sankusem institute

The Music Institute

George conceived of the idea of an annual music institute and festival in Accra while he was in Ghana several years ago conducting a series of lecture-recitals on the piano music of Kwabena Nketia. The 2019 pilot with Sally, Cristina and Teresa created the impetus for this idea to become a reality in 2020. Finally, NSI emerged as a potential partner in December of 2019, and ongoing discussions resulted in a decision to partner with that organization.


NSI ( is a creative institution in Ghana that helps people discover the world around them through creativity.  They encourage individuals to value to them-selves and their communities  through appreciating and practicing creativity to the highest possible standards, through deepening their understanding of creativity, and by improving their skill levels in all aspects of creativity. NSI is also interested in linking creativity to entrepreneurship. To achieve these goals, NSI  launcheds streams of training programs in various forms of artistic expression. Sankusem is delighted to provide the music content of the NSI training programs. The Music Institute is thus presented equally by Sankusem and Nsi.

The Institute arises at a moment when musicians in Accra are hungry for advanced instruction and training in performance. In the last year or two, for example, Ghanaians have founded the Afro-Classical Nights (ACN) and Allegro Classics Foundation, both of which sponsor regular performance opportunities and community building for Accra musicians. 

Most of these musicians were initially self-taught, only later taking lessons in college and at their churches while relying on tips from visiting musicians and from YouTube. Many already earn livings playing with the National and Accra symphonies, with church groups, and at weddings and parties. Regardless, Ghanaian musicians remain eager to improve the quality of their playing individually and collectively, and to develop an infrastructure for the serious performance of music in Ghana.

Our Institute is an annual intensive training program for local musicians, led by an international team of professional musicians. Music lessons will take place over a 2-week period, at the New Horizon Special School in Cantonments, Accra. The Junior Institute for children ages 8 to 18 runs for 6 days, from August 24th to 29th, while the Advanced Institute will take place from August 31st to September 6th. Students will receive individual and group instruction on instrument and vocal technique, ensemble and orchestral playing and singing.


The Institute does not focus only on Classical music or on African classical music. Our interest is in improving skills on the student’s instrument of choice, be it piano or voice or cello. We try not to limit the genre that the student may choose to express themselves. While we cannot offer instruction in every musical genre, we will cater to music genres that have demonstrable links to African music performance practice, such as jazz, spirituals, gospel, rap, world, and even some types of popular music.

Performances: From August 27th to September 6th, our world-class faculty and select Institute participants will offer concerts in venues in and around Accra. 

A goal of the Music Institute is to develop as an annual program that sponsors ongoing relationships between faculty and participants