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Street Address:

Debhori District, near Kabul




Ten-year programs for children from Grade 4 to Grade 14 in Afghan traditional instrumental and vocal music and Western classical music within a general academic education (provided by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's Ministry of Education). All Western orchestral instruments are taught, as well as experience of conducting - ANIM has educated Afghanistan's first female conductors. Students completing Grade 12 receive their high school certificate. Those completing the final two years graduate with an associate diploma in music and music education.

Institution Notes:

This institution was formerly known as the Kabul Secondary School of Music and was founded in 1973, being later joined with a previously-existing School of Fine Arts. The school was destroyed during the civil war, but the music department was re-opened in 2002 with assistance from the non-government Polish Humanitarian Organisation. Other assistance came from the Japanese government for the purchase of chairs and desks, the Embassy of Bulgaria, the British ISAF Cimic team and the Coalition Point Civil-Military Operations Task Force. Donations of music instruments came from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the Society of Music Merchants and from Yamaha Gulf purchased by the World Bank. In 2010, with a major renovation and extension to make the building suitable for the needs of music education the institution was formally inaugurated and renamed the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. This institute was an initiative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's Ministry of Education and offered a core curriculum of regular subjects as well as specialised studies in music to students from Grade 4 to Grade 14. It was one of the few co-educational schools in Afghanistan, with a number of students being orphans and ‘street working kids’. It eventually catered for up to 300 students and organised a women's orchestra - Ensemble Zohra. There were two departments - Department of Afghan Traditional Music and Department of Western Classical Music. Besides individual performance training the music program also offered ensemble playing, Hindustani music theory, ear training, music history and classes in English language. There were no tuition fees, and all instruments were provided free of charge. Sponsorship programs ensured that the most needy students were able to continue their studies. Facilities included a main building housing private studios, classrooms, offices and rehearsal rooms as well as a growing library of books and sound recordings, a recording studio, a computer lab and a distance learning centre. A concert hall and a dormitory for girls were built on campus. There was a growing collection of traditional and ethnic instruments as well as Western classical instruments and pop-rock instruments. Ensemble groups made a number of international visits to perform at festivals and the like. Since 2010 an 8-week intensive music festival combining education and performance - the Winter Academy - had been held with visiting international guest artists and educators providing an enriched program for the student participants. Since the take-over of Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2021 the classes have been abandoned and all instruments and holdings have been destroyed. Many students and staff have escaped to other countries to escape persecution by the new government that despises education for girls and views music study as non-Islamic. Fortunately most of the women’s orchestra members have managed to escape, taking their instruments.

Last Updated:

February 2022