Local’s book makes music easy

2017-12-12 06:01
Rus NerwichPHOTOS: Nomzamo Yuku

Rus NerwichPHOTOS: Nomzamo Yuku

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A Woodstock-based musician has published his first book aimed at inspiring young artists to be creative in music.

Rus Nerwich says his Tones of Note Journal in Music is an attempt to show young artists that music can be educational and needs educated people in order to convey the correct messages.

Nerwich says while many artists succeed in the music industry without education, there is a difference between a professional musician and someone who simply has a good voice.

The colourful book, with drawings of music instruments on the cover, is designed to let artists compose music in an easy format, guided by rules from professionals on how to use instruments.

Nerwich says the book is suitable for people of all ages. He says it was inspired by his music students’ eagerness to be creative and use free-hand writing to compose music and play instruments.

He says the guidelines for students and section to make notes make his book stand out from the books that are already on the market. He says he created his book by imagining someone expressing his thoughts through music.

Nerwich explains that the book “includes hand-illustrated ledger lines, insightful questions for eliciting educational conversations and funky illustrations, all of which focus on developing and enriching learners in their journey in music. The content has a balance of South African and international artists, as well as a variety of instruments, giving students the scope of music in different genres and their connection to the sounds they produce.”

He says he felt he needed to do more than offer classes and work with artists at his Woodstock Music Academy.

The book is one of his projects to empower individuals and groups to do better in music. The book is currently used through the partnership Nerwich has with Lalela, an NGO based in Hout Bay, and is sold from their premises in Albert Road.

He says: “Learning to read and write music as a child assists with motivation and structure, hones temporal processing and orienting attention, and heightens reading and verbal memory. Musical training lays down neural scaffolding that improves the brain’s ability to hardwire connections between various brain regions. The routine also improves focus, reduces stress and could act as an antidote for the pressure that children feel to do well on standardised testing.”

One of his music students, Genevieve Minaar, says she is excited about the book because it has made is easy for her to understand the notes. She says she does music as a hobby but she finds it important to not just sing but to do it in a correct way.

Zimasile Sibothobotho, a music coach at Lalela, says he finds the book interesting and it has made their students easily understand the rules of instruments. He wishes that music teachers at school and those who want to learn more about music could take advantage of the book.

He says he is grateful to Nerwich for his continuous attempt to empower young artists and contribute to promoting the educational side of music in Cape Town.

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