The Dhow Countries Music Academy Zanzibar (DCMA) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation, established in March 2001. It opened Zanzibars first music school in Stonetown in September 2002, which provides music lessons as well as instruments at minimal cost to anyone interested in studying music or acquiring mastery of an instrument.
Particular emphasis is being placed on teaching traditional Zanzibar music styles, such as Taarab, Beni or Kidumbak, with currently all of the teachers coming from Zanzibar. The school consists of 6 major components:
· Music Lessons (e.g. Violin, Oud, Qanun, Cello, Guitar, Ney, Accordion, Ngoma, Piano, Drums, Theory, Ensemble Play)
· Student Scholarship program (sponsoring talented individuals including opportunities to win instruments through competition)
· Music Library (providing all necessary instruments for use in the Academy as well as music notes, lyrics, recordings, etc)
· Student Orchestra (music from Zanzibar and the Dhow Region)
· Music Agency (to promote musicians from Zanzibar and actively seek out new job opportunities nationally as well as internationally)
· Workshops and Seminars
Among the aims of the organisation are
· To provide an opportunity for the inhabitants of Zanzibar and the Dhow Region to study music related to their cultural background, with a special emphasis on broadening the educational opportunities for young people, children, women and to thus preserve the rich musical heritage of Zanzibar
· To promote professional excellence among musicians through training, seminars, workshops, debates etc.
· To give skills and resources to a group of talented young people so that they can make a living from music
· To increase the number of jobs already available by marketing and promoting musicians to local venues, regional promoters, international festivals, etc.
· To foster communication, networking and peaceful relationships on an international basis with emphasis on the Dhow Countries region (Africa, India, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia Islands of the Indian Ocean and the Arabic States).