One of the most exciting things about visiting Africa or living here is the welcome that children get here. Coming from extended families, Zanzibaris are warm and enthusiastic with children, and also comfortable entertaining them.
However, one thing that is sometimes lacking here is the more scheduled classes and activities that tend to be laid on for children in, for example, Europe or North America, where it seems your children can be at a different class every hour of the day - from karate to pilates and Japanese cookery to horse riding.
The informal play and sponaneity of Africa can be joyous, but for those who do fancy a little more organised activity for their kids, there is now a regular music class at weekends and it's even in a palace!
The class, organised by well known local taarab musician Mohammed Issa Matona, features an introduction song, followed by drumming as well as body percussion using call and respond, imitation and improvisation methods. After that there will be an introduction to recorder playing and then the class concludes with a farewell song.
Recommended for children between the ages of three and six, teachers ask if parents can bring extra drums as the class is just starting up, and there are recorders for sale for US$15 each.
The class is most Saturdays at 10:30am at Mtoni Palace to the north of Stone Town, and it's hoped will be a regular fixture if the turnout is good. Hopefully the next generation of musicians will be inspired by these classes!