Arts at Rabun Gap

Director of Strings Liz Dinwiddie Teaches Strings in Nigeria

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School Director of Strings, Liz Dinwiddie, spent two weeks in Onitsha, Nigeria teaching strings at St. Joseph’s Parish.

The parish is home to the George Handel Music Academy which offers students the opportunity to participate in keyboard, band, choir, and strings.

Dinwiddie first became involved with the program back in 2017. She worked with two parish programs in her first year. This year, she taught workshops with five parish string programs and an adult class of choir members.

“Since the students are so proficient at hearing music and making their playing match what they hear, we worked heavily on technique so they could reach the next level of playing,” said Dinwiddie. “The students diligently wrote down the exercises and I anticipate they will all have them mastered by the next visit.” 

In addition to learning how to play the instruments, Dinwiddie and a few of her students spent a substantial amount of time learning how to take care of the instruments and the types of repairs that can be done. Her lessons also included instruction and pedagogical information for the older, more experienced students to have the ability to continue to teach the younger students skills in a structured way.

Teaching wasn’t the only item on her trip agenda. Dinwiddie met with various religious and government leaders to discuss the importance of music education. She met with Archbishop Valerian Okeke, Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Professor Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, and Auxiliary Bishop Denis Isizoh. With her new connections and hard work, she hopes to continue to build the program and the student’s love for music.

“At some point I hope to team up with an organization based out of Atlanta that travels to remote areas of the world and trains musicians in the art of the luthier,” she said. “I also plan to keep in touch with the Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Professor Ngozi Chuma-Udeh, to exchange ideas about music education at our respective institutions.”
Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is a private, coeducational day and boarding school for grades Pre-K through 12. Centrally located between Atlanta, GA, Greenville, SC, and Asheville, NC, we prepare young people for college, career, and a lifetime of leadership and service.