With a diverse group of master teachers from Ghana and beyond, our dream of child-centered music education can be realized.
Dr. J.S. Kofi Gbolonyo
Founder and Director
Dr. Kofi J. S. Gbolonyo is an ethnomusicologist, music educator, performer, and a scholar. He is Adjunct Professor of Ethnomusicology and African Studies and the Founding Director of the UBC African Ensemble at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Ethnomusicology, African Music and African Studies and directs the UBC African Ensemble since 2009. He is also the Co-Director of Adanu Habobo, a semi-professional West African music and dance ensemble; the Director of the Orff-Afrique International Summer Course in Ghana; the Founder and Director of the Ghana School Project and Nunya Academy. He is also a teaching staff of the World Music Drumming Workshops Ltd.
Gbolonyo holds a Ph.D. (2009) and an MA (2005) in Ethnomusicology and a Graduate Certificate in African Studies (2009) at the doctoral level from the University of Pittsburgh; an Orff-Schulwerk Certificate Level III (2008) from San Francisco International Orff Course; a BA (Hons. 2002) in Linguistics and Music from the University of Ghana, Legon; a Professional Dip.Ed (1997) in Ewe Language and Music Education from the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana; and a Professional Teacher’s Certificate A (1990) from E.P. College of Education, Amedzofe, Ghana.
Prior to his appointment at the University of British Columbia, Gbolonyo was the director of the University of Pittsburgh African Music and Dance Ensemble (2005-2009); and a Teaching Fellow (2005-2009) at the Department of Music, University of Pittsburgh while pursuing his master’s and doctoral studies. He served as a production assistant at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, worked with Abibigromma (the resident theater company of the university from 2002-2003), and was the student director of the University of Ghana’s African Brass Ensemble (1999-2001). He was also the site coordinator of the Annual International Summer Course in African Music and Dance organized by the World Music Center, West Virginia University in Ghana (1997-2003).
His primary research, expertise, and educational interests are in West African traditional music and dance, Ewe indigenous knowledge, language and culture, Orff-Schulwerk pedagogy, multicultural music education, Ghanaian brass band and choral music. His scholarship focuses on indigenous knowledge and cultural values in the musical practices of the Ewe and Fon of West Africa.
Dr. Gbolonyo, an internationally recognized Orff-Schulwerk music educator, is a seasoned clinician who conducts workshops and gives presentations all over the world. He is an advocate of multicultural music education and has taught at different levels of education in Ghana and other countries in West Africa, Europe, South America, East and Southeast Asia, and in many states in the United States of America and provinces in Canada. He performs regularly and has presented numerous workshops and scholarly papers at annual meetings of many professional associations including the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), Society for Ethnomusicology (SEM), East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS), European Council of International Schools (ECIS), Associacion Orff Espana, MENC: National Music Educators Association, International Society for Music Education (ISME), Associação ORFF Brasil (ABRAORFF), Orff-Schulwerk Association of Finland (JaSeSoi ry), and at many other international arenas in West Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. His research and educational publications appeared in The Orff Echo, Orff-Schulwerk Haute, and a chapter contribution in Kaleidoscope of Cultures: A Celebration of Multicultural Research and Practice, edited by Marvelene Moore and Philip Ewell. Lanham, MD: R&L Education/MENC, 2010.
Acting Principal and Artistic Director
Prosper Agbesi Kwasi Gbolonyo is a professional music educator and performer. He is the Acting Principal and Artistic Director of Nunya Academy and the Site-Coordinator of Orff-Afrique International Summer Courses. He is a teacher in the Ghana Education Service currently serving as the Music Teacher at St. Paul’s Senior High School, Denu, where, beside teaching Music in the classroom, directs the school choral and brass ensembles. He is also the music director of the Sacred Heart R.C. Church Choir, Hatsukope-Denu, Ghana and the current Secretary of the Keta-Akatsi Catholic Diocesan Choir Directors Association in the Volta Region, Ghana.
Mr. Prosper Gbolonyo holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree in Music and Theatre Arts and a minor in Dance Studies from the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Legon (2008). He also holds a Professional Teachers Certificate “A” in Education from Peki College of Education, Peki, Ghana awarded by the University of Cape Coast, Ghana (2000).
Prior to his appointment at the St. Paul’s Senior High School, where he also taught Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for four years, Prosper taught Music, English and Ewe Languages at the Junior High School level in the Ghana Education Service. He also directed the St. Peter & Paul’s Church Choir in Dzodze and many other choirs in the South and North Ketu Districts in the Volta Region of Ghana and across the border in the Republic of Togo.
Since 2005, Prosper has served as the research assistant to Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo and many other international scholars, researchers, educators, and performers who frequently visit Ghana to conduct field research, study, and teach. He is currently a teaching staff and the site-Coordinator of the Orff-Afrique Summer Programs organized jointly by the San Francisco International Orff Course and Nunya Music Academy in Ghana since 2014.
Mr. Gbolonyo’s professional and educational interest, teaching and research focus primarily on music, drama and dance. As an expert in choral music, Prosper primarily composes and arranges choral music and directs many local and international groups in Ghanaian choral music. He also arranges instrumental works, teaches, and directs both Western and African instrumental groups such as brass bands, percussion ensembles and West African traditional dance-drumming ensembles in Ghana and Togo. Being an expert in these areas he often serves as a member of different teams of adjudicators at local and zonal festivals of performing arts and competitions among schools, churches and community groups.
Prosper is an active member of the Ghana National Association of Graduate Teachers (GNAGRAT), Ghana Music Teachers Association (GMTA), Maestros Catholicam (Ghana National Association of Catholic Choirmasters & Organists) and Keta-Akatsi Catholic Diocesan Choirmasters Association.
He is passionate about teaching children and sees Nunya Academy as the right opportunity for him to share his knowledge, skills, and give back to his community.
San Fransisco International Orff
The Nunya Music Academy has a close collaborative relationship with the San Francisco International Orff program. Through the generous work of members of the SF Orff faculty: Doug Goodkin, Sofia Lopez-Ibor, and James Harding, students of the Nunya Music Academy have had the special opportunity to interact with internationally acclaimed music educators. For more information on the SF International Orff Course click here.