Human Development Through Music

Quick Info

How does my child join the Centre?
Auditions are held ONLY when there are spaces available at the Centre for Children. This usually takes place once a year. We currently have a waiting list that is as large as our capacity. Because of this, our waiting list for 2019 is currently closed. It will reopen again in January 2020.
What age children do you teach?

Our early childhood development programme starts teaching children when they are 4 years old at 2 local primary schools and 3 creches. Once they turn 7, they are able to audition to attend the Centre and receive formal lessons.

Children can stay at the Centre until they matriculate from school.

What are the fees?

The administration fee is a small contribution to the cost of your child’s music education. We ask our parent’s to contribute R400 a year towards their child’s education. We fundraise for the remaining costs. It costs R25 250 a year to provide your child with their instrument and up to 5 hours of teaching a week. We are strong believers in a small commitment by the parents to their child’s education. The fee represents this commitment.

How often are lessons?

Your child will receive the following lessons weekly:

  • 30 minutes of individual instrument lesson
  • 1 hour of an ensemble (group) lesson
  • 1 hour of music theory
  • 1 hour of choir

Please check with your child’s diary for a list of these times.

What to do if my child is going to miss a lesson?

We request that you provide 24 hour’s notice when your child is going to miss a lesson. You can do this by either phoning or smsing or whatsapping the child’s teacher.


How long does it take to learn a musical instrument?

This depends on the instrument. Some instruments can take a lifetime to master. In saying that, to get competent can take between 4-6 years.

How often should my child practise at home?

He / She should follow their teacher’s guidance OR doing between 30minutes and 1 hour of practice daily. The more practice, the more they will progress and improve. However, we do not encourage parents to “force” their children to practice. Often times children will resist practicing and this is completely normal. When learning, children need to move at their own pace. By keeping them in lessons on a regular basis and keeping the atmosphere light and enjoyable, a time will come when they will begin to practice on their own.

What do we teach?

We currently teach the following instruments at the Centre:

Electric Guitar & Electric Bass Guitar

Drum Kit





Double Bass


French Horn







Download a full list of FAQ's

Download a more comprehensive FAQ document here. 

After-School Club Sign Ups

Sign your child up to weekly reading classes. These are aimed at children between the ages of 7-12.

#Friends Of MICM

Support the growth and development of the Centre through volunteerism

Support a Child

We currently have 112 children at the Centre studying music at a fraction of the cost. Support a child by providing a monthly or annual donation and claim this donation against your income tax.

About Us

MICM is a joint collaboration between the late, philanthropist and Cape Gate chairman Mendel Kaplan and Robert Brooks (CEO of MIAGI – Music is a Great Investment).  In 2008, Mendel Kaplan, agreed to fund the construction of a music centre on the premises of the Morris Isaacson High School in Soweto through his foundation, the Kaplan Kuschlick Foundation. The Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music (CMCM) building, the first of its kind in any South African township was inaugurated in May 2011. Full operations started at the beginning of 2012. In 2018, the Centre decided to re-brand itself and is now called the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (MICM).

After the founding of the Centre was developed and managed by MIAGI and was until recently known as Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music (CMCM),. In 2018, the CMCM management decided to re-brand and name the centre the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (MICM).

Arco is an innovative alliance, established in 2015 between Morris Isaacson Centre for Music and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, in the UK. 

Arco provides regular distance-learning opportunities for talented children in South Africa, who for multiple reasons, do not have access to the same level of musical education as people in Europe. 

Weekly individual instrumental lessons, mentoring and string quartet coaching are delivered by a group of current students and recent graduates from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire via video conferencing system, ZOOM. Regular events occurring within Royal Birmingham Conservatoires String Department, such as masterclasses, workshops and performances are streamed live to South Africa for the benefit of the MICM students. Throughout the year, Arco teachers from the UK travel to South Africa for the annual festival – an immersive musical experience, building on and solidifying skills learnt throughout the year.


Read more about it

MIAGI (the acronym for Music is a great Investment) was founded in 2001 with goal of “bringing people together and contributing to positive social development”.  Through intercultural events, composition commissions, educational programmes, national and international tours (linked to its internationally renowned MIAGI Orchestra) MIAGI empowers the youth of South Africa.

MIAGI has realised its vision of “bringing people together through music” through the commissioning of 17 major intercultural compositions uniting musicians from different music styles. The young people and aspiring MIAGI supported musicians are from all ethnic and social strata of South Africa, and the MIAGI Orchestra repertoire is purposefully broad: it includes everything from classical music to jazz and traditional African music.

In 2018 MIAGI Youth Orchestra undertook its fifth international tour.  The month-long European tour, celebrating Nelson Mandela Centenary, took the 86 members of the MIAGI Orchestra to over 16 phenomenally successful concerts at renowned festivals and major concert halls across six European countries. MIAGI lived Mandela‘s dream of reconciliation, mutual understanding and peace and shared this dream with the people of these European countries.

MIAGI was at the forefront of conceptualising and developing the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (originally known as the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music).

Learn more here


Mtembu Street,
Jabavu Central Western,

(on the back of the Morris Isaacson High School premises)

School Hours

M-F: 10am – 5pm                                 Saturday: 8am – 12pm
Sunday: Closed

Phone & Email

087 550 1687


Sunday, 22 September

Imvuselelo Concert takes place at the Centre – 12pm to 5pm. Tickets are on sale online for R90 or can be bought at the door for R110.

Get your tickets here

Monday, 30 September

Term 4 begins. Administration fees are due.

Saturday, 01 December

Year end Concert. This is open to the public and all are welcome.

Friday, 6 December

The Centre closes for the December holidays.





Support our children

It is a well-documented fact that music education supports the learning of focus and concentration, develops a team bond and prepares them for a self-motivated life. Help us help our children become better adults by supporting our Centre. Sign up and become a donor now. We are a registered public benefit organisation and as such, all donations can be claimed back from SARS.

Meet our teachers

Tsakani started playing the trumpet in 2004 and in 2006 he joined the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra playing in all the ensembles and eventually was promoted to Principal Trumpet. In 2010 he received a scholarship from the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) Academy.  In February 2015 he joined the Mzansi Ensemble, Victor Ntoni’s Big Band and is currently a band member of Dr Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu. He currently teaches brass instruments & ensemble at various schools. He is passionate about teaching music, sharing all the knowledge and the techniques he accumulated.

Tsakani Mpapele

Brass Teacher

Zanele Ndlovu is a storyteller, author, scriptwriter, teacher, workshop facilitator and indigenous music instruments player and teacher. In 2017 she was awarded the Mail and Guardian 200 Top Young South Africans for the work she does in preserving indigenous languages and musical instruments.

She has written two children story books in iSizulu and produced an accompanying audio book. Her books have been translated into five South African languages (Isixhosa, Sesotho, English, Afrikaans) by Nalibali and were published Nationally in their newspaper supplements.

In 2014, she joined the Morris Isaacson Centre for Music (MICM) where she helped develop a music curriculum aimed at Early Childhood Development in music.

Zanele Ndlovu

ECD Music Teacher

Denzil Weale has served as either accompanist/composer/arranger/producer/music director to leading SA artists including Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Barney Rachabane, Jonas Gwangwa, Jack Lerole, Caiphus Semenya, Letta Mbulu, Jabu Khanyile, Sibongile Khumalo, Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, Bala Brothers, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, to name a few. As an educator, he teaches at several schools in Johannesburg including MICM where the specific focus is on awareness of the South African Songbook.

Denzil Weale

Piano Teacher