The business of teaching music the Sanaa way

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The business of teaching music the Sanaa way

We all enjoy music, whether to relax, to dance, to satisfy a certain mood, or just to palance.

But for Jeneile Hamblet, music provides hope, a hope that she wants to pass on via her business – Sanaa’s Music and Language Academy.

Jeneile said it started unofficially in December 2017, with one sole student who she taught on afternoons.


She later registered the business in August 2019 and now this 29-year-old music teacher and mother of one, is doing what she always envisioned on a full scale.

“Music gave me hope, it made me feel optimistic about life and I wanted to share that experience with every student that would attend my school.”

“My love of music started in primary school, where I would enter calypso competitions …and win”, she laughed.
“However, it was when I entered secondary school at Belmont Secondary that my love for learning instruments and playing music intensified.”

“It also helped that I had two great teachers who saw my potential and pushed me to be better at all times.”

Later on, with an artist diploma in music and performance under her belt, Jeneile saw no other way but to give back all that she had learnt.

Inspiration for Sanaa’s Music and Language Academy came from her 4-year-old daughter, whose name just happens to be Sanaa, which means brilliant and a work of art in Swahili.

Jeneile said it was the perfect name for her daughter and it was also well suited for the school, as she wants to develop the brilliance in her students.

However, developing that brilliance did not come easy as Sanaa’s Music and Language Academy is funded by Jeneile herself and through her various fundraising exercises.

It is not a one woman show, as she has other tutors on board, which means she has had to stage many events from Christmas recitals to barbecue’s to fund the school and its expenses.

Hailing from Cascade, Jeneile offers youngsters and even adults the opportunity to learn piano, steelpan, music theory, guitar, cuatro and very soon jazz and languages.

“I put the love of music into creating a school, because I wanted to pass on the same experience that I had to students as well, so that they could feel the hope, they could feel love, they could feel a sense of security for their future through music.”

“Also, all students are not in the academic field, some gravitate towards the arts and being able to provide that service where students can come and learn and see that this (music) could be a career path, is awesome.”

Jeneile revealed also: “Through this business of teaching I have seen how music has a way of helping heal, from healing teens with depression, to a child on the spectrum smile while learning to play the scale on the piano.”

Prior to Covid-19 Sanaa’s Music and Language Academy was based at the St James Youth Facility, George Cabral Street.
“It was, of course, a physical experience, but due to Covid, we had to transition into online learning, virtual learning and it posed a bit of a challenge initially.”

However, she said as long as you have faith anything is possible.
The remote learning has been a blessing in a few forms, as she has an international student enrolled for the first time.

And, she recently decided to start an instrument loan programme, so that students who did not have instruments, were still able to practice at home and have classes online.

However, they also offer classes in person for one on one sessions, as Sanaa’s offers inclusive learning, where the music room is mixed with various types of learners, inclusive of students with special needs.
These students cannot learn via the online medium as they require physical interaction.
She said through music therapy, she has seen those kids flourish.

Currently, the school is in need of instruments and will be hosting a BBQ on November 28th.
Interested persons can contact the school at 294-3859.

Jeneile said her aim is to impact lives through music and continue passing on music to the future generation.
She said like Maya Angelou said: “When you get, give, when you learn, teach.”