The picture above made by Russian artist Elena Shumilova, and especially the look on the boy’s face, for me represents a lot of what artistic activity is about: a physical awareness that allows the development of motoric skills, and an imaginative focus that helps making artistic decisions and that blocks everything else out.
This is also what happens in the music workshops. The first activities with the children are warming up: feeling your body and synchronizing body-movement with music-movement. A piece from the soundtrack of Amélie, written by Yann Tiersen, guided hundreds of schoolchildren last week in raising and waving their arms, rolling their shoulders, and rocking themselves. The imaginative focus shuts out anything outside the workshop, from home situation and gunshots to the distractions of other children playing. But with music there is more: it includes the others within the workshop, facilitating contact. Still on the rolling sounds of the music, we bow to each other with our hands on our hearts, where we can feel a sense of safety and togetherness.