In October, we welcomed 50 musicians from around the world to the Netherlands for our second annual Training of Trainers, an advanced community music training for experienced music workshop leaders.
For six days, we provided an intensive overview of MwB’s working principles and workshop approaches developed from our long-term work in training young people in music workshop leadership skills in Palestine, Rwanda and Northern Ireland. This year, we were delighted to be able to invite some of our assistant trainers and participants from these regions to take part in the advanced training with the aim to enhance their skills in running music workshops in their own communities. View photos from the training here.
With such a diverse group of people, we received a range of responses on how the training will make an impact on their work. One participant from Sudan expressed a wish to combine her experience as a doctor with her passion for music, helping to raise awareness around the issue of FGM in her country. Another participant from Kenya will be making a presentation to the academic staff from the Department of Music and Dance as well as the Department of Peace and Conflict Management at Kenyatta University, to explore ways of embedding the training content into the curriculum at their university.
Other participants shared these impressions:
The Musicians Without Borders Training was an inspiring, energizing, affirming, and transformational experience! As a singer and experienced peace educator, I am now better equipped to facilitate community music workshops that can foster empathy, movement, emotional expression, communication and cooperation between participants of all ages and backgrounds. The MwB trainers’ non-judgmental approach created a safe space where I could take playful risks in learning, leadership, and creativity. This is a rare gift! The MwB TOT is a wonderful way to gain new tools for peacebuilding, expand your musicianship skills, and make lasting connections with talented, big-hearted musicians across the globe. Highly recommended!
Christa M. Tinari, USA, Founder of PeacePraxis (www.peacepraxis.com)
During the ToT I was deeply moved and touched by the life’s mission of Musicians without Borders as peace builders and social changers. Their community music projects really make a difference on a global level. To be part (if only for one week) of that idea, to be surrounded by that positive energy of solidarity, commitment, healing, creativity, reconciliation etc. made a deep impression. The trainers were highly skilled professionals and I learned a lot about how to make music without using instruments by singing, and using my body as an instrument. And I had forgotten how it felt to make music, singing together as a large group: to feel part of a something bigger than me, to be uplifted, to feel connection and to feel the vibration of many souls reunited in one song and the power and joy released by that. I felt the power of COMMUNITY MUSIC!! I have been really inspired to use all the techniques, exercises and experiences of ToT in my own profession as a music therapist. I already began using some of the exercises I learned. ToT has also broadened my horizons and empowered me to offer music activities to refugees in Holland. I thank Musicians without Borders for this wonderful and deeply moving experience.
Mirjam Hendriksen, The Netherlands