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home > Our work > Training
Training
Training Overview

Musicians Without Borders offers several types of training for professionals in community music leadership. Based on our working principles and methodology, our trainings are based on expertise developed from working in current and post-conflict regions.

Please see our current course listings for upcoming trainings.

Introductory Course

A 2 day introductory course to Musicians Without Borders’ principles and methodology.

Musical Leadership Training

A 4 day practical course to expand the knowledge and skills in community music leadership.

Training of Trainers

A 6 day in-depth course to gain skills and experience in facilitating training for community music leaders.

Welcome Notes Training

Trainings for musicians who wish to work with refugee communities in Europe.

External & Tailored Trainings

We offer external and tailored trainings and/or workshops in community music for organizations, business, conferences and universities. To discuss your specific requirements, please contact [email protected]

Testimonials
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The sessions helped me develop and adapt my professional skills in musical leadership while also offering profound insights on the connection between trauma, the power of music, how to regain confidence, intrinsic value, and self-efficiency.
Robert Pakleppa
Germany
Robert Pakleppa
Germany
The sessions helped me develop and adapt my professional skills in musical leadership while also offering profound insights on the connection between trauma, the power of music, how to regain confidence, intrinsic value, and self-efficiency.
The ToT made me a richer human being. Meeting the trainers and participants was inspiring, motivating and taught me a lot about nonviolence, respect, and creativity. I can’t wait to actively use these skills to contribute to community music workshops and spread the wonderful ideas/principles of Musicians Without Borders.
Cheryl Freeze
The Netherlands
Cheryl Freeze
The Netherlands
The ToT made me a richer human being. Meeting the trainers and participants was inspiring, motivating and taught me a lot about nonviolence, respect, and creativity. I can’t wait to actively use these skills to contribute to community music workshops and spread the wonderful ideas/principles of Musicians Without Borders.
My participation in the ToT allowed me to gain the knowledge and confidence needed to use music as a tool for nonviolence and healing. Being in the early stages of my career, it was extremely encouraging to see that a full-time profession in this truly meaningful nature of work can be a reality.
Verena Lourenço
South Africa
Verena Lourenço
South Africa
My participation in the ToT allowed me to gain the knowledge and confidence needed to use music as a tool for nonviolence and healing. Being in the early stages of my career, it was extremely encouraging to see that a full-time profession in this truly meaningful nature of work can be a reality.
The ToT week provided me with one of the richest & most powerful learning experiences of my musical career. The quality of the workshop content was outstanding, covering a wide spectrum of relevant subject matter and delivered in an engaging and enjoyable manner by experienced trainers.
Raymond Considine
Ireland
Raymond Considine
Ireland
The ToT week provided me with one of the richest & most powerful learning experiences of my musical career. The quality of the workshop content was outstanding, covering a wide spectrum of relevant subject matter and delivered in an engaging and enjoyable manner by experienced trainers.
What an incredible experience! The workshop expanded my understanding of what it means to be creative. Thank you for helping me see music ABSOLUTELY can inspire and multiply ethical responsibility in community.
Jungin Hwang
Korea
Jungin Hwang
Korea
What an incredible experience! The workshop expanded my understanding of what it means to be creative. Thank you for helping me see music ABSOLUTELY can inspire and multiply ethical responsibility in community.

Music is powerful – fun and humorous as well as compassionate and spiritually healing. Thank you for stretching the muscles of my boundary of definition of music and musical creativity. A GOOD workout for my mind-body-and-soul. And the wonderful synergy of the loving and daring music healers that I spent a week with! Thank you all for the creative wisdom and musical wit shared.

Thank you so much for the brilliant Training of Trainers week. I have come home feeling inspired, and energised, full of enthusiasm and ideas for new possibilities.
Valerie Whitworth
Together One Voice Choir, Northern Ireland
Valerie Whitworth
Together One Voice Choir, Northern Ireland
Thank you so much for the brilliant Training of Trainers week. I have come home feeling inspired, and energised, full of enthusiasm and ideas for new possibilities.

I found the training, extremely well paced, very thorough, and really useful.  With 360 degree teaching that built layer upon layer, with ever new depth and understanding as the week went on. Many thanks to the excellent facilitators, organisers for holding the space for us all with great care and integrity, and to all of the other participants for such a rich and invaluable experience. Big thumbs up for Akoesticum, what a beautiful environment to work rest and play in.

This has been an intensely uplifting experience. I admire and appreciate so much the effort, dedication and passion that the team put into the course.
Sarah Nichols
Music Teacher & Artistic Director, Modern Troubadours, Barcelona
Sarah Nichols
Music Teacher & Artistic Director, Modern Troubadours, Barcelona
This has been an intensely uplifting experience. I admire and appreciate so much the effort, dedication and passion that the team put into the course.

I am still in awe at how much we have done and learnt in such little time. This training has given me so much, both on a professional and personal level, and I will carry the knowledge I gained everywhere I go. My advice to anyone who is thinking of doing it – go with an open mind and heart and with a thirst to learn and grow.

The unique opportunity to spend time training intensively with MwB has hugely enriched my knowledge and experience of workshop facilitation. A group of talented and creative people working in the field were selected to come together to exchange tried and tested methods of bringing communities and people together through music. I am so pleased to have been a part of this special gift.
Jude Winwood
Creative Director, BeatFeet – Rhythm for Life, United Kingdom
Jude Winwood
Creative Director, BeatFeet – Rhythm for Life, United Kingdom
The unique opportunity to spend time training intensively with MwB has hugely enriched my knowledge and experience of workshop facilitation. A group of talented and creative people working in the field were selected to come together to exchange tried and tested methods of bringing communities and people together through music. I am so pleased to have been a part of this special gift.
From my experience, every aspect (mission – content – people – continuity) of the first “Training of Trainers” in July 2015 with Musicians Without Borders was absolutely wonderful!
Brian Wittman
Founder & Director, Maui Xaphoon International
Brian Wittman
Founder & Director, Maui Xaphoon International
From my experience, every aspect (mission – content – people – continuity) of the first “Training of Trainers” in July 2015 with Musicians Without Borders was absolutely wonderful!

To break it down:

Musicians Without Borders uses the power of music to connect communities, bridge divides, and heal the wounds of war and conflict.”  This is the basic statement that inspired all of us to apply, and the participants selected (from all around the world) turned out to be the most compassionate, talented, and energetic music people one could possibly imagine!  The content was very well thought out from the beginning, and was also adjusted throughout the event to reflect the ongoing dynamics.  The result was a living collective organism undergoing rapid and joyous growth towards individual and group empowerment.   The presenters brought deep experience, proven skills, and an openness of spirit that testified in every way to the integrity of the organization and its purpose. I have every expectation that the human relationships created in these amazing five days will continue to support and delight me for a lifetime.

The training from Musicians Without Borders was generous, informative, inspiring, creative and intensive. The material was thoroughly and thoughtfully prepared to give meaningful content at many levels so that everyone could benefit, no matter what kind of work they do.
Cindy Dymond
Conflict Resolution Specialist, Canada
Cindy Dymond
Conflict Resolution Specialist, Canada
The training from Musicians Without Borders was generous, informative, inspiring, creative and intensive. The material was thoroughly and thoughtfully prepared to give meaningful content at many levels so that everyone could benefit, no matter what kind of work they do.

It was also delivered by dedicated workshop leaders with a variety of styles and approaches combining theory and practice, listening and doing. They gave us so much to think about! I’m really excited to imagine all the ways I can bring what I learned from MwB into my own work with conflict and community music.

Attending the Training of Trainers was the best decision I could have made! A week full of inspiration, sharing, learning, growing, exploring and music. The philosophy, integrity and authenticity of Musicians without Borders was present in every workshop and every conversation I had. I'm very thankful for this rich experience and for meeting such wonderful and amazing people from all over the world!
Carina Dengler
Germany
Carina Dengler
Germany
Attending the Training of Trainers was the best decision I could have made! A week full of inspiration, sharing, learning, growing, exploring and music. The philosophy, integrity and authenticity of Musicians without Borders was present in every workshop and every conversation I had. I'm very thankful for this rich experience and for meeting such wonderful and amazing people from all over the world!
In this training I discovered much about myself as a music workshop leader and as a trainer, learned to consider the possibilities and impact of musical interaction on a new level, and explored all that with fellow trainees. The training and the connectivity with similar-minded musicians was 'food for the soul' as music should be, and I am filled with gratitude for this experience!
Sylvia Mannaerts
The Netherlands
Sylvia Mannaerts
The Netherlands
In this training I discovered much about myself as a music workshop leader and as a trainer, learned to consider the possibilities and impact of musical interaction on a new level, and explored all that with fellow trainees. The training and the connectivity with similar-minded musicians was 'food for the soul' as music should be, and I am filled with gratitude for this experience!
I love that this project and your fantastic work attracted so many like-minded professionals from across the globe to share and create together.
Isabel Emerson
Open Strings Music, UK
Isabel Emerson
Open Strings Music, UK
I love that this project and your fantastic work attracted so many like-minded professionals from across the globe to share and create together.
'My experience with the Musicians Without Borders ‘Training of Trainers’ project that took place in July 2015 was remarkable. For one week, 28 people from around the globe were given the opportunity to deeply explore the positive outcomes that music-making, active listening and creative dialogue have to offer. I feel that both my personal and professional life has been greatly enhanced through this opportunity.
Amanda Koser Gillespie
Second Line NI, Northern Ireland
Amanda Koser Gillespie
Second Line NI, Northern Ireland
'My experience with the Musicians Without Borders ‘Training of Trainers’ project that took place in July 2015 was remarkable. For one week, 28 people from around the globe were given the opportunity to deeply explore the positive outcomes that music-making, active listening and creative dialogue have to offer. I feel that both my personal and professional life has been greatly enhanced through this opportunity.

I found that while working in (music) education and peace building, my emotional and pedagogical tools begin to show their wear and tear over time. I have participated in other projects with MWB that have helped to restock some of the tools needed so that I may continue working in this field. I firmly believe that I need to understand what I am using, how I am using it and where it came from. The ‘Training of Trainers’ allowed me to walk into the woods, plant the seeds, cultivate the growth and reshape the tools I can pass on to others the way some were passed onto to me. This was an opportunity for me to share as much as it was to learn and everything I do from this point on will benefit from it.

Thank you, Musicians Without Borders for the great opportunity to be part of the Training of Trainers. For me it was a week full of valuable, practical information and experiences as well as an amazing network of people from all over the world sharing similar values, visions and fields of work, joining forces and knowledge for building a better future through the power of music.
Maryana Golovchenko
Ukraine/The Netherlands
Maryana Golovchenko
Ukraine/The Netherlands
Thank you, Musicians Without Borders for the great opportunity to be part of the Training of Trainers. For me it was a week full of valuable, practical information and experiences as well as an amazing network of people from all over the world sharing similar values, visions and fields of work, joining forces and knowledge for building a better future through the power of music.

A perfectly balanced program that includes both theory and practice. For my work, I am sure it will help spread the ideas to my country, Ukraine, that is currently also in conflict as well as develop our work with Syrian refugee children and adults in the framework of our ongoing project Global Week for Syria. Empower, trust, create, connect, dare, inspire, shine and lead – this is what the training is all about.

Two weeks after this training, I am still walking on air. It was an unexpected surprise, this training. So many new games, pedagogical new insights about teaching non verbally.
Nicoline Snaas
The Netherlands
Nicoline Snaas
The Netherlands
Two weeks after this training, I am still walking on air. It was an unexpected surprise, this training. So many new games, pedagogical new insights about teaching non verbally.

Understanding more and more about teaching profoundly in conflict zones. Meeting all these great musicians from all over the world. Talking, sharing ideas and creativity, jamming. A big hurrah and chapeau to Musicians without Borders for organising this first training with all these experienced and wonderful trainers who already dare to work in conflict areas! Very inspiring!!

Course Listing

Musicians Without Borders offers professional training in music leadership based on our working principles and expertise developed from years of working in current and post-conflict regions. Below is an overview of upcoming trainings by and with Musicians Without Borders.

For more information please contact Meagan Hughes at: [email protected]

Music leadership training

Are you looking for practical tools to engage your students or participants, across language and cultural barriers, in increasingly diverse and complex situations? Do you want to lead music activities that help participants self-regulate their emotions and behavior? How can you best create a safe space in a music workshop or classroom? How do you use music as a support for managing conflict?

Musicians Without Borders is offering a practical training in music leadership, developed by experts with years of experience in current and post-conflict regions. Past participants of our trainings have gone on to apply their skills in settings like refugee camps and asylum seeker centers, peace education workshops, local communities facing complex issues, juvenile detention centers and community choirs.

In this training, you’ll learn about: 

  • Our five working principles – safety, inclusion, equality, creativity, quality – and how to apply them to your professional practice
  • The biological, social and psychological effects of music on our nervous system
  • Peace education and nonviolence
  • How to prepare and facilitate music workshops and activities

To take part in this training, we request you…

  • Have had (in)formal music training
  • Are comfortable with singing and performing simple rhythmic patterns
  • Have experience leading music activities
  • Are interested or have experience in using music for community-focused work

Where, when and what does it cost?

Dates and location

The training dates are from 21 to 24 February, 2021, with arrival on February 20. Our trainings are held in Akoesticum in Ede, the Netherlands. 

Cost

The rate for this training is €895. This includes training fees, material costs, and room and board. Participants must cover their own travel expenses. 

COVID precautions

We’re following the health and safety guidelines for coronavirus as mandated by the Dutch government. We’ve worked with our partner, Landesmusikakademie NRW in Germany, to adapt our regular trainings to fit these guidelines and measures. For more details, please check our terms and conditions.

Apply before December 1 for a €100 discount!

Training of Workshop Leaders

This training has been developed for musicians and music pedagogues from all cultural backgrounds who wish to increase their ability to work towards the social inclusion of refugees and migrants. Up to 30 participants are invited to be trained as community music leaders through the methods of Musicians without Borders. The training prepares participants to lead community music workshops that foster empathic connections between people within an inclusive and safe environment.

The following skills and subjects are addressed in the training:

  • Community music approaches to singing, (body) percussion, movement, songwriting Trust-building and teamwork Feedback, evaluation and self-reflection
  • Basic trauma awareness
  • Nonviolent communication and building empathy between participants
  • Nonverbal techniques for music making
  • Creativity and improvisation
  • Constructing a series of workshops and a community event

The workshop will be filmed and evaluated with all participants on the final day. Following the training, we expect all participants to work with local groups in order to implement the skills learnt from the training.

Dates: November 9-13, 2020

Location: Heek, Germany

Language: The training will be held in German and English

Cost: €136 for students up to 25 years /€192 for adults

*Accommodation in double rooms, extra charge for single rooms: €15/night. Thanks to the support of the Ministry for Culture of North Rhine Westfalia, participants only have to pay for accommodation and board.

For more information, contact [email protected]

APPLY

FAQs

Have a question about a training? Here are some of our Frequently Asked Questions.

What are the learning objectives of Musicians Without Borders' training programs?

Our training programs share the knowledge and skills of Musicians Without Borders’ trainers with individuals from a variety of musical levels and backgrounds who are actively involved or wish to be involved in different programs combining music and social change.

Our courses are based on three core focal points, using practical music activities to illustrate these points:

  • MWB’s five working principles (safety, inclusion, equality, creativity, quality)
  • The biological, social and psychological effects of music on our nervous systems
  • Peace education and nonviolence

Goals:

  • You’ll gain knowledge of the three focal points of the training;
  • You’ll experience the application of these focal points to practical music-making;
  • You’ll be equipped to prepare and facilitate music workshops;
  • You’ll expand and strengthen your leadership skills.
What kind of experience should a trainee have in order to participate?

To join our musical leadership training, you should have:

  • Informal or formal musical training 
  • Comfort with singing and performing simple rhythmic patterns
  • Experience leading music workshops 
  • Experience or intent to use music to contribute to community development initiatives
What does the content of the training focus on?

Our training programs address skills across four subject areas: pedagogical, didactic, musical, and workshop leadership.

Pedagogical skills refer to the behavior and attitude of the workshop leader. Strong pedagogical skills can enhance emotional and social well-being, receptiveness of participants, and feeling of safety within the group. These are crucial in (post) conflict areas. The workshop leader uses didactic skills to transfer knowledge and build competence within the group. This refers to the how of leadership. Workshop leadership skills define the preparation needed to carry out a workshop. This involves the preparation of the structure and content of the workshop, ensuring optimal environmental conditions, and taking an inventory of the materials needed.

We focus on how to use music as a tool for peace-building and social change. We do not provide musical instruction per se, rather we use musical activities such as drum circle facilitation, singing, movement, songwriting, and improvisation in order to illustrate and fully utilize the power of music and nurture a culture of nonviolence.

Which target groups do the training content address?

Musicians Without Borders trains (adult) workshop leaders to work predominantly with children and young adults and teach others to do so as well, with the understanding that introducing skills related to cooperative music making and nonviolence at a young age can help to influence social change across generations. While some activities that we use in the training are child-oriented, we encourage our trainees to think creatively to adapt these activities for their own target groups through small group work. We also see the inherent value of playfulness that is embedded in these activities as useful skill sets to explore across age groups, encouraging creativity, helping to construct valuable problems-solving skills and building empathy among participants.

How does MWB view the nature of their work as relating to peace-building and social change, particular to conflict regions?

Musicians Without Borders grounds its approach to peace-building in the conviction that, while cultural differences often come to play a role in war and armed conflict, they are almost never the real root of the conflict, but often the tools of those who benefit from the conflict.

While we often work in places that have been divided along ‘ethnic’ or ‘cultural’ lines, ‘intercultural dialogue’, as it is usually understood, is not part of the practice of Musicians Without Borders. The idea of ‘intercultural dialogue’ implies that the problems of post-war communities have their roots in cultural differences and can be addressed by bringing representatives of the different ‘cultures’ into contact and engaging them in conversation with each other.

To support processes of re-connection without identifying people by ethnic or cultural labels, Musicians Without Borders works to create a neutral musical space in which participants can both identify themselves and relate to each other primarily through music. We take their talents, passions, and potentials seriously and offer them real chances for musical growth and creative development, contact, and connection with individuals they may not otherwise have the chance to meet. We then trust the music to do its work and leave it to them to choose whether, and how, to meet ‘the other’ outside the musical space. What we invariably see is friendships emerging, along with empowerment and a feeling of relief at not being primarily defined by ethnicity, religion or culture.

Is there research or publications that further describe MWB's work?

Yes! Visit our Resources & Publications page to learn more.

Will I have the opportunity to work with MWB after the training?

The contexts in which Musicians without Borders work are often fragile and challenging. Resources can be limited, and the difficulties faced by people can be extreme. The trust that has been developed with our partners and their beneficiaries is vital, and the well-being of participants in our programs is always our primary concern. When we do have occasional openings in our international projects, we have to consider any placement of personnel very carefully. Therefore, only a select number of training participants may have the opportunity to work as a ‘trainer intern’ within one of our programs. This consideration would be based on a mutual fit between the skill sets of the individual and the needs of the program and would be on a voluntary basis.

In what ways has the training program benefited previous participants?

Click here to read testimonials and see what past training participants have to say about our courses.

Are there scholarships available for the training?

Participants are encouraged to seek out funding sources within their own communities or organizations to cover the cost of participation, however, a limited number of scholarships may be available on request.

We recommend the following funding resources supporting artist mobility:

TransArtists 

On the Move

Artists at Risk Connection

For further questions, contact Meagan Hughes at: [email protected]