The ability of music to raise spirits and inspire is something that most people innately understand. The discipline of actually learning to play an instrument is altogether harder, but the pleasure of creating combined with the process of learning are helping township children to find a new path in life. The Unisa Music Foundation is giving about 1,400 students from disadvantaged backgrounds access to musical instruments, free lessons, the chance to earn recognised qualifications and to perform in orchestras and ensembles. The result of the outreach programme is that teenagers are being lured away from gangs and drugs and children being raised in orphanages could achieve a brighter future. "Our goal is to empower disadvantaged kids across the country through music," says Prof Karendra Devroop, Unisa’s acting director for music. "Research is very clear that music has a positive impact on kids and it’s twofold: socially it impacts their lives because it’s a happy environment and it’s ...

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