The Black History Cymru 365 Piano Lesson Programme is funded by Arts Council Wales and sessions are delivered by Race Council Cymru. Ify Iwobi is a Welsh A List Pianist/Composer and is employed by Race Council Cymru to teach the piano to ethnic minority students who don’t have the opportunity to access resources. Altogether, there are 10 students on the programme who have free access to Lessons.
They are classically trained and taught the fundamentals of piano playing, including technique. Books used for example are Hal Leonard’s Piano Lesson Books and Me and My Piano Books. They are also taught theory where they learn and do practical exercises on musical topics such as rhythm, score reading and writing.
Lessons are delivered on a physical one to one teacher-student basis, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, have been delivered via WhatsApp on phone. This has been different to adjust to because physically the teacher can see in front of them if the student is playing correctly with the right technique. Virtually, there is no face to face contact and communication is via the phone, taking away that physicality. Many though, have taken to the phone calls and are progressing.
All students will be entered for practical and theoretical exams and will gain certification as a result of this programme. It is important that all communities are given access to piano Lessons. Through this programme, there are no restrictions of learning due to background and finance which these students have faced. All can enjoy Music, learn new skills and become contributing citizens to society and exemplary music makers.