Ben Schoeman delivers in Stellenboasch

Ellen Agnew

Internationally renowned pianist, Ben Schoeman, has said there is a severe lack of music and arts education in South Africa.

Schoeman in Concert_BenSchoeman_EndlerHall__AninaVisser (photographer), ellenagnew (author)
PHOTO: Ellen Agnew

Schoeman believes that music is essential in human development as it has the ability to bring together cognitive elements.

“It’s a very sad thing. Music is one of those few subjects that bring together cognitive elements. As a musician, you have to read, you have to feel, you have to hear. The concentration, the memorisation. It’s all very unbelievably important,” he said.

He also believes that one cannot fully understand and perform a piece of music if they are not educated entirely in the cultural activity of the era from which the score originates.

“One cannot internalise the colour palette of the piece if they do not know the art and literature from that time,” he said.

Schoeman completed his degree in music at the University of Pretoria and went on to complete his PhD at the Guild Hall School of Music and Drama in London. He focused his research on the work of South African composer, Stefans Grové, and touched on the benefits of music education and awareness in schools.

Despite a lack of funding in the arts in South Africa, Schoeman claims it is a global issue.

“Music education is globally underappreciated,” said Schoeman.

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