‘Music keeps me on my feet’ - Charles Jantjies (71)

Music enthusiast, 71-year-old Charles Jantjies.                    Photo:SUPPLIED
Music enthusiast, 71-year-old Charles Jantjies. Photo:SUPPLIED

WHAT could deter him from his first love, music? – not even an incomplete spinal injury.

The outcome of an operation in 2010, which resulted in becoming wheelchair bound, was not enough to keep 71-year-old music enthusiast Charles Jantjies away from his passion and he was determined to continue with his cosmopolitan activities in the community.

Now residing at the Retha van der Merwe Retirement Village he offers musical practical and theory lessons for beginner and advanced learners.

“Music keeps me on my feet. Teaching it is in my soul,” Jantjies said.

He also prepares deserving students for a pianoforte practical and written examinations from pre-grade 1 through to grade 8 through UNISA, Trinity College and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

A much sought after educationalist, he is adamant that students must be thoroughly and effectively nurtured to be musically literate.

“Music pupils need to be taught the why of music not only the how.”

The accredited University of South Africa (Unisa) music teacher advocates that music is a refreshing art, an academic exercise that when taught well promotes discipline, concentration and memorisation.

“All of these become a potent force when they spill over into the students’ academic lives enabling them to build secure futures.

“Knowledgeable parents know the value because the exposure to music subsequently produces students that are well equipped to engage any field of study successfully and confidently.”

Retired after a very eventful teaching career, he was formerly employed by the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra to teach music theory to selected students and served as a pianoforte accompanist for various instrumentalists in the Trinity College grade examinations.

Currently he also deputises as an organist when called upon and assists school choirs.

To young and old alike he enjoys exposing the divine art with his endearing, patient and pleasant interaction.

Jantjies articulates that students who believe that they have the ‘midas touch’, who think that everything they touch academically would turn to gold should be exposed to the arts.

“This route inevitably dislodges them from their stubborn complacency because they will soon realise that music requires much more than just academic prowess. It is a gift and requires plain hard work.”

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