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Training opportunity

Music leadership training · July 2022

We are offering a practical training in music leadership this summer! It takes place from July 25 to July 30, 2022, at Akoesticum in Ede, the Netherlands.

The training focuses on working with people impacted and displaced by conflict and war. The course has been developed by experts with years of experience in current and post-conflict regions, drawing on best practices from Musicians Without Borders programs.

Past participants of our trainings have gone on to apply their skills in settings like refugee camps and asylum seeker centers, nonviolence workshops, juvenile detention centers, and community choirs. This training will help you develop your knowledge base, mindset and attitude, and practical skills in delivering activities within the field of music leadership.

In this music leadership training, you’ll learn about using music for social change. We cover the following topics:

  • The principles of nonviolence and conflict de-escalation,
  • Supporting the safety and wellbeing of the group as well as yourself,
  • Facilitating musical activities in various cultural contexts,
  • Using your existing musical skills within this work (you’re invited to bring your instrument).

This training includes 2 online sessions, taking place before the in-person training. Please ensure you’ll be available for these sessions, as they’re introducing topics covered in the in-person training.

Our trainers

  • Otto de Jong, a choir and orchestra conductor specialized in working with large groups of children. Since 1999, he has led training with Musicians Without Borders in Palestine, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, El Salvador, Italy, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands.
  • Ryuko Reid, a British-Japanese baroque violinist and community musician leading weekly workshops in an asylum seeker center in Almere, and part of our training team since 2017. 
  • Amanda Koser-Gillespie, a music educator, ethnomusicologist, professional instrumentalist, and trainer. Amanda has been working internationally as a trainer for Musicians Without Borders since 2015, leading training in El Salvador, Italy, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Darren Abrahams, a singer, coach, trauma therapist, and trainer working internationally as a facilitator and project leader in the fields of personal, cultural, and community development.

To take part in this training, we request you…

  • …have a strong musical background and mastery of basic musical skills. We’re looking for a good sense of rhythm and vocal or instrumental skills,
  • …are interested or have experience in using music with diverse communities affected by forced migration, war, and armed conflict.

Our training programs are open to musicians from many different backgrounds and cultures, and may include participants from regions affected by war and armed conflict. Our terms and conditions provide guidance on participant conduct to create a safe space for all participants during our trainings. If you’d like to discuss any questions, concerns or risks regarding your participation, please feel free to contact us.

COVID-19 precautions

We’re following the health and safety guidelines for coronavirus as mandated by the Dutch government. We work in close collaboration with our training venues and partners to adapt our trainings to fit these guidelines.

International participants should bear in mind any necessary requirements for entering the Netherlands. We advise all participants to take out a robust travel insurance policy and to only book fully-refundable travel. Participants will be informed at a minimum of one month’s notice regarding any postponement or cancellation of the program.

For more details, including our cancellation policy, please check our terms and conditions.

General information


  • Pre-training online sessions:
    July 12 and 19 from 16:00-18:00 CET,
  • Training dates in Akoesticum:
    July 26 to July 30, with arrivals on July 25.


The complete training course price is €1195, broken down into the training fee and room and board.
  • Training fee:
    €119 per day for 5 days is €595,
  • Room and board at Akoesticum:
    €120 per night for 5 nights is €600.

You can choose to only pay the training fee, and organize your own room and board instead. Payment in installments is possible – please reach out to [email protected] for more information on both these options.


Registration for this training is open until June 25.