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Fanie the Ferret
Fanie the Ferret
Soundstart Logo by Frank Hengstman
Benita B. E. van Blerk
27 Proland Park
La Provence Way
7530 La Rochelle

Benita van Blerk

Benita van Blerk

Musician and author of a Teacher's Resource Manual

Former Head of the Music Department, Cape Town College of Education
Music lecturer at Parklands College of Education

Benita Elisabeth van Blerk, née Beukes, was born on 8 May 1939 in Hoopstad, Free State.
She started piano lessons with Anna van Niekerk, a former student of F. W. Jannasch. After her matriculation at Central High School, Bloemfontein, she studied Music at the University of Stellenbosch (B.Mus, M.Mus - title: Maria Fismer as Musiek-opvoedkundige, 1977, DPhil - title: Die Musieklewe van Stellenbosch, 1679 - 1950, 1986).
Piano lecturers at the Conservatoire were Proff George van der Spuy, Leo Quayle and Lionel Bowman, and her supervisor for M Mus and Ph D Professor Reino Ottermann. During this period she also acquired the Unisa Teacher's and Performers Licentiates (Piano)

Scholarships: Conservatoire Scholarship 1959, Harry Crossley Scholarship 1980, 1984

Benita taught music at schools and at a Technical College. From 1979 - 1991 she was Head of the Music Department, Barkly House College of Education. In 1992 she joined Cape Town College of Education in the same capacity. In 2002 she was appointed music lecturer at Parklands College of Education.
She was in demand as an accompanist and a chamber musician, and was involved in regular SABC broadcasts.
Benita van Blerk has extensive experience as supervisor and external examiner and acts in this capacity for several universities. She is a member of the panel of Unisa music examiners and serves on the Unisa national examination committee.
An active member of the South African Society of Music Teachers, she was elected Regional Vice President twice, and National President in 1998. She has now retired from this office.
For 8 years she was assistant editor of the official mouthpiece of the SASMT, The South African Music Teacher.
For the past 6 years she has been involved in the In-service Music Programme (IMP) for Preprimary and Foundation Phase teachers. This programme is sponsored by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). Recently Sida also funded a research project on the efficacy of IMP, with van Blerk as research leader.
Annually she assists the Western Cape Education Department, giving in-service training in Music Education in the Foundation and Intermediate Phases. She adjudicates at Eisteddfods and is at present Chairperson of the Western Cape Regional Eisteddfod.

Benita van Blerk has a daughter and a son and three cats.

Sound start KitShe is author of a handbook for generalist teachers comprising lessons plans, a songbook and and 2 supporting cassettes:
Sound Start, Teacher's Resource Manual and Songbook, (Co-author: Denise de Kock), Kagiso Publishers, 1998 and now Maskew Miller-Longman
Sound start Audio cassette
Sound start Kit Activity book

Hobbies: Reading, listening to music
Favourite author: Karel Schoeman
Favourite Quote: "Du holde Kunst, ich danke Dir!" von Schober

Text by Benita van Blerk, January 2003

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