Access Music Project

Welcome to AMP


AMP! is a project of The Arkwork Collective, a company not for profit (CNFP) that represents a collaboration of contemporary artists and scientists who make use of arts based intervention as a form of social justice, catharsis, education and personal empowerment. AMP! is The Arkwork Collective's music education initiative, and is one of a number of projects carried out by the Collective.

AMP! is based in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and took off the ground in January 2011 in response to the problem of young potential musicians not having access to music study. South Africa'’s divided history has left the majority of our current generation of school children with a legacy of poorly resourced schools. In such schools music is not an option for study, and arts in general have no priority. There are many children in our communities who are talented and aspiring musicians, artists, dancers or dramatists; and arts-based community projects such as AMP! are one of the few means available for these learners to engage in arts activities and to study arts subjects.

Not only are we offering opportunities unavailable to many young learners because of historical circumstances, but there is an intense joy to participating in music, the power of which can change people’'s lives, build pride and self-confidence, and heal –- things which are of great importance in communities that are still struggling with the daily realities of poverty. The programme provides young people with positive and constructive activities to engage in and we also hope that it will go some way towards addressing social imbalances in music industry and study.

We teach practical music, music theory, music literacy, sound technology and ensemble work in a five year programme, to learners from Nombulelo, Khutliso Daniels and Ntsika secondary schools in Grahamstown. At the end of each learner's time in the programme he or she will have obtained a formal qualification either through South Africa’s National FET (Further Education and Training) Music Curriculum or through a recognised international examination body such as ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). Our dream is to be able to open up our programme to a greater number of learners from a wider pool of schools and take on an additional group of learners each year. We are striving to establish a vibrant and well-equipped centre of music education, in which learners receive a high quality of education and develop their musical creativity.


AMP was established in 2011 and is a project of the public benefit organisation The Arkwork Collective.

AMP opens the way for South Africa’s young musicians.


  • Youth
  • Music
  • Education
  • Transformation


For South Africa’s youth to have equal ACCESS to music education, creative industry, cultural heritage and artistic possibilities.


To enable young musical people, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, to realise musical futures through a solid and competitive music education, towards the development of outstanding musicians, performers and creative professionals.


AMP’s objectives (tying in with national development goals):

  • Opening up access for underprivileged school learners to a high-quality centre of music education (national developmental goals: development of technical skills and knowledge; redressing inequalities)
  • Training learners for formal qualifications in music and access to tertiary study and career paths (accreditations and access; redressing inequalities; reducing youth unemployment)
  • Developing a music curriculum that is in line with current standards but includes neglected relevant areas of study; emphasis on African music, industry music and sound technology (development of technical skills and knowledge; promotion of heritage; reducing youth unemployment)
  • Creating a dynamic ensemble programme to bridge divisions among young people (social cohesion and transformation)


We have a carefully structured series of programmes from foundational music learning at primary school level, up to our Internship and Doorways programmes at post-school level, which assist with bridging learners to tertiary studies and the creative industry. To learn more about our programme structure and what each programme entails, see our Programme Structure Diagram and Overview of AMP Programmes.


AMP is situated in Joza Location, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Click here for a map of the community AMP serves, showing our partner schools: Map of AMP Community.


Donate an instrument
AMP is always in need of new or second-hand musical instruments for its learners. Instruments that are donated to the programme belong to the programme itself, but are allocated to particular learners for the duration of the learners' time in the programme. Learners in the programme are able to keep their instruments at home so that they can practise on them any time. Instruments currently taught at AMP include: voice, marimba, trumpet, trombone, alto and tenor saxophone, cello, violin, drum kit, piano/keyboard, flute, clarinet, bass guitar, guitar, pennywhistle. If you are interested in donating a second-hand instrument to AMP or in sponsoring the purchase of an instrument, you can contact us to make arrangements.

Sponsor a learner's practical tuition
Sponsor a learner's instrumental tuition for R7820 per annum. The minimum period of sponsorship is 1 year, and this may be renewed annually at the sponsor’s choice. If you are interested in sponsoring a learner’s practical instrument tuition, you can make payment directly into our bank account with the reference 'Instrument tuition', or alternatively contact us for more information.

Sponsor a learner's Grade 5 Theory Exam
Grade 5 theory is a necessary stepping stone for our learners wishing to pursue further studies in music. The ABRSM Grade 5 Theory Exam is an international standard and many institutions require a qualification such as this in order to admit learners for higher music studies. The fee for sitting the exam in 2018 will be R540. If you are interested in sponsoring a learner's exam, you can make payment directly into our bank account with the reference 'Grade 5 Theory', or alternatively contact us for more information.

Sponsor a learner's graded practical exam
Graded practical exams are a necessary stepping stone for our learners wishing to pursue further studies in music. The fees differ depending on grade level and examining board, so please contact us for further information.

Volunteer at AMP
AMP welcomes volunteers in the following capacities, and more: Teaching (music theory/aural, sound technology, instrument lessons, marimba bands); Administration; Career guidance for learners; General assistants on camps / tours; Media support.

Make a donation
AMP relies mainly on grants and donations for its daily operations, whether it be for teaching resources, office costs, transporting learners, or our food programme. If you are interested in making a contribution you can make payment directly into our bank account.


We are grateful for all of the grants, donations and assistance we have received from individuals and organisations, namely:

National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund
African Musical Instruments
Acoustic Cafe
Agata Runowicz
Ashby Music Academy

Association Faux Défi Défaut Fou (FDDF)
Assumption Development Centre
Ameeta Gangaram
Andrew Tracey
Anki Yafele
Anna Marsh
Arts and Culture Trust
Beautiful Brass
Bianca du Plessis
Boudina McConnachie
Brenna Excell
Business and Arts South Africa (BASA)
Candice Egan
Carin Purnell
Caroline Peter
Cape Tercentenary (Cape 300) Foundation
Centre of Excellence, Rhodes University
Child Welfare Grahamstown
Chris and Marian Walwyn
Christian Carver
Classics at the Castle
College of the Transfiguration
Corinne Knowles
Craig Barrett
Creative City Grahamstown
Mrs D. Duggan
Dave and Joan Brown
David Fryer
David Fuller
Daphne Timm
Denstone College
SA Department of Arts and Culture
Diocesan School for Girls
Di Hornby
Drum Cafe
Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC)
Elijah Madiba
Emily Drewett
Environmental Learning Research Centre
Grahamstown Goodwil Gang
Grahamstown Foundation
Goonie Marsh
Guy Halse
Hazel Switzer
Heather and Jim Jones
Ina Skär Beeston
International Library of African Music (ILAM)
Ingrid Schüdel
IT Solutions

James Way-Jones
Janet and Norman Brown
Jeanne and Guy Berger
Jenny and Darren Devereux
Jenny and Darren Devereux wedding collection
Jobst Bodenstein
John Bradshaw
Jono Hall
Joza Youth Hub
Juanitha Els
Karen Frederickson
Karlstads Universiteit
Kate Stannard
Kim Stephens
Kingsley Buitendag
Lanthus van Boom
Lee Gold Music
Lindsay Johnston
LineOut Productions
Liz Skipper
Lorraine and Ron Weissenberg
Louisa Feiter
Lwando and Jenna Tanale
Marcia Davidson
Marion Brown
Martin Poole
Makana Brick
Makana Municipality
Mark Fricke
Marimba Education Foundation
Mike Skipper
Mike Turner
National Arts Council

National Arts Festival

Nicola and Nick Flavell
Nicole Germiquet
Nicci Hayes & Kirsty McCrindle
Nicci Spalding
Nora Bartels
Outriggerz Productions
Peter Cotterill
Peter Wentworth
Poole Family
Rafael Trust
Redwood Spur Steak Ranch, Grahamstown
Rhodes University Community Engagement
Rhodes University Department of Music and Musicology
Rhodes University Environmental Committee - Green Fund
Robin and Di Palmer
Rona Henning estate
Ros and Denis Hughes
Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset
Rotary Club of Cheadle and District
Rotary International
SAMRO Foundation
Sakhile Moleshe
Sebastian Jamieson
Sean Ramsden at Ramsden Small Attorneys
Sharli Paphitis and James Stapley
Sharon and Mike Stadler
Sheila and John Woodham
Siyabonga Skosana
St Andrew's Preparatory School
Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival
Steel Pipes and Fittings
Steve Ellis
Tracey Burton
Trisha and Robyn Butler
The Management of the Two Oceans Aquarium
Victoria Girls' High School
Walwyn Family
Waainek Wind Power
Ziya Mayalo

Our school partners:
Archie Mbolekwa Senior Primary
C.M. Vellem HP School

D.D. Siwisa Primary School
Fikizolo Primary School
Good Shepherd Primary School
Khutliso Daniels Secondary School
Mary Waters Secondary School
Ntaba Maria School
Nombulelo Secondary School
Ntiska Secondary School
Samuel Ntsiko Primary School
St Mary's Primary School
T.E.M. Mrwetyana

Volunteers and past volunteers:
Afezekile Moko
Agnes Dietrich
Akash Chiman
Anna James
Anelisiwe Msomi
Asakhe Cuntsulana
Bathule Maneli
Bonelela Mvuso
Bulela Maqela
Caroline Sparks
Charles Merchant
Chris Thorpe
Corinne Knowles
Dominique Peterkin
Dillon Lutchman
Doria Madubela
Eddith Ncobo
Elijah Madiba
Eric Otchere
Gabrielle Perzo
Gerianne de Klerk
Grant Mears
Heather van Niekerk
Hennie van der Mescht
Injairu Kulundu
Jason Speckman
Jayson Flanagan
Johan Pretorius
Keorapetse Ramagaga
Kholeka Tshihi
Kingsley Buitendag
Lebogang Koloane
Lindelwa Madubela
Lotta Matambo
Mandisa Ntlale
Marinda Mhlongo
Max Peters
Mike Skipper
Molebogeng Mosweu
Mzoxolo Mkontwana
Nomashawekazi Damasane
Nomvelo Cele
Nondumiso Manyati
Ntombesizwe Booi
Pam Eapen
Perry-Mason Adams
Pierce Krawland
Rick van Heerden
Sarah Waterfield
Shaan Forster
Sibabalwe Mxotwa
Sibulele Ngcobo
Simamkele Heleni
Stephen Ellis
Tiaan Gerwel
Vincent Nquru
Yemurai Matibe
Zandile Klaas
Zandile Kila
Zikisa Maqubela