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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
November 7, 2011 •• Palestine Community Music
Music Workshop Leader Training
“My 12-year old son is hyperactive and usually doesn’t listen very well. But after this training week I tried something new with him: instead of telling him what to do (making his homework, waking up), I tried singing to him. This way I manage to grab his attention immediately and he listens to me!”
“Last weeks were very stressful for me because of some issues. But this training gave me so much positive energy and new skills that my home and psychological situation improved a lot.”
During the second week of October, two new groups participated in the Music Workshop Leader Training. We were grateful to be hosted by the Palestinian Union for Social Workers and Psychologists (PUSWP), who welcomed us in their beautiful renovated building. PUSWP invited social workers and students from the Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah areas. Two women from the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS) and one from the Diabetic Friends’ Society (DFS) also joined the training.

For one week, we sang, played percussion and body percussion, and discussed pedagogical and social issues. We practiced positive communication and feedback, and learned a lot from each other’s ideas and experiences.

Now a new period starts in which every participant will use the new skills: every participant chooses a place where he or she will give a music workshop. Different ideas are already discussed, including a music workshop for children with special needs, a workshop in a hospital, a training for university students, an evening of relaxation with drumming and songwriting for teenagers in an agricultural boarding school, and a workshop for deaf children. I hear you thinking, music with deaf children? Yes, deaf children can also enjoy music! They can feel the vibrations; they can do body percussion, drum and use the sticks we use during the workshops to create rhythms and music. Proof is one of our participants this year who is deaf herself (and a deaf child at a summer camp in Rwanda that participated in MwB workshops: read here). I’m sure she will be a wonderful example for the children she will be working with!

Thank you PUSWP for hosting us.

And of course a very big thank you to the fantastic trainers Sherwin and Otto!

Thank you Koen and Amer for the pictures!