Greetings from Burundi: Reflections from Apollinaire Habonimana

April 27, 2015


Apollinaire Habonimana recently opened a music school in his country of Burundi. At the invitation of Eastman student Matthew Langford, Apollinaire spent a few weeks in Rochester during the summer of 2014 in order to take classes and learn about teaching, planning courses, and administrating a music school. Summer@Eastman director Sylvie Beaudette gathered his thoughts about this experience.

What surprised you most at Eastman?
How huge the facility is, the school structure and how you are organized. I was also surprised by how friendly and caring you people are.

What did you learn in Professor Christopher Azzara’s class?
I learned new approaches in music education like teaching procedure, tonal and rhythm patterns, repertoire… Dr. Azzara is a wonderful communicator. It was very interesting but overwhelming because we learned a lot within a very short time

What have you been able to apply in your own music school?
I’ve been trying to apply some concepts and procedures in our music school, and it seems to work very well.

What challenges are you facing in developing your school?
The first challenge is that myself and other music teachers must keep on learning and building our capacity so that we can respond to the needs of our community in terms of music education. I believe that Eastman can help us become the best music teachers. The second challenge is to find ways of equipping our school with needed musical Instruments like pianos, drum kits, guitars, saxes, violins, etc.

Do you think you’ll come back to Eastman soon?
Yes, I’d like to come back to Eastman next summer to learn more because it’s been so helpful to me and to our music school.

Anything else you would like to add?
No, but I really appreciate what you guys are doing at Eastman.


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