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Experiencing indigenous East African dance songs : reflections from North West University (South Africa)
After democracy (1994) the doors of teaching and learning in music opened widely to include local indigenous music and culture in South Africa. Since 2005, African music has been a vibrant aspect of the music curriculum within the School of Music, North West University, South Africa. Globally tertiary music educators are challenged to include informal pedagogy of indigenous musics within the formal context of university courses. University music courses in South Africa are still predisposed towards ‘western’ music pedagogies. In October 2012, the School of Music invited a visiting expert in African music and dance to offer onsite teaching and learning of Ugandan dance songs to tertiary students. The initiative to include Ugandan music as part of the teaching and learning workshops on African music at the School of Music was funded by the South African Music Rights Organization. The School of Music has an ongoing policy to invite and include culture bearers to share their skills and expertise with students and academics. Such sharing provides culture bearers the opportunity to transmit much needed skills, which are not often offered by academics. UNESCO (2012) identifies scarce knowledge and skills as intangible heritage.