The launch of Saga Summit

Saga Summit

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Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 Thoughts No Comments

Dwenesie Music Institute


As I take a historical approach to understand the ways that music has impacted Ghana’s history and culture: socially, politically, and economically, a major aspect of my contemporary focus will be the infrastructure in place for today’s youth to learn music. My focus on music education will hopefully culminate with enabling youth who lack access to music instruction opportunities to begin to learn music. One of my first stops in Accra’s scholastic landscape was the Dwenesie Music Institute (DWI), home of Dinah Reindorf.

When Dinah attended Achimota Secondary School , music education was compulsory for three years before the musicians could move on to higher levels, and those who weren’t inclined could drop it. However that is no longer the case. Dinah explained that the music theory and composition classes begin at very high levels which have two negative effects on the education of their students. It can discourage students who may be naturally talented in music but not at the academic level required of their grade level. On the other hand, it can lower the standards of schools in order to accommodate these same students and in turn potentially devalue the certificates they receive, especially on the international scale.
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Monday, March 16th, 2015 Thoughts, Video No Comments

Sabolai Music Festival


The music of Ghana fills the air, and I experienced it live at the Sabolai Music Festival. In the words of the concert producer, Accra[dot]Alt, is about “good music, art, food, fashion and fun,” promotes public space, and provides “a wicked day + night concert with live performances that will keep you in high spirits.” I was not disappointed.
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Thursday, March 12th, 2015 Slideshow, Thoughts, Video No Comments

After-race Arabic night

Crowd Concert

Abu Dhabi was full of high profile concerts during the Formula One race weekend, November 20-23. The concerts were part of an entertainment festival called Yasalam, organized by the Abu Dhabi-based live events company, Flash Entertainment. The festival culminated during the race weekend with huge, simultaneous concerts in different parts of Abu Dhabi. I went to the opening Arabic night of the after-race concert series at du Arena on Yas Island (where the race circuit is also located), a half hour drive from downtown Abu Dhabi. The Arabic night featured four singers—Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, Lebanese artist Carole Samaha, Emirati Fayez AlSaeed, and Egyptian Tamer Hosny.
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Friday, February 27th, 2015 Thoughts, Video No Comments

Be Yourself! and Other Tips For Your Fulbright-mvU Application

As I was looking for funding opportunities for my Japan-based dissertation research,a professor on my dissertation committee told me about the Fulbright-mtvU fellowship. There was never any question about where I would carry out my Fulbright-mtvU project since I’m pursuing a doctorate in Japanese music at Cornell, although I didn’t become interested in Japan until I was a junior at the University of Chicago. I was studying abroad in an immersion-only advanced Chinese language course in Beijing during the summer of 2007. It was only my second time leaving the States, and the program I participated in was extremely demanding. I imagine that pre-Olympics Beijing was quite a lot for anyone to process: as one of the biggest cities in the world with a mind-boggling energy and jarring income inequality, it quite honestly took me a little while to get used to it all. I inevitably fell in love with China (The people! The energy! The food!), but by the end of the program and a two-week solo sojourn throughout the country, my nerves were totally fried.
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Thursday, February 19th, 2015 Call For Applications, Thoughts No Comments


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