This year, we have been working in partnership with the Landesmusikakademie NRW in Heek, Germany, to run a series of community music trainings for musicians who currently work or aspire to work with refugee communities.
Last week, we returned to Heek to run our second community music training and were joined 23 new musicians as well as some returning trainees from June. Most participants came from various regions in Germany, including several participants who came to Germany as refugees or migrants.
Our trainers Hanno Tomassen and Marion Haak-Schulenburg led the participants through a series of music activities illustrating the key principles of our work: safety, inclusion, creativity, quality, and equality.
Participants had the opportunity to design and run their own activities as well as a full-length workshop, while exploring concepts related to the creative process, leadership, and nonviolence. Our returning trainees from June also led the new group through some exercises, to further develop their own leadership skills.
“The lessons and workshops developed in me a new capacity for looking on new alternatives in creating and sharing knowledge. This is really important in social-community projects w[h]ere people are expecting to be included.”
The trainess reported being able to apply the skills learned in a variety of ways in their local communities: as a music teacher, in refugee inclusion projects, in a primary school classroom with refugee children, in training for educators and students, in a youth center in an intercultural community, in a singing group, music therapy work with elderly people, work for refugees and traumatised women in therapy and as a Qi Gong teacher.
We hope to come back to the Landesmusikakademie this spring for a follow-up training, to hear from the trainees how they have been putting the skills into practice!