In June 2009 the German Foreign Ministry sponsored a fact finding mission by the Global Music Academy in Southern Africa. Intensive discussions were held with musicians, music teachers and administrators from 20 institutions in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The team brought back a number of ideas from the discussions.
- There was a there was a great interest in developing a new practical music education system focussing on the music of the region, using modern teaching methods,
- The musicians were keenly aware of the rapid erosion of their cultural heritage and they expressed a strong desire to actively participate in the preservation and promotion of this heritage through developing skills in reading and writing music as well as recording, documentation and curriculum development.
- There was a strong interest in long term exchange and cooperation, not just North-South but also South-South.
The idea of creating the Global Music Campus to test ideas for curriculum was born out of these discussions. In 2010 a Pilot Campus was hosted at the University of Dar Es Salaam funded by the German Foreign Office through its Aktion Afrika program. 24 trainees from nine countries took part in an intensive two week teacher training course where elements of the proposed new curriculum were tested. In addition representatives from music education institutions in ten countries took part to discuss future implementation of the pilot results. The shared goals and objectives of the participating organizations proved fruitful and led to the involvement of new partners. The international network has since implemented 8 multi-annual trans-national Campuses assisted by generous funding from the German Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut, the Norwegian Foreign Office, the Siemens Foundation, Music Crossroads International, the GIZ, the Goethe Music Section, Joburg Arts & Culture, Africalia as well as through partner funding from the Bayimba Cultural Foundation and the Ballanta Music Academy.
- November 2012 and August 2013 – the first two Campuses were held in Soweto where the 1st and 2nd Semesters of the new core curriculum for the program were developed.
- April 2014 – the 3rd Global Music Campus was held in Jinja, Uganda. This Campus was initiated by the East African partners in the project who wanted to develop their own regional Campus.
- November 2014 and 2015 – the 4th and 5th Global Music Campuses were held for Southern Africa in Zimbabwe where the 3rd and 4th Semesters of the core curriculum for the program were developed. Here the instrumental curriculum was introduced for the first time and work was begun on the African Real Book a teaching aid containing transcriptions of compositions from well known African composers for use in Ensemble teaching.
- May 2015 – workshop tour of four East African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania). A 5 day intensive workshop was held in each country with 90 participants altogether. The workshops focussed on selecting a group of teachers from each country to take part in the first full Campus held in Addis Ababa in 2016.
- September 2016 – the first full East African Global Music Campus was held in Addis Ababa. For the first time there were participants from South Sudan as well.
- November 2016 – the 7th Global Music Campus was held in Zimbabwe in November 2016. Here the 5th Semester of the core curriculum as well as new instrument curriculum for Percussion, Guitar, Bass, Piano and Drums were tested.