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 we 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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A One-day Session in Free State

PULSE and Field Band Education (FBE) is currently planning three weeks of workshops in Free State. It is going to be one workshop week in each band. One in Parys,  one in Vilioenskroon and one in Kroonstad. These workshops are called “Super Heroes” which will result in a final event called “Amazing Race”. This is a day filled with a lot of games and fun for the members where the focus is disability awareness. “Super Heros” and “Amazing Race” are funded by Ponahalo. You will read more about this in a later blog post.


Friday this week, PULSE went to Viljoenskroon in Free State where they executed a one-day training and information session with staff from all three Free State bands. This was to give them an extra update about “Super Heroes” and “Amazing raze”, and what preparations that are needed from them. To promote the topics and raise awareness in their communities, stakeholder engagement has been emphasized as an important part of the preparations. The Free States bands are all “inclusive bands”, which means that they have extra focus on including people living with disabilities.

PULSE and FBE have developed a “Knowledge and Skills Assessment” that the staff members should take before PULSE and FBE arrange “Super Heroes” and Educational Band visits round 2. The results from this assessment are being used to evaluate their level of knowledge, so that it will be easier to plan the content of the upcoming workshops and also which of the topics that should be emphasized. In addition to this, PULSE got to try out some of the HIV and Aids activities: due to funding received from PEPFAR (read more about this here: Raising awareness about HIV and Aids). PULSE has developed a series of activities, where the aim is to increase knowledge and awareness about HIV and Aids. PULSE needed to see if the activities were comprehensible and if the staff was able to facilitate them. The plan is to implement the activities for the staff and members in all bands in the Field Band Foundation this year.


Free State teams trying out HIV activities

Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård

Pictures by: Sofie Hjertvik and Hanna Bakke Negård

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Korpsklubb in Bergen 

PULSE, team Bergen, has kick started its new year with a new exciting project called “Korpsklubb”. In 2016/17, the team has been working with Varden Skoles Musikkorps as our own project in Bergen. In this Korpsklubb, we will use the basic activities to try to introduce all members into banding activities. Basic activities consists of clapping rhythms, doing body percussion, singing and games with call and responses, which also helps in aural training.


We will now be working with the Korpsklubb project in Møhlenpris and at Seljedalen Skole for six weeks, with 20 children in each group, one hour per week. As most of the children are not part of a school band, we make sure that they all feel included musically by introducing them to playing Pbuzz, dancing, singing and playing simple rhythms on djembe. Each school will get an opportunity to showcase what they have been doing at the end of the six week period. In week 9, PULSE will also host a one week workshop in Møhlenpris Skole in Bergen which is called ‘’VinterPULSE’’. In the workshop, we invite and include all kids, not just the ones that are part of a school band.


We believe that these activities will help child grow, learn and have fun. Basic activities, as mentioned above, are one of the great aspects for developing strong and diverse youth. These musical activities will prepare children to know how it is like being in a school band, and will hopefully encourage them to join the band afterwards. Playing in a school band is one of the best activities to consider, if you want to help your child develop stronger social and intellectual skills.


Written by: Denis Mashabane and Masibulele Langa

Photos by:   Bergen PULSE team


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New Year, New Team Member

Unfortunately one of the PULSE participants in South Africa had to go back to Norway. Luckily a former PULSE participant was happy to come back to South Africa and join the PULSE team in Johannesburg.


The new/old PULSE participant is Lisa Laila Gontarek who was a PULSE participant in 2015-2016 (PULSE3). Lisa grew up on the island Karmøy in Norway. She has a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from The Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway, and she also studied pedagogy at the same institute. Prior to coming to South Africa, Lisa has worked in Malawi with the FK project MOVE, and has afterwards worked with various music projects in Malawi and Norway. Her primary instrument is the recorder, but she also has experience with playing the violin. Lisa has already spent a year working with PULSE in South Africa in 2015/2016. During this year she stayed both in Free State and in Northern Cape where the main task was to upskill the staff in these regions to promote awareness around disabilities, social inclusion and gender equality. This time around she is looking forward to new focus areas at work, as well as getting to know more field bands around South Africa.

PULSE (NP5) is happy to welcome Lisa to the team. Since the north participants arrived in South Africa, they have not been properly introduced, so here it goes:

Sofie Hjertvik grew up in Ørsta, a small town surrounded by mountains on the west coast of Norway. She has studied music and has a master’s degree in Music Therapy from The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway. Prior to coming to South Africa, Sofie finished her studies and has also worked as a music teacher in different arenas. Her primary instrument is the flute, and she has experience from playing in various orchestras and ensembles. Sofie applied for PULSE because she wanted to use her skills and knowledge in a different setting, and to work in South Africa seemed like a real adventure. She is looking forward to learn more about Field Band Foundation, and to work with links between music and health with PULSE.

Marie Rotevatn is from Nordfjordeid, an idyllic small town on the west coast of Norway. She has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, Norway, and she has also studied arts management. Prior to coming to South Africa, Marie has worked as a teacher and conductor in various wind bands. Her primary instrument is the clarinet, and she also has experience with playing the saxophone. Marie applied for PULSE because she had heard many positive things about the project for many years from former participants, and she was eager to work with what she loves in a new country and in a new environment. She is looking forward to the work tasks and experience the work with PULSE provides, and is also looking forward to experience what South Africa has to offer.

Hanna Bakke Negård is from Lørenskog, a small town close to the capital of Norway. She has studied music at The Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway, and has a bachelor’s degree in Radiography from Bergen University College. Hanna’s primary instrument is the trombone, and she has long experience with playing in various ensembles, bands and orchestras. Prior to coming to South Africa, Hanna worked as a radiographer at Oslo University Hospital. Hanna applied for PULSE because she wanted a change of scenery and experience another work environment on a different continent. She is looking forward to bring her skills and knowledge on music and health to the project and to learn as much as possible.


Lisa Laila Gontarek, Marie Rotevatn, Sofie Hjertvik and Hanna Bakke Negård

PULSE in South Africa is very excited to continue the work on music and health with the main focus area on disability awareness.

Happy new year!


Written by: Lisa Laila Gontarek and Hanna Bakke Negård

Pictures by: Eva Bortne

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The south participants held the first educational workshop this year, in Bergen. The workshop was with many young and energetic young leaders who are in the NMF Peer Education Programme from all over the country in Norway.


The goal for this workshop was to equip the peer educators with tools to make the learning environment in banding activities more inclusive.  This was not a very long workshop, but with the energy and eagerness to learn in this three-day workshop, we managed to dish out a lot of information from the peer educator guides and activity library. We strongly believe that the youth is the future movement in the banding activity, so it is important for us to make sure that we give them relevant information to keep the chain of inclusion going in the Norwegian school bands.


After this productive workshop with various kinds of information and new skills learned, the peer educators could bring home a written guide that will help them to create a more inclusive learning environment. The guide is written by Ragnhild Sandbakk and Christian Larsen. The guide based on planning tools, teaching skills and leadership skills. The guide itself is written in Norwegian, so it was not an easy task for us South Africans go through with the peer educators, but with the help of the PULSE extension team Anne Oksfjellelv, Katja Furnes, Christian Digranes and Ketil Vestrum Einarsen, it made the process easier.


The workshop it was not only based on the theoretical part of the guide, but we also had a practical part that was to play music together and make sure that everyone is included as since we also had non-musical participants. During the sessions, we managed to include non-musicians by singing, dancing and also playing p-buzz. This was a perfect example to demonstrate how we include everyone to experience a sense of belonging.


Written by: Adrian Mackay and Chief Zwane

Photos  by: Denis Mashabane

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