Friday, November 11, 2011


Since we arrived in Benin, we have stayed focused on our work with children and students, but all along there has been a common question – what about the professional musicians?

At CIAMO we’ve always planned to work with artists, helping them to develop professionally all while hoping that this will also develop their capacity to teach music and art. During the past year, we've had various activities and workshops for artists, but this year we’re really kicking off our efforts with CIAMOStar. 

CIAMOStar is a comprehensive program that allows for rising Beninese artists, traditional and modern, to improve in their understanding of music and composition. Many artists are incredibly successful in the local scene, but they often find that their lack of music literacy prevents them from taking the next step in the industry.

The intensive three month institute involves classes three nights a week. The classes are primarily in songwriting and in music theory, but artists are also offered opportunities to learn basic piano and guitar, and to improve their performance skills. We will also be using basic recording technology to give the artists a chance to try out different arrangements of their music and create demo tracks to share with potential producers and all of you. 

Last night we kicked off our first session with 13 participants. They learned the basics of rhythm and note reading with contrabassist Richard Onissah. Expect more updates about this new program in the coming weeks!
Professor Richard Onissah teaches a group of artists on the first
day of CIAMOStar. 

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