Let’s talk about girls!

 

October 11th was the international Day of The Girl. So – let’s talk about girls! More specifically girl instrumentalists. Why are there so few? And why do most girls “only” sing and dance? At Music Crossroads Mozambique we’re working against this stereotype.

Growing up my parents wanted me to start playing an instrument. I chose the piano, and started playing when I was six years old. Around the time when I turned eight my field of interest shifted. I wanted to sing. I wanted to be on a stage. I wanted to perform in front of big audiences. Not an unusual dream to have for a eight year old girl. My question is; why is it so common?

When I arrived here in Maputo, I was glad to discover that one of the issues I was to work with was encouraging young girls and women to play instruments. Especially instruments that are not so common for girls to play. This started with As Divaz. An all girl band we started just a few weeks after I arrived. This is a project I am doing together with four other girls at MC Mozambique. I don’t think I have ever had so much fun at rehearsals as I do with this gang. They are an amazing group of girls, which give me so much energy.

Good vibes at rehearsals

Good vibes at rehearsals

As not all of us play traditional band instruments there has been a bit of a DIY (do-it-yourself) strategy when it comes to learning how to play. Fortunately we are a group of driven, musical girls, so we’ve managed just fine. And I dear say we’ve gotten really good! Hopefully we will be able to enter the studio before christmas, and record one of our songs! Stay tuned.

 

 

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First performance of As Divas.

We are hoping this project will lead to the start of LOUD – girls rock camp – in Mozambique! Loud is another project facilitated by JM Norway. You can read more about it HERE. We would love to travel to different schools in the Maputo area, encouraging girls to start playing instruments, and start playing together! I think the reason why so few girls play different band instruments is that there are not too many female role models.

Assa Matusse - our beautiful guitarist

Assa Matusse – our beautiful guitarist

 

That is the reason I wanted to start singing when I was eight years old. I wanted to be like Britney Spears (before the head shaving of course) and Gwen Stefani. I had never heard of any superstar female pianists. And all the people playing in the bands of these women were boys. When you are little you are so open to impressions, and so easily influenced. That is why we have to be careful and selective in what we show both our little girls, boys and everything in between. Let’s shake the stereotypes people. We can do better! At least that is the belief of me and the amazing girls in As Divaz.

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Amélia Isabel Mondlane – the amazing drummer in As Divas

Ingrid Dyrnes Svendsen
Ingrid Dyrnes Svendsen

The first time Ingrid sang in front of an audience she was three years old. After that there was no going back. The now 23 year old girl grew up in a small place called Orkdal in the middle of Norway. In addition to singing she plays the piano, composes and teaches. The spring of 2016 she finished a Bachelor’s degree in jazz and improvisation. Although this is the genre closest to her heart, she enjoys listening to and playing all kinds of different music.

This year she is moving to Maputo, Mozambique. Her aim is to teach and learn as much music as possible. She has a passion for including girls and women into the musical scene. Hopefully this is something that she can contribute with during her stay in Maputo.

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