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The Malkat Shva Center has begun introducing an instrumental program, teaching our youth how to play traditional Ethiopian instruments. The demand for such a program, which only exists in several places in Israel but not in Jerusalem, originated with the students themselves. It has long been desired as an essential part of the comprehensive cultural program, but the cost is much higher than all the other programs due to the need to purchase instruments and hire expert teachers. Shortly after several of our dance and theater students began to ask about learning to play their traditional instruments, we were approached by the Jerusalem Absorption Office, who had received funding to initiate such a program and seen the success of our existing programs, and asked if we would like to adopt the project. The teens were thrilled and as a result several new teens have asked to join.

With a limited budget, we have begun by teaching one of the most popular instruments - the masenko, which is similar to a violin (see photos of our first masenko group below).

The addition of the musical instrument program will eventually allow the Malkat Shva Center to combine all of the traditional arts and form the first all-inclusive Ethiopian youth performance group in Israel - combining dance, song, instruments and theater.

We hope to acquire the funding needed to expand the program to offer courses in the krar, a combination harp and guitar, the washint, the Ethiopian flute, and the kabero, a traditional drum.

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