South African Society of Music Teachers

The South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT) is the oldest professional music society in South Africa. Since its inception it has represented music educators at universities, colleges, schools, music centres and in private practice. It strives to unify the music teaching profession, to further the interests of the profession collectively and individually, and to maintain a high standard of professional competence and dignity. The society works for the good of music in any way concerning the music teaching profession in South Africa, or members of the public requiring music teachers or concerned in their activities.

The society grew out of a small association of music teachers formed in Cape Town in 1918. The first Annual General Council Meeting was held in October 1922. A prime mover in the formation of the society was Harry Garvin, who was president of the society from its inception until the end of 1931. Articles for the establishment and regulation of institutional centres came into operation in 1973, and all university music departments except UNISA had joined by 1975. In 1931 there were seven local branches of the society, called centres, and the General Council consisted of the President, four Vice-Presidents, and the Honorary General Secretary and Treasurer. There were 169 members all told. By 1946, when the Society celebrated its silver jubilee, there were 15 centres and the membership had more than doubled. By 1958 the membership had doubled again, and by 1986 it had passed the 900 mark. Currently, the society consists of 8 ordinary centres and 35 institutional centres with more than 800 members.