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WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.

Our methodology is based on the understanding that music is an integral part of human nature. As such, it has the potential to connect and bring people together in a shared, safe space. Through years of experience we’ve learned to harness the power of music to transcend borders and create empathic connections between people of different cultures, backgrounds and languages without and beyond words.

Core Values
  • We use music as a tool for bridging divides and promoting social change.
  • We strive to increase empathy among all participants.
  • We strive to cultivate a culture of nonviolence.
Principles of Our Work
  • EQUALITY: Everyone is welcome, everyone is honored, everyone can make music.
  • SAFETY: The group is a safe place for everyone.
  • CREATIVITY: Using the creativity of individuals and as a group we can experience the connecting power of (shared) ownership in music.
  • INCLUSION: Music provides a neutral space, where people from different backgrounds can meet through their common love of and engagement in music-making and are not defined by their differences.
  • QUALITY: We strive for a high quality of music-making, as this leads to a higher sense of connection and empathy.
Musicians without Borders Trainers

Musicians without Borders trainers are men and women who collectively have a broad range of training skills and experience in working with children, youth and adults in fragile (post) conflict environments. Besides musical expertise, key qualities for our trainers include:

  • An ability to honor all participants, whatever their level of musical competence, and to stimulate and value musical progress – both of the group and its individual members – based not on arbitrary standards, but on the group or individual’s willingness to enter the shared musical space and move creatively within it.
  • Sensitivity to the overlapping dynamics of the participants’ context – such as traumatic past experiences, physical or psychological health issues, domestic or community problems, stress or depression – that may influence participants’ ability to engage in the process. Trainers must be prepared for complications and be able to navigate the complexities they encounter or intuit when not completely known or understood. This requires a high degree of flexibility and improvisational talent on the part of the trainer.
  • A sense for the right moment to ‘step back and let them shine their own light’, the ability to be a leader who encourages leadership and guides the process of empowerment, whose ego is sufficiently satisfied by the success of his/her teaching, rather than needing to be the central point of attention.