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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.

Training of Workshop Leaders

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.

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 info@mwb.ngo

Welcome Notes Training

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

Testimonials
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One of the most valuable parts of my experience in the Netherlands with Musicians without Borders is being able to reflect on the work I have done with Armonia Cuscatleca in El Salvador. It is very inspiring and necessary to meet other community music leaders from around the globe with common aspirations and goals.
Pablo Mendez Granadino
USA/El Salvador
Pablo Mendez Granadino
USA/El Salvador
One of the most valuable parts of my experience in the Netherlands with Musicians without Borders is being able to reflect on the work I have done with Armonia Cuscatleca in El Salvador. It is very inspiring and necessary to meet other community music leaders from around the globe with common aspirations and goals.

Before this once in a lifetime opportunity with MwB, the only goal I thought I had achieved with the youth orchestra of San Pedro Perulapan, was how to correctly play a few scales along with a few popular songs. I didn’t realize that what AC was offering was hope, empathy, community, creativity, family, friendship, confidence, a voice! It is very hard to be heard when all these positive aspects of life are drowned out by violence, extreme poverty, corruption, broken families and lack of education or employment. A very difficult aspect of working in such a hostile environment is being able to stay focused and not turn into a sponge that absorbs all these negative aspects of culture that unfortunately Salvadoran families have to cope with on a daily basis. I will not lie and say that I haven’t been affected by the reality of Salvadoran life. It’s been a very challenging 2 years of my life but I can definitely say I am stronger, more thankful for what I have, and more resilient. I want to share a little of what MwB shared with me. The very important and vital Principles of Nonviolence by Martin Luther King. One of these principles says “nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. The nonviolent approach is not passive but active: it includes making choices and taking action that contribute to justice, peace and community-building. It’s the decision to act, despite risks and fears. Although it take courage, nonviolence can be and is practiced by ordinary people like you and me.”

The MWB ToT 2015 introduced me to a network of inspiring people, giving me the opportunity to learn from people who spend their lives using music to improve the lives of others.
Verena Lourenço
South Africa
Verena Lourenço
South Africa
The MWB ToT 2015 introduced me to a network of inspiring people, giving me the opportunity to learn from people who spend their lives using music to improve the lives of others.

My participation further allowed me to gain the knowledge and confidence needed to use music as a tool for nonviolence and healing. Being at 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. I find myself motivated to take the steps towards building a sustainable career for myself in this space.

The MWB Training of Trainers week provided 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, enjoyable and personable manner by experienced trainers.
Raymond Considine
Ireland
Raymond Considine
Ireland
The MWB Training of Trainers week provided 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, enjoyable and personable manner by experienced trainers.

The week also offered an exciting opportunity to interact intensively with musical peers from a hugely diverse range of backgrounds, all sharing their knowledge, stories & ideas with each other. Most importantly, all of this took place in a truly warm, welcoming and energetic space that was created naturally by everyone involved; trainers & participants quickly blended into a cooperative of motivated friends, all open and eager to absorb and impart as much knowledge as possible during this privileged window of opportunity. Whatever your level of musical experience and qualifications, this week has the potential to teach, refocus and inspire you anew.

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 community 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: meagan@mwb.ngo

Training of Workshop Leaders

A practical course in community music leadership based on Musicians Without Borders’ principles and methodology. This course deepens participants’ knowledge and skills in leading music workshops with groups of any size and age, making a connection between musical activities and MWB’s five principles of group work: Safety, Inclusion, Equality, Creativity, and Quality.

The course covers pedagogical, didactic and musical skills, offering hands-on experience in leading activities, including body percussion, drumming, singing, movement, and songwriting. View the 2018 Program

Duration: 24 hour course | 4 days

Dates: February 24-27, 2019

Location: Akoesticum, Ede, The Netherlands

Cost: €795

Deadline: November 30, 2018

APPLY TODAY

 

 

Contact

Musicians Without Borders has partnered with CONTACT to run a three week professional training program in peacebuilding and conflict transformation with electives in community music leadership. The training is open for participants who are active in their communities as musicians, workshop leaders, teachers or social activists, who would like further their knowledge of using music as a tool for peacebuilding and social change.

Dates: June 3 – 21, 2019

Location: SIT Graduate Institute, Brattleboro, Vermont, USA

Cost: More information on registration & fees here

Please send expressions of interest to m.hughes[at]mwb.ngo

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. Participants will deepen their leadership skills while exploring concepts related to creativity, improvisation, and nonviolence. They will learn how to facilitate music workshops that strengthen communities through bridging divides and creating empathic connections between people within an inclusive and safe environment.

Outcomes:

  • Participants will be able to use music as a tool for inclusion and bridging divides within various community settings;
  • Participants will gain a clear understanding of the concept of nonviolence and will be able to carry out this philosophy in practical activities;
  • Participants will be able to adapt pedagogical and didactic forms of working that are based on creating a safe environment;
  • Specific to our Training of Trainers: Participants will be able to lead a training for workshop leaders informed by the principles of Musicians Without Borders.
What kind of experience should a trainee have in order to participate?

We offer training for various levels of experience, both to non-musicians and musicians who are active as workshop leaders, teachers or social activists and wish to develop their knowledge of using music as a tool for peace-building and social change. Trainees must be able to demonstrate empathic sensitivity and active listening skills, which are key elements of fostering positive relationships within a group based on an ethos of mutual respect.

For our Workshop Leader Training and our Training of Trainers courses, trainees need to have a high degree of musicianship with the ability to simplify and break down the elements of music making. This is necessary in order to lead and teach workshop participants at any level of musicianship.

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.

Our Training of Trainers prepares participants to be able to train other workshop leaders using these principles.

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:

The Prins Claus Ticket Fund supports travel costs for cultural professionals living in developing countries. Applications must be sent 8 weeks prior to travel. N.B. The fund will open again in February 2019.

STEP Beyond Travel Grants are designed for up-and-coming artists and cultural workers to travel between EU and EFTA (European Free Trade Association), and countries bordering the EU. Priority is given to individuals who are under 35 years old and/or who are in the first 10 years of their career. Applications must be submitted 60 days prior to travel.

TransArtists 

On the Move

Artists at Risk Connection

For further questions, contact Meagan Hughes at: meagan@mwb.ngo