As a non-profit organization, The Africa Voices Trust raises all funds required in order to present these educational programmes, which are thus free of charge to all successful participants. There is no academic requirement that needs to have been achieved to gain entry to the programme – unlike many other professions, musical talent and potential are not effectively determined by academic accomplishment. However their remarkable musical talent, execution, charisma and ambition must distinguish them from hundreds of applicants.
The Africa Voices Programme falls into many different genre categories; from Classical, Jazz and Opera to Contemporary and even Musical Theatre. Each musical genre has different critical success requirements but many aspects of the programme teachings overlap and where necessary a focused, specialized approach is taken. Therefore Contemporary programmes and ‘Classical’ programmes are taught separately.
Selection is not only based on musical talent. Africa Voices candidates must display creative energy, a drive to succeed and the courage to hold themselves to the highest standards. The aim is to create the music industry’s future leaders, so only the very best eight to twelve candidates are selected per programme.
Applications for the Africa Voices Programme are open to musicians from all socio-economic backgrounds and demographics. While selection of participants takes place purely based on the individuals creative ability and other afore-mentioned qualities, it is our intention at the Africa Voices Trust to actively reach out to individuals coming from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. We recognize that such potential participants often endure a very difficult and challenging journey, and believe that it is vital that their accomplishments thus far are recognized and that they are supported through this crucial last stage of their development prior to stepping onwards to begin their careers.
Once candidates have been selected, they then enter a 10 - 12 session programme (currently run over 7 - 12 months) that is designed to prepare them to work anywhere in the world, under the most challenging career conditions possible. Successful participants work in the largest and best-equipped studios in the country and receive coaching and support from sound engineers, mixing engineers, programmers, producers, managers, arrangers, entertainment lawyers, agents and other industry professionals.
The programme takes the participants through all the sequential and overlapping phases of recording their music and presenting it to the world as live performances. It teaches them how to fully prepare, maximize their role as artist and work as part of a high-functioning team in each section of this work. This is all done using a live project in the rehearsal room, in the studio and on stage – not in a classroom. Participants are also introduced to representatives of the different elements that make up a music production team and get to interact with these team members as they would at the pinnacle of their careers - thereby growing confidence, understanding, communication skills and clarity of role definition.