MUZUKIDZ may be defined as a social development intervention approach that targets various at-risk groups living in precarious personal and social circumstances. Children living in poor townships and attending schools there are physically and mentally restricted to communities where poverty and crime prevail.
Maria was determined to find a venue in Cape Town’s Central City where she could continue the social development and community work she started with the CPO. Finding the Good Hope Seminary Junior School was the breakthrough: here 90 per cent of the learners are from the surrounding townships. The high exposure to crime and gangsterism were motivating families to send their youngsters to schools in town where they feel safe during the daytime while their parents were at work.
Through the provision of rigorous training and interpersonal communication, Maria and her team of teachers foster creativity and cooperation in their students. As a result, the children build confidence, strength and trust in others and in this way the teaching team address issues of social inclusion and cohesion. Included in the violin lessons is – what is often referred to as the hidden curriculum, namely the inclusion of specific skills aimed at achieving social outcomes relevant to the project’s target group. The Suzuki method, based on educating talent from early childhood, aims to develop intellectual capacity, emotional stability and self-value before adolescence. This project is not aimed at the development of children and youth as professional performers per se – although this is an outcome of their learning process.