The penny whistle, associated so richly with Kwela Music, Black Idendity and Resistance in South Africa, is Zuki Cook's instrument of choice, and she has just completed her Grade 6 London College of Music practical exam with distinction.

Zuki completed her Grade 6 University of West London music practical exam, through the London College of Music, with a distinction. She is the first learner in South Africa to complete the Irish Traditional music exam on the penny whistle.

For the exam she had to choose her programme from the following tune categories: Air (slow or lively), Jig (double, slip or single), Reel (double or single), Slide, Polka, Hornpipe, March, Set Dance, Fling, Barndance, Highland, Schottische, Mazurka, or pieces by O’Carolan and other harper composers. All tunes had to be memorised and candidates had to add appropriate ornaments representative of the regional style from which they came. She had to play from memory a total of 14 tunes.

The London College of Music (LCM) is one of the largest specialist Music and Performing Arts institutes in the UK. It has a long history of music education dating back to 1887, when it was situated in Great Marlborough Street, London, where the college began as an examination body. In 1991 LCM became part of Thames Valley University, which was renamed the University of West London in 2011.

Holders of LCM grade 6–8 music qualifications applying for any course of study at a UK Higher Education institution are entitled to tariff points which count towards university entrance in the UK.

We congratulate her on this fantastic achievement and look forward to hearing her perform in the near future.

Cook Zuki