music 4 malawi

A music education program for underprivileged children and musicians in HIV/AIDS afflicted Malawi.

Music + Purpose = Change

Music 4 Malawi provides underprivileged children and musicians with knowledge and hope,

Preserves Malawian tradition and culture,

And offers creative professionals a unique opportunity
to bring an authentic project to life.

Why Malawi

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and has a highly underdeveloped creative arts industry. Music 4 Malawi is situated in the Thyolo region, an area that suffers from the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the country, resulting in a large population of orphaned children. Through our music classes, Komai provides these children with a creative outlet for expression - acting as a source of happiness and opening their eyes to new possibilities.

The music industry in Malawi is nearly nonexistent, making it difficult for professional musicians to make a living, and for their music culture to be preserved. By providing musicians with a teaching income, ongoing training and a recording studio, Komai gives them the opportunity to grow as an artist, and document their traditional sound for the generations to come.

  • After-school music classes

    Our twice weekly classes are run for students in grades 4 to 7, taught by a rotating team of 11 local primary school teachers and professional musicians. Volunteers from our creative collaborator, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York visit annually to help teach.

  • Teacher Training Program

    We hold regular teacher training courses taught by students from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and Malawi’s only Ethnomusicologist, Waliko Makhala. The program covers a range of topics including traditional Malawian song and dance, Western notation, songwriting and recording.

  • Local Concerts

    Concerts are held regularly to inspire the surrounding community and provide a stage for students, as well as local and international musicians to perform. The first concert in April 2013 included performances by LA-based band, Islands and Malawian pop-star, Ben Michaels.

  • Food Program

    We provide our students with the proper nutrition needed to finish off their school day. We have employed a group of Grandmothers (known as ‘Gogos’) to cook for our students. We provided the Gogo Group with a microfinance loan to plant an extensive garden from which they grow ingredients for the student meals.

  • recording studio

    Our local studio allows musicians, teachers and students to record their own music for the first time, giving them the opportunity to grow as artists and document traditional sounds for the generations to come.

  • creative products

    We collaborate with professional creatives who visit our program and produce music, documentaries, music videos and photographic portfolios to promote Music 4 Malawi worldwide.

Meet our creative collaborators