The teachers and students of the Dhow Countries Music Academy (DCMA) come from different traditional music groups and represent the finest musicians Zanzibar has to offer. Within the context of the school the teachers have gathered to form a new and unique group: Baladna Taarab. This ensemble specializes in instrumental performances akin to a chamber orchestra, featuring oud, ganun, accordion, violin, percussion, ney and occasional guest singers.
They are constantly exploring new repertoire and go back to traditional Arabic pieces without losing their uniquely Swahili flavor. They rehearse and perform wherever possible in an acoustic setting where the fine nuances of the instruments are brought out in the best possible light and special emphasis is put on the development of their "taqsim" (instrumental improvisations).The Dhow Countries Music Academy Zanzibar (DCMA) opened Zanzibar's first music school in Stone Town as a non-profit, non-governmental organization in July 2002.
Anyone interested in studying music related to their cultural background or acquiring mastery of an instrument can sign up for music lessons as well as instruments at minimal cost. Scholarships are given to support especially talented individuals, socially underprivileged, women and children. DCMA is the only music school of its kind in East Africa. Particular emphasis is placed on teaching traditional Zanzibar music styles, such as Taarab, Beni or Kidumbak.
Most of the teachers come from Zanzibar. Regular workshops and master classes are held with guest teachers from around the world, with a special emphasis on the region of the Dhow Countries" , the islands of the Indian Ocean and the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean rim.
Description from http://www.busaramusic.org