Last week, Musicians without Borders returned to Northern Ireland to begin a second year of training in community music leadership. This ongoing training program in partnership with Culturlann Ui Chanain aims to make a sustained impact on the lives of vulnerable children by encouraging positive forms of self-expression through musical activities and promoting the values of inclusion, equality and nonviolence within communities that have been divided by conflict.
This year, we have a core group of returning trainees who will deepen their skills as both community musicians and mentors to a new group of trainees. They will expand the focus of their work in the community to reach not only children, but also groups of adolescents, adults, and people with special needs.
The returning trainees had the chance to facilitate training activities with the new group of trainees this past week, leading them in musical exercises and giving feedback to one another. One trainee remarked that the opportunity to re-visit the first week of the training was a helpful opportunity to cultivate empathy for the new trainees just embarking on their journey.
The new trainees had the opportunity to put their skills into practice before the end of the week, leading a music workshop with a group of local schoolchildren. This practical workshop during the training prepares the trainees to lead their own workshops in the community, helping to strengthen their confidence as music workshop leaders.
A special thank you to the staff at Culturlann; Josie Nugent, our local music coach; Amanda Koser-Gillespie, our assistant trainer and Danny Felsteiner-Mekori, MwB trainer, for making this training week a big success!