By Vivian Onyebukwa

Tenstrings Music Institute, Nigeria’s largest school of music, has unveiled a gospel music academy in response to the demand for young talents seeking professional training to pursue a career in this genre.
Speaking at a briefing to announce the unveiling of its newest campus in Lagos, the Founder/CEO of the institute, Emmanuel Akapo, stated that the goal at the inception of the training institute in 2007 was to close the gap between what was being taught in music schools, and what the student wants, but with the increase in demands for specialisation in gospel music, the new academy became necessary.
He revealed that the academy has DJ Gosporella as Head of Faculty.
Prior to the establishment of Tenstrings Music Institute , what was obtainable in music schools was the teaching of classical music when musicians wanted to be afro-beats artistes, gospel, hip-hop, rhythm, blues, etc. So, after teaching in over 20 music schools across the world, Akapo said he felt it was about time to give it a trial.
Tenstrings was founded to cater for the needs of young music artists who desire to build careers in contemporary music such as hip-hop, reggae, R&B, gospel, jazz, rock, highlife, afro-beat, etc, by equipping them with all-encompassing music and business training. This, according to the founder, is the reason the institute adopts what is called a dynamic curriculum.
Currently, the school is running on six campuses in FESTAC town, Lekki/Ajah, Ikeja, Surulere, Port Harcourt, and Abuja. They are also incorporated in the UK and operating there as, “Africa Heritage Academy UK Ltd.
Akapo revealed that more plans are underway to open more centres in other major communities across the country.
The academy has trained over 15,000 students from 16 countries over a period of 15 years. Some of them are man fast-rising and highly successful music stars, which include DJ Lambo, DJ Spinall, Eva Alordiah, Judikay, Akaycentric, Minjin, to mention a few.
Akapo has also worked with other notable stars like the late Sound Sultan, Bez, Brymo, and others. He noted that with the institution’s membership with the International Society for Music Education (ISME), the institute is poised to drive its students toward international best practices in every genre of music they choose.
Tenstrings is the official partner and testing centre for Rockschool (RSL Exams, London) in Nigeria. It is also the official agent for Falmouth University and SAE Institute in Nigeria. “This is in preparation of the students for the global stage. The institute’s vision is to produce successful musicians and music professionals who would continue to grow and remain relevant, Akapo stated.
Akapo’s mission is to innovatively help young talents to realise their dream of becoming a successful contemporary musicians, raise musicians and music professionals who will be truly successful and will continuously remain relevant in the ever-changing global music market, raise role models who will become giants in music and general entertainment business, and propel the African entertainment industry to global limelight.”
However, the institute is faced with the challenges of insufficient funding. This has been a major challenge of running a world-class music training school in Nigeria. Akapo lamented that all the progress that the school has made since its existence, has been from tuition, which is not enough to meet the huge market available for the music industry all over the world. “We have never received a penny from anywhere in terms of grants. Local or state governments have not given us a dime at any point in time. So all the growth you see we have made these 15 years has been organic. I have learned that as important as money is, passion is what it takes to keep a dream alive”, he said.
Their programs cover two specific areas. They include, music performance and music production. “The institute has over ten different courses in these two key areas spanning different durations and depths. Depending on the amount of time at your disposal and the skill level you want to attain, we have programs from three months to two years in length, he hinted. At Tenstrings, our students stand a high chance of succeeding in their career because we match training with opportunities. We work hard to give our students the experience and platform that emulates the real world they’re dreaming of launching into”.
Akapo described Tenstrings as a home of multiple opportunities as they are the owners of other business and social enterprises such as; BuyInstruments.ng, Lagos School of Design, Naijamusic247.com, Tenstrings Music Management and Promotions Company, and many other initiatives that their students benefit from”.
Their mission is to innovatively help people realize their dream of becoming a successful contemporary musician, raise musicians and music professionals who will be truly successful and will continuously remain relevant in the ever- changing global music market. It is also to employ the best of innovation and global best practices in helping their students trace their way to sustainable stardom, and to raise role models who will become giants in music and general entertainment business, and propel the African entertainment industry to global limelight.
Speaking on their approach, Akapo stated that their strength lies in individuality and flexibility in attending to each and every one of their students. “People learn music for different reasons, shared success comes only when the learner achieves a sense of fulfilment at the end of their program with us. Our curriculum and teaching methods are based on most recent developments and international best practices in music training. We deliver our training services through well-groomed, hands-on, reputable professionals and using world-class facilities.
They are motivated by the huge amount of talented young people spread across Africa, and they accept the great honour and responsibility to be in a position of service to build these talents and prepare them to for a successful future, Akapo said.
On what inspires them to do what they do, Akapo said, “We are inspired by the enormous power of music- it is strong enough to positively turn our communities around and empower young people for life-long success. Despite growing economic challenges around the world, the entertainment industry everywhere in the world has continued to thrive, and in some cases serving as a bailout for many. We at Tenstrings believe that through innovation and hard-work, we can leverage on this consistent growth in the industry to build a formidable music sector in Africa.

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Source: news