Can you imagine having music lessons without access to any musical instruments? The girls at the Methodist Girls High School in Freetown, Sierra Leone, know this too well. But Alleyn’s e-Learning Assistant, Showers Jalloh, is back in Freetown to provide more hands-on support to enhance the girls’ musical education with the help of technology.
The initial project began when the new Alleyn’s Lower School building opened, and new iPads were ordered. Mr Jalloh suggested that the old iPads could benefit the Methodist school. Not only did he send the iPads directly, but because many of the pupils and staff had never seen or used an iPad before, he also flew out during the 2019 Easter holidays to give face-to-face training on how to maximise their use as an educational resource. As well as music, they created Podcasts and animations and learnt how to edit videos, which they have continued to share and exchange with pupils involved in the Alleyn’s Podcast Club.
More recently, during the 2020 Christmas holidays, Mr Jalloh has returned to the Methodist school, to carry out more music workshops as well as teach the pupils how to use the iPads to research materials appropriate to their learning. He said:
“The difference these sessions and the iPads make is transformational. These students are studying performing arts, but they have never touched or played a musical instrument in their lessons. Also, here, girls are not taught music creative skills, so the iPads have given them the chance to play keyboard and drums as well as to hear the various sounds of the instruments they have heard of but never seen physically. It has inspired them to be more creative, to have fun with both the music and the technology and importantly, to change the perception they have which is 'Women can't be music producers'.”
“By the end of the last day all the students understood how to create and record a song of their choice. One of the students even wrote and recorded a song for her mum which was very touching.”
Mr Jalloh also led a live assembly between the Methodist Girls High School and Alleyn's Lower School giving pupils the chance to ask each other insightful questions from, how is Covid-19 impacting you in the UK and how did you spend Christmas to what do you eat for breakfast and how long does it take you to get to school. It was a fantastic way for the pupils to understand more about the UK and Sierra Leone.
Mr Jalloh will remain in Freetown and provide more workshops in the coming weeks as well as explore further ways for Alleyn’s pupils to remain connected with the girls at the Methodist Girls High School.
Find out more about Alleyn's Global Partnerships here.