It is finally happening!
PULSE and Education is currently hosting the national Music and Movement workshop, everyone is working hard and having a great time. Even though the days are long, the energy is on top throughout the days and there is some wonderful creativity and musicianship going on.
For this workshop, PULSE and Education has invited one Band Coordinator/Senior Tutor and one dance tutor from each band and our focus for this workshop is to improve the music and dance skills. Each day consists of classes such as music theory, dance techniques, arranging, choreography, ensemble, sectionals and full band. In addition to the standard PULSE and Education facilitators, the participants have had the pleasure of working with four external facilitators as well. They are bringing in their amazing expertise in classes like dance, sectionals, full band and ensemble.
There are still a few more days to go, and the whole workshop will end with an In-House Concert on Monday 24th. Here, the participants will be able to showcase everything they have learned throughout the week and we can’t wait!
In addition to the standard classes, the facilitators will arrange a spectacular Talent Show where the participants can show off their talents, so stay tuned for more updates and pictures from this workshop!
Written by: Madeleine
Pictures by: Madeleine & Lise
These are sessions that happens in second grade with the seven-year-old learners during school hours. Where they normally have music session or period in their schedule. This project happens just for four weeks with PULSE involved. This is a form of recruitment for the school band. The PULSE team would basically meet with the school conductor first before starting with rehearsals just to get an overview of how, when and what is expected from the team.
Then PULSE team joins the sessions having the allocated times and days on when to. The most important elements the team focuses on when running the sessions are “to make sure that kids feel safe throughout the sessions, they get feeling of achievement, feeling of mastering and most of all they feel a sense of belonging”. All this will happen by the team doing activities with them, teaching them some south African songs and music there are non-musician instruments that are being used as well. Instruments like Boom whackers and P-Buzzes and dancing whilst singing. A show will be produced out of all this and be showcased to the parents on the last day of the project.
The goal for this project as explained on the latter is to get more members joining in the band after this project. And this had resulted a positive result for the band in the previous years.
Written by: Tshepang Moyo
Pictures by: NMF Web
PULSE has been vary busy with a lot of fun workshops lately! Last week, PULSE did the second round of the Tutor Workshop and everyone had a blast. In addition to the standard content, the tutors were in charge of arranging a social evening where they had prepared games, a play (with live sound effects!) and a house concert. The energy was on top the entire week and the community that has been created at this workshop is absolutely beautiful. When reflecting and evaluating the workshop at the end of the week, there were two words that kept repeating itself; teamwork and family.
PULSE would like to thank all the participants for the hard work, fun times and dedication and we are already excited for round three in August!
Please check out our vlog with some highlights from the week.
This week, PULSE enjoyed another band visit round- this time visiting Hammanskraal and Witbank and next week will be filled with ABRSM music theory workshop so stayed tuned!
Written by: Madeleine
Videos/pictures by: Madeleine, Tove
The 17th of May was established as a National Day in 1814 as the Constitution of Norway was signed in Eidsvoll, declaring Norway as an independent nation. PULSE was really honoured to be part of such beautiful celebration once again with 2018/19 participants in Norway we had our different experiences on this special day both in Oslo and in Bergen. In Bergen Martin was in a parade with the band that he works with weekly, Varden Skole musikkorps and Bongani did the same with the band that he works with Hellen skole Musikkorps. In Oslo it was the same with Chief and Tshepang Parading with Furuset Skole Musikkorps. Penny and Katlego are the Two Toneheim Students from the Field Band Foundation, had a chance to be part of this day and partake in a parade as they last activity before they head home. Here are some of the personal experiences from the PULSE Team:
Tshepang: My personal experience was before the 17th on our dress rehearsal at Furuset when the school Band marched to the Complex and the band played for the Elderly people outside their homes. Music is healing, it’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we all can reflect on no matter which culture you are from; everyone loves music and it brings people together and one will feel the sense of belonging and inclusion. That’s what really touched me! Seeing the joy in their faces and some dancing and waving their flags was the best. In addition, being part of the parade was a great experience! Seeing all those kids parading and passing by the Royal palace, the cheering from people on the side of the streets was phenomenal. Bongani: This was a special day for me, it reminded me of my roots and who I am. To see families coming out in numbers, wearing their traditional attire, marching bands in their uniforms, playing music and parading in the streets of Norway, people waving the national flag on the side of the road. This showed love, togetherness and the pride that they have for their beloved country. It also reminded me of our Freedom Day and Heritage Day combined in one, where everyone celebrates who they are. This was indeed a great honour and privilege to be part of this special celebration, especially wearing the band uniform, marching and playing music with Hellen Skole Korps. It reminded me of my early days when I was a member/student, marching in the streets of Soweto with pride and determination, showing off to my friends who had not yet joined the band. This was my way to show them that banding is the cool, and a positive way to life. Not everyone gets an opportunity like this, to be part of such a celebration. To me it was a lifetime experience and an experience that I have been waiting for years. Martin: What made 17th of May special for me was the anticipation from everyone who have experienced this day before us, they asked questions like ‘what are you going to be doing on the constitutional day?’. It made me realise how special the day was. When the day came, I decided to put a twist on what I was wearing. I had my Zulu piece on my head called “Umqhele” and Norwegians medals. This was the way to celebrate who I am at the same time acknowledging where I am and how fortunate I was to be part of this beautiful celebration. Being in a street Parade with Varden Skole Musikkorps was just a cherry on top. Everyone had a smile on their faces, singing and dancing. this is indeed the day I will never forget in my life. Takk så mye Norge
Written by: Martin, Tshepang and Bongani
Pictures by: Martin, Tshepang, Bongani and Hellen Skole Musikkorps Page
Happy Norway Day from Johannesburg!
Some of the PULSE team has celebrated this day with preparations for our many workshops while the other half went on a band visit to Parys. While this day can bring some homesickness when not in Norway, the office gathered for a great sing-along of the Norwegian Anthem, coffee and cupcakes. Gira was of course also there!
On another note, PULSE has already been in South Africa for eight months. Where did the time go? PULSE has already experienced so much, however PULSE is always ready for new adventures and projects.
The upcoming months will be even more hectic with a lot of fun things planned, starting out with the second round of the Tutor Programme. PULSE is excited to see all of the 21 participants again and we are ready to embrace and continue the learning journey we started the previous workshop.
The next big project PULSE is planning alongside with Field Band Education is the Music and Movement National Workshop. There will be almost 50 (!) Band Coordinators and Dance Tutors joining, focusing on practical music and dance, performance skills and show design. PULSE and FBE will be joined by excellent external facilitators, so stay tuned for more information!
HURRA HURRA HURRA!
Written by: Madeleine
Pictures by: Lise
In Norwegian schools more than 200 different languages are spoken. This reflects the variety of cultural backgrounds that are present and living their lives in the Norwegian society. Still it is fact that linguistic minorities are underrepresented in Norwegian bands. In a survey completed in 2016 NMF also learned that people with linguistic minority background has little general knowledge about the banding activity. This is an important focus area for NMF and the organization has developed a variety of tools and activities in order to change this. Stronger Together is NMFs contribution to develop a broader repertoire of quality music written especially for school bands. The overall aim of is to use music as a door opener to make a more diverse group of people see banding as a relevant and accessible activity for them to participate in.
NMF decided to give praktikants a task to collect music from different ethnical backgrounds. visited different communities and adults’ schools that has people from different nationalities then asked them to sing songs from their home countries and recorded it. Then all that recorded music was given to a composer by the name of Svein Henrik Giske, who chose some of the music and wrote a piece out of that selected music called Stronger Together. This piece has different sections that are suitable for different audiences. It has Poland, Iran, Syria and Somalia and in between these sections there is a Norwegian Folks song that connects these different sections of the song. NMF has commissioned this piece, in believe that it is going to be a very good help in recruitments for bands. The purpose of this piece is to help when the band is playing or doing a recruitment in a community, for the community to hear the music that they can relate to it will give them joy and attract them in to joining the band or be involved in a banding environment. It is up to the band on which section to play as they will know which community they are performing or doing a recruitment for.
NMF is also making a video aimed towards conductors and band leaders, the purpose of this video is to help the Bands and the conductors on how this piece (Stronger Together) could be used as a tool for the audience to participate in a band performances or recruitments. On the 30th of April 2019 Birthe Kråkenes Bjørstad from NMF assisted by Martin Mxolisi Sibiya (PULSE) and Ingeborg Våge (Praktikant) travelled to Manger for the Stronger Together song video shoot Performed by Manger Folkehøgskule students and this was a good initiative that we can include youth as a part of this process. They were Conducted by Thorqeir Thunestvedt and band members parents were the audience. Youth involvement is important to NMF.
The video is not available yet, but it will be available soon for all the bands and their leaders.
In addition, the audio of this piece has been recorded by the Navy band: Sjøforsvarets Musikkorps
Written by Martin Mxolisi Sibiya
Pictures: Birthe Kråkenes Bjørstad & Martin Mxolisi Sibiya
This conference was hosted in collaboration between Extrastiftelsen and Frivillighet Norge, and it was with great honor for the NMF and PULSE team to have attended this conference in Oslo on the 20th March. LEV VEL conference has been organized as a full-day conference over the past five years, and this year the conference was divided into smaller conferences in several places in the country, and in Oslo arranged together with a meeting place by Frivillighet Norge.
The two focal themes that were done on the day were “Health and Volunteering”, and it was indeed a great experience for PULSE to be part of the conference. It really shows that the impact the project is doing is really recognized, as PULSE is a Music and Health project that aims to extend and share the knowledge about how music can be as a tool for Health Promotion and social inclusion.
The NMF had two representatives, Thulani and Ragnhild, who had a slot to share what NMF does for participation and recruitment. Thulani had time to engage with the audience to be practical with them, showing them how important it is to include everyone in the room from different places. The activity he did was from the Activity Library, where PULSE teams gathers and archives activities to help with inclusive teaching and giving kids the opportunity to make new friends.
The team had time to network with some other organizations during breaks. There are common things that PULSE had as compared to other organizations, like reaching out to the low-income areas and also creating a safe environment for the kids.
written by Tshepang Moyo
Photos by Chief Zwane