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our work > news > From Woman to Woman – Music Therapy and Community Music Training
From Woman to Woman – Music Therapy and Community Music Training
August 15, 2013   West Balkans

Between the 21-24 of July two MwB trainers traveled to Tuzla, Bosnia – Herzegovina in order to deliver a 3-days workshop on community music for a group of 6 young women.

This was the first of the two trainings on community music/music therapy to be implemented as part of ‘From Woman to Woman’. The training was delivered by Lis Murphy and Marijke Smedema, Musicians without Borders trainers, and focused on identifying the most appropriate methods involving music, rhythm, body movement, that can be used as therapeutic tools in working with traumatized women, but also on exploring potential psychological and emotional barriers that might prevent these women from participating in the planned music activities and ways of overcoming them. The participants were staff of our local partner, Snaga Zene, who also have musical skills, as well as four teenage girls based in Tuzla, active in a folklore dance group.


In addition to this, Lis and Marijke, together with Almerisa Delic, music director and part of the ‘From Woman to Woman’ local team, visited one of the refugee camps in order to conduct a half an hour workshop attended by 10 of the women who live in the camp. This helped the two trainers gain a more accurate understanding of the situation and how women respond to workshop activities.

At the beginning of the workshop, the women had a closed body language, though most of them participated in gentle physical warm-ups, mainly in breathing exercises. They went on to learning together an Icelandic song for women. Most would repeat the words and, as they were singing, three women joined in and one woman in particular was singing a lot, while others said they were happy listening. The trainers, together with Almerisa, then gave out the percussion instruments and played loud and quiet, slower and faster and all women engaged in this until at the end they were all smiling and laughing.

Based on the observations from this initial experience and the assessment of the first training, Lis and Marijke are now preparing to deliver a second training, for the same group, between the 21 – 25 of August.


For more photos from the first training, click here.

Topics: West Balkans