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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
November 15, 2017 •• Welcome Notes
Sternstunde

Personal blog from Welcome Notes trainee Caroline Babendererde, violinist and music workshop leader:

After the Welcome Notes training weekends I almost had some kind of ‘after blues’…so many beautiful and inspiring people and working methods. The 5 principles of Musicians without Borders are hugely motivating for me; like some kind of shiny marble that shines on the horizon in search of connection. Music is able to create a ‘special moment’, which in the German language beautifully translates to ‘Sternstunde’. After participating in the training by Musicians without Borders I continued my musical work with children in regular primary schools and azc-schools (schools in asylum seeker centers in the Netherlands) with renewed inspiration. I would like to share 2 ‘Sternstunden’ with you.

Recently I was able to experience once again how music can help everyone to work together, to form a bond and to have fun. I was working in a primary school with fourth grade children, in a so-called ‘dynamic’ class. I was searching for the right form for the children to make contact in a safe setting, so I started with a musical rhythm game that I learned at the Welcome Notes training. It was amazing to see that the grim and competitive atmosphere instantly changed into a common goal; that everyone would succeed in passing on the clap at the right moment. For a short while these fourth graders dropped their facades and showed their 26 beautiful and totally different characters!

On a typical Wednesday I was teaching the first lesson of a workshop series named ‘Symphony Orchestra in the classroom’ to a third grade class at an azc-school. I started the warm up with a singing name game.  Every child sang his or her name and gave me a ‘high five’ while the rest of the class was listening attentively. So far nothing special…or so I thought…and after the last child sang his name, I continued with the next part of the workshop. At the end of the workshop, their regular teacher approached me with a stunned expression and eyes shining and told me that one of the children, a girl with a very difficult past, had never dared to utter a single word in front of the rest of the group. Today was the first time in her school career that she had said something (in this case she had sung her name) in front of the rest of the class. Apparently the musical circle was a safe enough environment for her to open up and join the rest of the group.

Register now for our upcoming Welcome Notes training on January 13 – 14 and February 3 – 4, 2018 in Amsterdam.