About Play Mzansi

What is the Play Mzansi series?

We are developing a set of accessible and exciting sheet music resources using iconic South African music to help you learn your instrument.

The written music is carefully graded to guide you through different levels of learning from beginner to advanced.

It will be delivered through an interactive app, together with audio tracks.

What is the idea behind Play Mzansi?

There is already a wealth of resources in western and jazz music that guide one step by step in learning an instrument. However, nothing of the kind exists in South Africa music.

The Play Mzansi series will be a mechanism through which South Africa’s incredibly rich musical heritage, which is thriving in informal music contexts and in the industry, can start to hold a legitimate place in the formal education system, and be valued by young South Africans.

What is the survey all about?

We need YOUR help in compiling a list of songs that define the South African sound. We want to hear from ordinary South Africans which SA songs and artists they love the most, and which truly represent a South African musical identity.

We will include the most popular songs in the resources we produce.

Click here to participate in the survey.

What genres of music will Play Mzansi be covering?

The objective of this survey is to produce a list of iconic South African music. Responses can include any style of popular music from the present or past century that has a South African sound.

Who is the Play Mzansi series for?

The resources are aimed at music teachers and learners in formal music-learning contexts in South Africa and across the world. They can also be used by individuals learning on their own.

Which instruments are covered?

For the first phase of the project we are covering the following 14 instruments. In future we would like to add more instruments to this list.

  • Bass guitar
  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Drum kit
  • Flute
  • Guitar
  • Marimba
  • Piano
  • Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet/cornet/flugal horn
  • Tuba
  • Viola
  • Violin

When will the resources be available?

The app will be launched in March 2021, with the first set of resources available for Grades 0-3 of the 8 grades. We will continue to add further resources after this.

How will the app work?

The app will deliver content for music learning by combining technologies for auditory learning, visual learning, memory learning and participation. There will be an interactive playback tool, a sheet music display and a method for teachers to put together custom learning resources for each learner. It will be like having a tutor book to guide you through learning your instrument which has been written especially for you!

I’m interested in using these resources! Are there any costs involved?

The app will be freely available for download. It will come with a generous allowance of free material.

Via the app, users can purchase further songs and resources for an affordable fee. This will give the user access to the sheet music as a digital file (which can then be downloaded or printed) as well as access to the audio guide files and backing tracks.

All proceeds will go to:

  1. Funding further work on the Play Mzansi project
  2. Supporting AMP’s music teaching programme which provides music tuition for historically disadvantaged learners in Makhanda who are otherwise without access to music training. Click here to learn more about this programme.

Licences are available to institutions which cannot afford to buy the songs. Teachers will also have the capacity to sponsor individual learners in need.

Is the sheet music just for solo work or are there also scores for ensembles?

All of the repertoire will be available as both solo and ensemble arrangements. The course is structured so that learners on different instruments can play music together – the exercises are arranged to work together!