about us

The Art of Music was founded in 2009; with a mission to promote the performance and appreciation of art music in Kenya and use its transformative power to change lives, particularly of those living in underprivileged areas of the country. We believe art music, with its traditions of structure, discipline, and excellence, can offer a great awakening and opportunity to a broad spectrum of Kenyan youth. Our programs Art of Music on mentorship, first-class training, and performance opportunities – we see music uniting communities and changing lives.

The Foundation focuses on two programmes. First is the Ghetto Classics, a community programme that involves over 500 children in Korogocho and hundreds more in satellite areas around Nairobi, Kiambu and Mombasa through the Link UP project. The second is a musical and leadership training programme, The National Youth Orchestra of Kenya (KNYO), a music ensemble that brings together talented young musicians from all walks of life in the country.

The Art of Music also manages the Safaricom Youth Orchestra (SYO) who are currently in their 5th year. The foundation is also a key stakeholder in the art music scene in Kenya and is often involved in hosting, funding, and organizing numerous musical events and trainings throughout the year.


The Art of Music Foundation aims to use classical music to inspire hope and help under privileged children in Eastern Africa achieve lasting change in their lives.


To use art music to inspire every child and young adult to realize their dreams and transform societies.


Inclusiveness: We are open to anyone with an interest in art music who wishes to grow his or her skills.

Excellence: We set and maintain the highest standard of art music.

Discipline: We only work with those willing to accept a high standard of personal discipline.

Integrity: We, from the outset, maintain clear and consistent criteria for joining and progressing with us.

Enjoyment: We, while respecting the structures and disciplines of art music, never forget to enjoy music and have fun.

Impact: We continuously strive to positively impact and transform lives through art music.

Overall Project Goal

For Children and young adults, through art music, become productive members of society and agents of change.

Ghetto Classics (GC)

A community programme based at the St John’s Centre. Korogocho slum, one of Kenya’s largest slums which is home to over 300,000 urban poor. We use music education to provide the youth with opportunities to better themselves and their communities. Based in St. John’s Primary School and Church, we run a brass band, string ensemble and Orchestra.

National Youth Orchestra of Kenya (KNYO)

Inspired by the success of Venezuela’s El Sistema organisation in bringing communities together and developing national pride through music participation, the National Youth Orchestra of Kenya (or KNYO as it is often called) was set up in 2010 as a leadership, social-integration (across cultural, age, socio-economic, ethnic barriers) musical leadership programme. It draws from all of Kenya, public and private schools, colleges, and young professionals.

Orchestra for Schools Initiative

Orchestra for Schools Initiative is the name of the project, under the Art of Music Foundation as part of the Ghetto Classics Programme and it uses the Link Up Recorder curriculum by the Carnegie Hall. Each year the curriculum format is the same for each year but contents differ i.e. Orchestra Sings, Orchestra Moves, Orchestra Rocks and Orchestra Swings. So far, we only been able to do the first three themes here in Kenya. Currently we are working with 11 schools 7 in Nairobi and 4 in Mombasa that we still have an active partnership with. In each school we work with about 50 pupils selected from classes 5 and 6, taught by two tutors (a head tutor and an assistant). The pupils learn the descant recorder for about 10 months which culminates into a performance with the Kenya National Youth Orchestra. We’ve held 5 concerts, first at the National theatre, the KICC and finally the M-Pesa Foundation Academy for Nairobi and 2 at the Aga Khan Academy for Mombasa.

Our Partners

Borletti Buitoni Trust

contact us

92 Garden Estate Road, Nairobi
P O Box 63542 – 00619 Nairobi
Website: www.artofmusic.co.ke
Email: info@artofmusic.co.ke
Tel: +254 723 216197