Facilitating and promoting musical arts education in Seychelles and Africa will be the focus of an international conference to be held in the island nation next month.
The 11th edition of the Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education (PASMAE) international conference will take place July 1-5 at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS).
The society's purpose is to foster music and arts in the education of people of all ages throughout Africa and also provide a forum for discussion, debate and advocacy pertaining to musical arts education.
Around 100 participants, many of whom are key players in music education from countries around the world, will take part in the conference, which is themed 'Sustainable Musical Arts Education for Africa.'
"These are professional, seasoned performers and educators from higher institutions and universities," John Chitambo, the Vice-President of PASMAE's East African Region told reporters on Wednesday.
PASMAE, which is the representative arm of the International Society for Music Education in Africa, was founded in Zimbabwe in August 2000 as the Pan African Society for Music Education.
The society also assists music educators in the preservation, promotion and teaching or learning of the music cultures of human society while developing creative and competent musicians for the contemporary world.
PASMAE is partnering with the Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA) to bring the conference to Seychelles.
Chitambo said the conference will be a platform to allow locals to meet the international market and increase their professional growth.
"It also contributes to bringing opportunities offered by PASMAE contributing to the status of musicianship, giving local educators and musicians strategies, empowering them with performing skills. Participants will be giving workshops to these musicians and locals should take advantage to become members of the society," said he said.
Artists, music teachers and interested persons in Seychelles -- a 115-island nation in the western Indian Ocean -- are invited to attend and participate in the different presentations that will take place during the five days.
The chief executive of CINEA, Galen Bresson, said that as "the conference is happening here at ICCS, we have asked that PASMAE removes the fee for any Seychellois who would like to participate."
"CINEA has done a barter trade with PASMAE which will now pay for Seychellois who wants to participate and register to become a member of PASMAE," said Bresson.
Among the discussion topics will be cultural policy and musical arts, health, wellbeing and spirituality in musical arts, research in musical arts, technology in the musical arts' and community music and arts education.
"One thing I have noticed during the time that I have been here, is that Seychelles is very rich in talent with a lot of musicians who can actually be top international," said Chitambo.
He added that PASMAE also creates opportunities for Seychellois to get a scholarship to go and study abroad, an opportunity he has benefited from.