We’re in the middle of running another Welcome Notes training in the Netherlands, with a wonderful group of musicians. Here is a personal blog about what the Welcome Notes training meant to Riet Aerts, who works with refugee communities in Belgium.
During the Welcome Notes Training I experienced practicing community music. I read books about this approach before, but the training gave me an introduction in how to practice community music. It was the non-verbal way of communicating, the expression and body language of the trainer that took me on the 2-days journey. He guided us through exercises and practical examples to make us conscious about our position as a music leader, about the way of communicating during musical practices, about the possibilities with every kind of group, of any origin, in whatever circumstances.
Sitting on the train back home, I realized that making music together does not require any conditions, I don’t need a class that is fully developed with the latest gadgets, I don’t need a wide range of instruments and I don’t need the same language to understand one another.
As a music therapist with refugees in Belgium I started using community music therapy daily and experienced how this approach can strengthen the relationship between the individual and the group in contemporary society.