Saudi university leads way with new music courses

In a pioneering move, is now offering music courses t. (SPA)
Updated 24 January 2019

Saudi university leads way with new music courses

  • Taif University (TU) has hired some of the Kingdom's top professional music instructors
  • The music courses will include singing training, involving tuition in vocal keynotes, pitch and sight-reading exercises, and the singing of Arabic poetry

JEDDAH: A Saudi university is hitting the high notes after becoming the first in the Kingdom to offer music courses to students.

Some of the country’s top professional instructors have been hired by Taif University (TU) to run training sessions in singing, poetry and the playing of musical instruments. 

Although the courses are not part of the city university’s curriculum, education chiefs hope the program will lead the way in developing young musical talent in the Kingdom.

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal inspired the initiative a year ago, and students are already lining up to join the new music academy on the university’s main campus.

The music courses will include singing training, involving tuition in vocal keynotes, pitch and sight-reading exercises, and the singing of Arabic poetry. Starting next month, experts will also be on hand to teach students how to play the lute, dulcimer and piano.

TU spokesman, Saleh Al-Thubaiti, told Arab News: “TU has turned an idea into reality. The academy offers several projects, the most important of which is the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal International Prize for Arabic Poetry.”

He said that the poetry club at the TU Arab Poetry Academy had attracted more than 850 applications from students wishing to take part in poetry writing, recitation, and music, and they would be performing in concerts this semester.

Al-Thubaiti said: “The poetry-writing course will focus on teaching students aspects of Arabic prosody (the patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry) in an innovative manner.”

Trainees will be given the opportunity to present their poems at special student soirees and publish their poetry in an online magazine for young people.

The academy also plans to launch an annual on-campus summer gathering for young poets.

Those taking part in the poetry-recitation course will learn how to recite poetry and make audio books for general listeners and people with special needs.

The TU Arab Poetry Academy recently held its first matinee event when faculty members and students recited several poems.

“The university campus is not all about work and textbooks,” Al-Thubaiti said. 

“Students are interested in other activities that can help them develop their talents and skills. We believe the university is providing an environment where students can develop themselves on various personal and academic levels.”

In December last year, the poetry academy held its first concert which was attended by the Taif governor, university’s president, academics and students. It included poetry readings and a performance of national and traditional songs by the university band.

Director of the poetry academy, Dr. Mansour Al-Harthi, told Arab News that 500 male and female students had enrolled on the music course, adding that the city of Taif had long been renowned for its musical activities.


Saudi minister meets Italian, Swiss envoys in Riyadh

Updated 6 min 49 sec ago

Saudi minister meets Italian, Swiss envoys in Riyadh

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir met the newly appointed ambassador of Italy to the Kingdom, Roberto Cantone, in his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Riyadh on Thursday.

During the meeting, the two discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them. They also discussed issues of common interest and the latest regional and international developments.

The meeting was attended by the deputy foreign minister for protocol affairs, Azzam bin Abdulkarim Al-Qain.

Also on Thursday, Al-Jubeir met the ambassador of Switzerland to the Kingdom, Andre Schaller. They also discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them in various fields, as well as reviewing recent developments in the region and the world.

The meeting was attended by the undersecretary for political and economic affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Adel bin Siraj Mardad.