teacher (trained as a church organist), the formal schooling system, school learners as well as community musicians. However, this synergy was dependent on the teacher relinquishing her cultural and musical preferences in favour of a popular music programme linked to the social experiences of learners. The successful unfolding of this programme demanded that the teacher surrender the conventional status of omniscient, authoritative educator in accordance with the principles of learner-centered approaches. The role of the teacher consequently became that of project coordinator and facilitator, while the needs, goals and actions of learners were central to, and motivated experiential and reflective group learning. Learners applied theoretical knowledge in musical creation and performance, continuously assessed their progress, and redefined their objectives as required. The consequent development by them of a combination of communicative, cognitive, emotional and social skills reveals the value in music education of oral processes of learning, as well as the role of community musicians. It also underscores the value of the school as formal setting of social interaction and education, as well as the indispensable – if redefined – role of the educator.


Action learning; creative arts; music education; learner-centered education; rap


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