Music Bridge employs the expertise of Musicians without Borders in partnership with Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, a pioneer in bringing a multi-ethnic approach to the exploration of arts and culture in the city of Derry-Londonderry.
This collaborative project has been training members of the local communities, community musicians, professional musicians and teachers in using music as a way to enhance empathy and trust between divided communities, encouraging self-confidence and self-awareness in participants, and to contribute to reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The goal of Music Bridge is to establish an open-to-all access to unique and sustainable music education programs where the focus is building meaningful connections between people from a variety of communities throughout Derry-Londonderry and the wider area of Northern Ireland.
Musicians without Borders leads music workshop leadership training for community workers and musicians interested in developing meaningful projects in their communities with a focus on children and youth from fragile environments. Our trainees have been able to organize and implement creative music activities within both single and mixed identity communities with the aim of strengthening their self-identity, creating common goals while learning more about what connects us rather than what separates us. The trainees use their acquired variety of musical skills to further their understanding of positive group leadership, principles of nonviolence and emotional self-awareness.
Currently, our long term workshops take place in local primary schools, community group settings as well as standalone events for the wider public. Teachers and community leaders have commented on the positive change they have seen in their students and participants over the past three years. We are collecting feedback from all of our participants in order to better understand the changing needs of the wider community in Northern Ireland and to adapt our music programs to suit these needs and bring people together.