Visit to Western Cape

Before the Easter holiday, Lisa and Hanna from PULSE and Nomkhosi and Dineo from FBE facilitated Educational Band Visits in the projects in Western Cape, both in Plettenberg Bay and Stellenbosch (Cape Town). Throughout the years, Western Cape has previously not been a focus area for PULSE, that’s why it was important to visit these areas now. The first and only time PULSE visited this region was in December with the project “Holiday PULSE” that took place in Plettenberg Bay.


The visit before Easter was the beginning of “round 2” of Educational Band Visit. An Educational Band Visit is a four-day workshop where PULSE and FBE facilitate some of their curriculum, and PULSEs focus area is Disability Awareness. You can read more about educational band visits here. The improvements for this round is that the content is a bit different from the first round, but the main focus from PULSE is still Disability Awareness, but also with a focus on HIV / Aids and lifeskills. Another improvement is that PULSE and FBE give the teams an implementation task every day, which they need to conduct during the rehearsal.

Here are some pictures from the Educational Band Visit Plettenberg Bay:


Here are some pictures from the Educational Band Visit in Stellenbosch:

Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård

Pictures by: Lisa Laila Gontarek and Hanna Bakke Negård

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Amazing Presentations by the Free State Teams

The Free State tutor teams have over the past three years received and been provided with knowledge on Disability Awareness and Inclusive Teaching from PULSE. Reason is that these three teams work in inclusive bands, bands that accommodate a larger percentage of members living with disabilities than what most field bands do. As a way of making sure that the knowledge that has been passed on has been helpful and sufficient, these teams were asked to give a presentation at 16 March at Dance Café.

All three teams had the same set-up task that included reflection questions regarding the past, the present and the future in the bands. Each team also needed to solve a case. The aim of the task was to hear about the teams’ experiences and ability to make use of the knowledge on disability awareness and inclusive teaching they have obtained, and reflect around their own development.

Parys, Viljoenskroon and Kroonstad all conducted a 45-minute presentation each. Almost all staff members were involved and the audience for the presentation consisted of both internal and external stakeholders. A special thank you to the representatives from City of Joburg for taking the time to spend the morning with us.

In addition to the presentation, a band consisting of tutors and members from Alexandra, Soweto and the new CoJ bands (City of Joburg) gave all the people attending a real field band welcome at the entrance of the venue.

fullsizeoutput_37efPhumzile Twala and Bongani Goliath, POs in Alexandra field band and Soweto field band, contributed to the event by sharing some personal experiences. They gave the audience real and touching stories about how it is to be a part of a field band, both as a member and as staff.

All Free State teams did an incredible job that exceeded all expectations. The presentations were filled with passion, insight, humour and good reflections. Every single one of them stepped into the part as high-level presenters, and PULSE couldn’t be more proud. The teams are doing a remarkable job out on the ground, and the members of the Free State bands are truly fortunate to have these young leaders as their role models.

PULSE would like to thank all attendees for taking the time to be there, the band for performing and the Free State teams for embracing this challenge as real Super Heroes!


All three teams, Sofie, Marie and Eva after the presentations


Written by: Marie Rotevatn

Photos by: Marie Rotevatn, Sofie Hjertvik, Eva Bortne and Paul Mongwe

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Lubner Leadership Seminar

The last three weeks of February, Field Band Foundation (FBF) conducted a seminar funded by Ronnie Lubner named the Lubner Leadership Seminar. The seminar was for local band management staff from all over the country. The Project officers (PO), Band Coordinators (BC) and Social officers (SO) around South Africa were divided into three groups and each group had a one-week leadership seminar at Mimosa Gardens, Parys. The importance of having a seminar like this is that the leaders of the different bands in FBF is on the same page and are running their bands according to FBFs guidelines. Topics such as personal and organisational branding, monitoring and evaluation tools, FBF Educational programmes and stakeholder engagement, community event etc. were included in the seminar.

lls2The part of the Lubner Leadership Seminar that PULSE was engaged with was under FBF educational programmes. The main topics were educational band visits (round 2), lifeskills and new for this year: HIV and Aids activities. The session also included how a new system of reporting all of this is going to be essential for the coming year. The importance of the POs to write reports is that PULSE and the rest of the staff at head office will be able to monitor the on-going programmes in the bands. For both the staff in the bands and for the head office it will mainly be to evaluate what was good and why with the current activity, and what can be improved and how. The last section is especially important for PULSE since the new activities regarding HIV and Aids that PULSE recently has developed are now in the face of being implemented in the bands. PULSE will monitor the section on both HIV/Aids and lifeskills. If the POs are handing in a good report, the POs are getting scored on how well they are reporting. Head office calls it the Scorecard, as a way of motivating to make good work.

Wednesday, the last week of the Lubner Leadership Seminar, there were two representatives: Tafadzwa Ngorima and Tatenda Tagutanazvo from U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) attending to hear PULSE talk about how the HIV and Aids activities and how they are going to be implemented in the bands. It is due to funding from PEPFAR, that awareness about HIV and Aids is now the main focus of the lifeskills sessions in Field Band Foundation.



Lisa and Hanna from PULSE with the representatives from PEPFAR and a group of leaders in FBF

As mentioned in the last blog post, the Lubner Leadership Seminars were running simultaneously as the Super Heroes Workshops in Free State where the final event was the Amazing Race. All the POs, SOs and BCs attended Amazing Race where they were included in the execution of the events. This was a big success, and everybody; both children and staff seemed to enjoy themselves a lot.


Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård

Pictures by: the PULSE team and Eva Bortne

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VinterPULSE 2018 Oslo and Bergen

VinterPULSE 2018 was very successful! The team was well prepared, everyone has gave their best and it was priceless! The first round of VinterPULSE took place in Oslo between 19 and 23 of February, followed by Bergen between 26 February and 2 March. The VinterPULSE workshops are becoming an annual event and is normally happening during the Norwegian winter holiday when the children are off from school. This is the Third round of VinterPULSE in Oslo and Second round in Bergen the number of participants increases every year.


The workshop content has also developed, and this year we had more facilitators present, including a well-being team, a choreographer, a stage designer and an artistic corner team. The well-being team focused on the wellness of the children attending the workshop. Well-being is essential, not only for musical success, but also for emotional, social, physical and spiritual development. The team helped on doing follow-ups on the children and made sure everyone is was comfortable and happy at all times during the week.



PULSE has always wanted to end the workshops with memorable concerts, and this is where the choreographer came in. The choreographer was working on the transitions for the concerts and was also be able to give queues to the performers. This made our concert look even more professional. We used our artistic corner as a station that was found in the rehearsal hall at all times during the week. It allowed younger children who was not taking part in the musical activities to play and be creative using paint and colouring. PULSE believes that the artistic corner was great a tool for the younger children to increase their self-confidence, develop social skills, and express themselves.


VinterPULSE Oslo


VinterPULSE Bergen

Since one of the main goals for VinterPULSE is inclusion, the creative corner contributed to creating connections and relations with each other and the facilitators. This has been a really amazing two weeks full of joy and exchange of knowledge. Everyone was very happy especially parents and the kids. We received a lot of compliments after the concerts. Thank you everyone who attended VinterPULSE both Oslo and Bergen, PULSE team really appreciate your support and we hope you come again next year.


Written by: Denis Mashabane and Masibulele Langa

Photos by: VinterPULSE Archive

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Super Heroes and Amazing Race

There is a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape.” – Superman

The focus on children and the work with lifeskills through the medium of music and dance is what the Field Band Foundation is all about. It is a pleasure for PULSE to be a part of such an organisation and to get to meet all the talented tutors and band members across South Africa. The tutor teams do a lot for their community and they are working to upskill empowered, healthy, and self-confident youth who are able to contribute to a vibrant society. You can call them “Super Heroes”, and that is exactly why the workshops in Parys, Viljoenskroon and Kroonstad have gotten this name. These bands have throughout the past three years had extra focus on disability awareness and inclusive teaching. They are called “Inclusive Bands”, and every child that wants to join can join regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

PULSE is now in the middle of three weeks of Super Heroes Workshops. The workshops last 5 days, and during these days the tutor teams gain knowledge on disability awareness, HIV/Aids, and material from Field Band Education, and each day they get a task to implement in the rehearsals. A part of the workshop is for the tutors to plan and execute “The Amazing Race”. The focus for “The Amazing Race” is inclusiveness and to have a fun and exciting day for the members, family members and caregivers. It will provide a strong acknowledgement to all members that they are super heroes in their own way regardless of their abilities. At the end of the day all participants of the “The Amazing Race” receive a medal.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Lubner Leadership Seminar is also taking place in Parys during the same weeks, so for “The Amazing Race” all the attendees at the seminar also help out during the community event.

Last week the “Super Heroes” workshop took place in Parys, and this week it is happening in Viljoenskroon. The last and final workshop will be in Kroonstad. It is inspiring and fun to work with the staff members, and PULSE is looking forward to the continuation of the workshops!



Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård

Photos by: PULSE team

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It’s All Happening in Free State

The upcoming weeks, week 7 – 9, there are a lot of exciting things happening in Free State. Not only will the Super Heroes Workshop take place in Parys, Viljoenskroon and Kroonstad, but at the same time all Project officers (PO), Band coordinators (BC) and Social officers (SO) in the foundation will attend the Lubner Leadership Seminar in Parys.


Super Heroes Workshop and the Amazing Race

Each of the Free State band staff will get a one-week workshop called Super Heroes. PULSE and Field Band Education will facilitate this workshop and a special focus will be on disability awareness.

The week will be wrapped up with a spectacular day named The Amazing Race, which will take place on the Friday. The Amazing Race will be filled with fun games and activities for the members and invited stakeholder. The focus will lie on inclusion, teamwork, mastering, motivation, supporting each other, and building social relations and friendships. All the games and activities are developed to fit all participants, regardless of living with a disability, or not, and at the end of the day all the participants will be winners.

Timetable Super Heroes 2018

Here you can see how the Super Heroes workshop will look like


Lubner Leadership Seminar

The same weeks as the Super Heroes workshops are taking place, all the POs, BCs and SOs in the foundation will be gathered in Parys for the Lubner Leadership Seminar. They will be divided into groups, and for three weeks Mimosa Gardens in Parys will be all about personal and organisational branding, monitoring and evaluation, information regarding Education and PULSE activities in 2018, stakeholder engagement and communication, social media, branding and other general operation topics. At the end of each week of the Lubner Leadership Seminar all the attendees will join the Free State teams for The Amazing Race.

PULSE will as soon as the events have taken place share more about the Super Hero workshops, The Amazing Race and the Lubner Leadership Seminar on the blog. Stay tuned for more Free State fun! PULSE would like to thank The Field Band Foundation’s funding partners to make these opportunities possible. We are excited to take part in all the fun activities in Free State over the next few weeks!


Written by: Marie Rotevatn and Lisa Laila Gontarek

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The Vinter PULSE recruitment drive has started! PULSE, team Norway, is on fire and is really looking forward to these workshops in February and March!

We have started traveling around Oslo and Bergen with the aim to give possible participants a clearer understanding of what Vinter PULSE is and why they should attend this amazing course.


We have visited more than ten schools and refugee centers in both cities using recruiting tools such as body percussion, team building activities and many more energetic South African dances to give children a mild taste of what they can expect if they take part in Vinter PULSE. The great news is that we currently have over 30 participants on board already! Hopefully more will come as we continue the drive.

The Vinter PULSE course will be held in Oslo from 19 to 23 February and in Bergen from 26 February to 2 March 2018.  Each course will hopefully have more than 50 children between the ages of 8 to 18 years old, also including those who do not have any previous musical experience.


This year, Vinter Pulse will be even more exciting with more energetic activities and more fun instruments for the participants who have not played any musical instruments before. This will bring joy and great memories to both Vinter Pulse staff and participants. Also, this year, Norges Musikkorps Forbund (The Norwegian band Federation) is celebrating 100 years and the participants at the Vinter PULSE course in Oslo will be part of this celebration. We are sure it will give them, and us, lots of motivation and joy as we fill up the Opera House in Oslo with energetic South African and Norwegian music.

Will we see you there?


written by : Chief and Adrian

Photos by : Denis and Adrian


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