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The two-year “VTA Certificate” has as its main objective to offer opportunities to young students a means of expressing themselves more fully, as well as a means of finding economic support for their current and future livelihood.
It is a course of study consisting of five areas of knowledge and skills. These are:

VTA 1:

  1. Skills of performing music (A Study of Vocal and/or Instrumental Performance Skills) of the Swahili, Dhow Countries (Oriental-Arabic), African and Western music traditions;
  2. Knowledge of the music theories of different peoples of the Swahili, Dhow Countries (Oriental-Arabic), African and Western music culture areas concerning how sounds are used to make music (A Study of Music Theory);
  3. Knowledge and appreciation of the place of music in various cultures (A Study of Music Cultures);
  4. Skills of musicianship (A study of exercises to acquire ‘musicianship skills’ that include ear-training, feeling the intricacies  of melody, rhythm, harmony, etc. within a piece of music, reading and writing music, etc.); and
  5. Skills of ways of passing on music concepts and skills to others (A study of Music Education techniques).


VTA 2:

  1. Perform, on music instruments and/or vocally, the music traditions of especially Zanzibar, other areas of Africa and other areas of the  ‘dhow countries’;
  2. Analyze music works, especially the works of Zanzibar, other areas of Tanzania, other areas of Africa and other areas of the ‘dhow countries’ region;
  3. Communicate music ideas well with other people;
  4. Fill the significant gaps in the job market that require well-qualified musicians, e.g., communicators in the areas of music performance, Music Theory (music composition), and Music Education (especially in teaching Music and in working with music in community-development endeavors).

Admission Requirements Admission Requirements


  1. Applicants above age 15 must have a good speaking, reading and writing ability in Kiswahili and at least a basic ability in English.
  2. Entrance is by audition. Auditions are held once a year at DCMA.  For audition requirements please contact DCMA.

The Academic Year


There will be two semesters in each of the academic years of the “VTA Certificate”. In general, each year will follow the approximate calendar shown below:

Semester I: End of September to middle of January

Semester II: Middle of February to beginning of June (18 weeks)

Review and Evaluation: End of July to middle of August. (4 weeks)

The total length of each year of the Course of Study is 40 weeks.