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home > Our work > Programs > Where We Work > Welcome Notes
Welcome Notes

Bringing comfort, solidarity and hope to war refugees through music.


‘Welcome Notes Europe’ is Musicians Without Borders’ response to the arrival of refugees and migrants, people fleeing war, abject poverty and climate change, who have arrived in Europe since 2015. Welcome Notes began in the Netherlands but soon expanded to include trainings and pilot projects in Germany, Italy, Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina. MWB adapted its already developed trainings from conflict regions to different target groups and situations among refugee populations in Europe.

Musicians Without Borders has engaged in various levels of partnerships and pilot projects with Musicians for Human Rights (Italy), Landesmusikakademie NRW (Germany), El Sistema Greece, SOS Emergency Response (Italy), IOM Greece and Save the Children NWB (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Projects have focused on capacity building and training of local musicians, who are then integrated into the regular programs of the partner organizations. MWB has tailored its expanded training program (with new modules incorporating training in trauma and self-care, Hip-Hop, working with adolescents and use of technology in workshops) to different target groups. Our expanded trainer team is now capable of adapting the program to suit local needs.

The main beneficiaries of the projects so far have been children and adults with a refugee background and unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASCs).

Training for Musicians

We offer training for musicians, music teachers and workshop leaders from all cultural backgrounds who wish to increase their ability to use music as a tool to work towards the social inclusion and support of refugees and newcomers. This training has been specially adapted from our advanced training course and offers the necessary skills to lead music workshops with refugees in European communities.

The following skills and subjects are addressed in the training:

  • Community music approaches to singing, (body) percussion, movement, songwriting
  • Trust-building and teamwork
  • Basic trauma awareness
  • Nonviolent communication and building empathy between participants
  • Nonverbal techniques for music making
  • Creativity and improvisation
  • Connection with organizations and initiatives working in local refugee centers and communities

We’re open to discussing the implementation of Welcome Notes training opportunities with partner organizations in other European countries. Or, if you would like to receive information on upcoming training opportunities, please contact: [email protected]


In partnership with the Landesmusikakademie NRW in Heek, Germany, we train local musicians to work with refugees and asylum seekers across Germany.

Upcoming training dates for 2021:

Blog / News
December 13, 2019
Welcome Notes program manager Anna Swinkels wrote about her experiences during one of our workshops in Greece, last April.
November 10, 2019
We talk to Popup Choir Amsterdam about their love for music, singing and how music helps people overcome differences.
July 8, 2019
Enjoy this look at our activities and work throughout the world in 2018.
December 14, 2018
As Welcomes Notes program turns 3 years in 2019, Program Manager, Anna Swinkels shares the fourth 'Story of Light' and how we're using music to support the growing number of refugees in Europe.