An outreach distance learning collaboration between Birmingham Conservatoire and Cape Gate MIAGI Music Centre, Soweto Johannesburg.

Project aim

An outreach distance-learning collaboration between Birmingham Conservatoire and Cape Gate MIAGI Music Centre, Soweto, Johannesburg.


About the project

arco is a collaborative project between Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music, a music project in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa and Birmingham Conservatoire Strings Department.

arco is aiming to provide the benefits and life changing inspiration of music to children in the most deprived of circumstances. Music is a powerful tool transcending both language and cultural boundaries. It can develop creativity, self-esteem, a sense of achievement and facilitate social cohesion. arco will be providing transformative music education activities led by Birmingham Conservatoire musicians, acting as role models for vulnerable youngsters living in areas deeply affected by poverty and crime.



Samson's story is an incredible success story origionating in Soweto. An inspiration and example to young aspiring musicians. He is now a leading South African violinist.

Of this project he says...

“I support this valuable initiative...(which).. aims to provide support and opportunity to students at MIAGI..who may not readily have access and exposure to such a rich international cultural exchange of this caliber”

Over the next year, twenty-four selected students (six string quartets) from the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music will participate in weekly instrumental Skype lessons given by teachers at Birmingham Conservatoire in addition to their music lessons in SA. They will also benefit from 1-2-1 mentoring and string quartet coaching, not currently offered at the centre. These lessons will be delivered by students and alumni of the Birmingham Conservatoire in a specially designated distance-learning suite.

Participants in Birmingham will gain valuable experience in teaching, chamber music coaching, technical videoing skills and a cultural awareness outwith their course requirements. Skills to inform their future careers in music.

Live event streaming of master classes, workshops and performances taking place within the Strings Department at Birmingham Conservatoire will provide a revelatory level of inspiration, international awareness and participation.

The year will conclude for the participants with a 10-day immersive ARCO festival hosted at the Cape Gate MIAGI Music Centre in Soweto, South Africa with Birmingham Conservatoire Musicians. A festival including concerts, classes, chamber music coaching, workshops and performance opportunities will take place.

The hope is that this project will provide a level of inspiration and education that is not readily available in South Africa, thereby encouraging young and talented musicians to aspire to the highest level of performance and instil a deep love of music.

We hope that the next year will be the start of an ongoing connection with Birmingham Conservatoire Strings Department and the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music





We need to raise £30,000 to affect this exciting project to its full potential. This includes money for instruments, live straming equipment specific to this project, and the delivery of the ARCO festival at the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.

We have already raised nearly of 50% this amount.

We have set a target of £5,000 over two months for raising funds on Crowdfunder, however our fundraising stream aims to reach £10,000.

As well as making cash donations, you may also offer serviceable string instruments.

This is one part of our fundraising stream - you will hear about other events via our FB page, twitter feed and instagram account. Signing up to our social media will keep you abreast of our progress over the year.

Other funding streams include grant applications, corporate sponsorship, and the support of the Birmingham City University


How you can help