COVID-19 har kommet med en del utfordringer for PULSE programmet, noe som har skapt en styrke og motstandsdyktighet i teamet. Vi har nylig startet å jobbe fra Sør-Afrika hvor vi er plassert på Field Band kontoret og ting er ikke slik de pleide å være før pga av retningslinjer og smittevern vi må følge slik at alle ansatte er trygge på arbeidsplassen.
På kontoret må vi sprite henda når vi ankommer jobb og vi må også alltid ha på munnbind når vi er med og blandt folk. Vi må registrere oss hver dag, ta temperaturen og sjekke oss for symptomer.
Håndspritstasjoner er lokalisert på forskjellige områder på kontoret og vi må sprite oss hvert 20 minutt- også på øvelser.
Før vi går hjem så må vi ta temperaturen og registrere det ned i loggboken igjen
Første uken tilbake på kontoret var litt utfordrende fordi vi måtte bli vandt til nye COVID-19 reglene. Det er forskjellige regler i Sør-Afrika enn det var i Norge så det var en omstilling vi måtte gjøre. Etter ca en uke var vi blitt vandt til de nye reglene i Sør-Afrika og på kontoret, og det å holde avstand og bruke munnbind ble nå vår nye hverdag. Nå vasker vi og spriter henda helt automatisk, uten å måtte tenke over det engang.
Dersom man blir syk eller viser tegn til COVID-19 symptomer i arbeidstiden, blir man isolert inne på et komfortabelt “isoleringsrom” mens man venter på legehjelp.
Selvom livet har endret seg med pandemien, så har vi klart å adaptere oss til situasjonen og står sterkt sammen som en gruppe
I Norge så har PULSE teamet blitt redusert fra 6 til 2. Madelene og Sol jobber på hjemmekontor og er fortsatt i kommunikasjon med både Field Band og NMF. Jobben har endret seg fra mye praktisk arbeid til å bruke digitale medier som et undervisningsverktøy. Det har vært en stor endring, men de omstiller seg også på den nye hverdagen
COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges for the PULSE programs and with those challenges we have grown resilient by the day and stronger from every stride we make. We have recently resumed work tasks in South Africa, working from the Field Band office and things are no longer the way they used to be, because the office restriction which are made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep the employees safe at all times.
At the office we are required to sanitize our hand upon arrival and we are also required to put on a must when ever we are around people. We also have to register in, check temperature and symptoms of COVID-19.
Sanitizing stations are allocated in different parts of the office and we are required to sanitize every time after 20 minutes including during rehearsals.
After working hours before we go home as a requirement we take temperature and record it in the registration book.
First week was somehow challenging working at the office because we had to adhere to the COVID-19 regulations. Coming from Norway we were not used the South African COVID-19 regulations and it was somehow challenging to get used to them. After a week, we adjusted well to the regulations of the country and the office. Social distancing and wearing a face mask is a new normal. Washing and sanitizing hands regularly comes automatically without thinking about it.
If one gets sick or shows signs and symptoms of COVID-19 during office hours, they will be isolated in a special and comfortable room while waiting for paramedics or doctors.
Even though life has changed since the pandemic of COVID-19, we have managed to adapt with the situation and we are thriving as a group.
In Norway, our PULSE team has been reduced from six participants to two. Madeleine and Sol are working from their home offices, still communicating regularly with both Field Band Foundation and NMF. The job tasks have changed from a lot of practical, hands-on work, to using digital media as a teaching tool. This has been a big change, however they are also adjusting to the new normal.
The journey has been long with lots of mixed emotions, learning curves and gaining tremendous work experience in Norway.
Upon Arrival, in Norway, we had plans that were aimed at putting our names in the books of those who have worked hard and diligently in making PULSE a great success. As things stand, we believe without a doubt that we have left a huge footprint of positivity and dedication towards our work. By so doing we have great convection that we have accomplished our mission with all the challenges that we have come across.
Our stay in Norway had unforeseen challenges. Thinking on our feet and out of the box had to be done. During March 2020, the PULSE team just like the rest of other organizations around the world was affected by the ever-growing pandemic of COVID-19, which led to changes to our year plan. We had to come up with new innovative and exciting ways of working so that we can be fit for the purpose of delivering our tasks. The pandemic brought lots of anxiety and uncertainty in terms of not knowing what the future holds for the project, but with the assistance of our management, we came with lots of ideas to execute our tasks, mostly which were digital tasks. We managed to deliver seminars through digital space successfully.
Our challenge was not knowing when are we going home to South Africa as we were told that our contract was going to end in July 2020. To add to our challenges, we were notified that flights going to South Africa were suspended to curb the spread of COVID-19. Our hard-working management team successfully achieved to save our contracts and they managed to get us an amended contract so that we continue working when we arrive in South Africa.
During July 2020, we were notified that we will go back home to South Africa through a repatriation flight, after many attempts of getting us flights to South Africa. As planned, on the 1st of August we boarded our flight to South Africa from Amsterdam. When we arrived in South Africa we went to a quarantine where we were checked daily if we had symptoms of COVID-19. We stayed at the quarantine for 10 days and I am glad to announce to you that we are healthy and negative from the COVID-19. On 11 August 2020, we were discharged and all four of us are now in our homes missing Norway.
We are looking forward to resume work after our holiday as our amendment contract will be starting.
Get musical summer activities right in your inbox! 🙂
Do you like music, dance and cool rhythms? Then keep an eye on our musical summer activities!
On Tuesday and Friday in week 29 to 32, you can get tips for musical summer activities right in your inbox.
Want to make your own song! Or maybe you want to join the whole family in playing some fun games? As well as musical games and South African games, learning to make your own instrument and fun South African dances are also among the activities you can enjoy this summer.
There will be up to four activities in each email, so here are activities for everyone! The activities can be done wherever and whenever you wish!
If you want to sign up please follow the link bellow
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the end of PULSE 7s year is soon coming to an end. Being in lockdown and under restrictions has been challenging us to be creative and think outside the box. A lot of plans were cancelled, some of them postponed, whilst new ideas came up together with a good spirit and believing that “Yes, we can!”.
With this round coming to an end, PULSE wants to throw back to some of the moments in Field Band Foundation that we will never forget. Meeting young Field Band members, getting to know a dedicated and passionate staff, and experiencing the valuable relation between music and health has been enriching and the gratitude is big from our side.
Throwing back leads us to looking forward. Forward to a new phase with new projects, plans, ideas and challenges that will make us grow. PULSE want to thank all our dear colleagues is Field Band Foundation and Norges Musikkorps Forbund for the opportunity and the valuable experience that we will bring with us going forward.
PULSE and Field Band Education on Educational Band Visits
At the beginning of the year we saw the world attacked by a deadly Corona virus whom most of us thought it will pass in few weeks. we saw people´s lives change drastically and economy around the world falling which led to organisations and companies loosing income and living many people unemployed. Many can not travel to visit their friends,families and to go to work as a result of restrictions put in place for our safety. Sadly, most has also lost their lives and loved ones due to this virus.
One way or the other we are all affected by Corona virus irrespective of which side of the world you are on and we, as PULSE South Participants went through difficulties and anxiety because of uncertainty of the future and mostly being locked down in a foreign country. Luckily for us we have a great management team, which is checking on us every day and making sure that we are in a perfect state of physicality ,emotion and mental.
Nomkhosi Mnisi went through a stressful time when this situation of Corona virus started and dealing with it was difficult for her.This is what she said.
“At times I found myself thinking about what is going to happen to me, and being away from home was difficult for me to stay strong. A lot of times I thought I am alone in this situation and no one will understand what I am going through. It took some time for me to talk about this as I did not know how people will respond to my situation. One day I just took the phone and started calling my friends and family back home and that was the best thing I did for myself. On the day I called, I told them how I was really feeling and I could not believe the amount of support I got from them. This showed me how much support from the loved ones means to me. From that day I pulled myself together and became positive about life”.
“I believe we all go through difficult situations at times and we do not know what to do about them, and that can lead us to a breaking point and a build up to anxiety, because we don`t know what the future holds for us during these times of Corona virus. I have learnt that it is okay not knowing everything about what the future holds and also learned the importance of having people that you can always go to when you feel like everything is not going well. We all need a support structure that we can always rely on when we need help and that kept me going until this day.” Says Nomkhosi Mnisi.
Khaya Benela a trumpet player living in Oslo mentioned that.
“It has been months since the pandemic started and as individuals, we have different approaches in facing the challenges and the new lifestyle that we have to adjust to in the working environment and social life in general.Ever since we started working from home due to the pandemic what kept me going was that, in our workplace we had developed the digital teaching methods and we filmed digital tutorial videos so we could share with the band members and conductors around Norway. I was motivated and happy to learn and challenge myself as I have never done this before, and I had to learned how to do a digital video tutorial using myself and creating the script and performing my own script which was a challenge, but I finally knew how to do it with the help of my colleagues.”
He continued by saying “Another thing that kept me away from thinking too much about this pandemic is a project I was selected to take part in which is called alle spiller. It is based on arranging and composing music for bands around Norway where we take children’s songs from around the world and make arrangements and compositions for the NMF bands in Norway. Basically my work kept me motivated and going through these difficult time.”
Tebogo Ntshole who is also known as Franqo, lives in Bergen. He as well had gone through a fair share of worries and found a way to deal with his worries in a positive manner. this is what he had to say.
“I remember When the pandemic first exploded all over the news, I was at the office reading about the symptoms and how to stay safe. I then found out that people who where suffering from certain illnesses where at a higher risk of getting infected. I completely went into panic mode because those where illnesses my mother is suffering from. This was the beginning of my emotional roller coaster ride! As if things weren’t already out of proportion and then the travel ban hit happened. Oh my goodness, how do I get home should something happen to my mother who has a dangerous cancer and respiratory problem, whose going to take care of my baby sisters if she gets hospitalized for Covid19?” I’m asking myself these questions while trying to remain calm. I felt trapped and claustrophobic.
Franqo found a friend to keep him going through these difficult times and he is in a better state of mind even though things are tough. this is what he had to say.
“Resilience is my best friend right now because it’s what helps me to get through this, with the support from work, family , friends and keeping contact. Keeping my mind busy and active with creativity was what I had to do to make it through the bad days. I am more resilient right now than before. I have learnt so much from this journey and I’m a happier person now”.
Jacob Mhlapeng also living in Bergen never thought this out break will last this long and turn to be a pandemic.
“At first when I heard about the out break of Corona virus, I thought it was one of those viruses which can be easily cured as I trusted in modern medicine and science. When Corona virus was announced to be a pandemic and many countries are going through a lock down I then realized that we are all in trouble. At that moment anxiety and panic started to kick in,lots of questions with little or no answered started roaming in my head. Whats going to happen with us here in Norway?, Are we going to be sent back home?, Are we going to lose our jobs as people predict?, how is my family surviving this ordeal at home?. These were some of the questions that I had”.
“Through constant communication with my colleagues, friends and family I grew stronger emotionally and I had less anxiety every day. Knowing that there are people who cares about my holistic well being made me resilient from breaking down.And the new tasks that we received at work also helped a lot in keeping my mind sane as it is some times tiring working from home. Currently I am in a better state of mind and health despite the fact that that life is not as we usually know it to be. I hope in the next coming months things will be better than this and every body will get back to their usual daily lives”. says Jacob
With this article,PULSE team would like to convey a massage of support to every one who is infected and affected by this pandemic. Remember to wash hands with soap or sanitizer all the time. when you go out remember to cover your face with a face musk and put on gloves lastly stay home and stay safe. This too shall pass.
Written by: Nomkhosi Mnisi, Khaya Benela, Tebogo Franqo Ntshole and Jacob Mhlapeng.
For many years Field Band Foundation and Norges Musikkorps Forbund have been active on several social media platforms in addition to the blog by PULSE. This gives a chance to share news, pictures and stories from a lot of different projects. After the outbreak of COVID-19, these platforms has been even more important to be able to share information and updates about how the situation has affected the different projects. In the previous posts you can read about NMF’s digital PåskePULSE, and also FBF’s Virtual Educational Band Visit.
In addition to this, PULSE and Field Band Education has a big focus on keeping staff and members in FBF updated on important information with regards to COVID-19 and the lockdown in South Africa. Two times a week an information pack is being sent out to everyone in Field Band Foundation with the newest updates in South Africa, and also activities and tips on how to stay busy and taking care of our own well-being also is a focus.
For more insight in FBF’s and NMF’s projects, visit Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
Keeping the members active and engaged is an important strategy for NMF and it is agreed to be particularly important now with the ongoing corona regulations.
Due to corona restrictions, the Norwegian authorities decided that children had to stay home with their families over Easter. NMF wanted to respond to the changes by offering activities that could keep children and families busy during the holidays.
NMF had already experienced success with digital courses on Zoom for conductors and board members before Easter. This was a huge inspiration for the team to come up with an exciting and inspiring program for the children during the Easter holidays.
The idea was to develop a program that children could follow daily from their homes to educate and socialize through banding related activities. PULSE was challenged to participate in developing the program together with other NMF employees. The team responded to the call and came on board by suggesting and designing activities to the daily activity program and by contributing to conducting an amazing digital FeriePULSE. The first one ever in NMFs history.
The digital PåskePULSE program consisted of one session per day facilitated by Thulani Maluleka and Madeleine Klouda for five days on Zoom. Each session lasted for 45 minutes and was repeated three times for three different groups. Thulani and Madeleine executed fun-filled activities which included Body percussion, NO.1-3 break clap, Waka-Waka dance, and a song called Ziyawa which includes both playing on an instrument and singing. Here you can see an example where Thulani is presenting the body percussion item. ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94QfODK9mYE
Thulani and Madeleine said “What was good during the digital PåskePULSE is the good teaching methods we had. We mostly focused on activities that are easy to be done at home with or without the help of an adult. We had activities such as body percussion, singing, dancing, and drawing. The teaching method we used was mostly body language, call and respond with back up tracks, it worked very well to keep the energy level of the kids high. We received daily feedback from the kids and that helped us to improve on how we deliver the content.
It did not go without its challenges, a challenge we uncounted mostly was about sound delays because of the network. It was difficult to communicate or let all the kids sing at the same time. We thought it will be best to create a backup track that they will sing, play, or dance to. We also created background sounds to stimulate their creativity while doing a task to avoid silence during the sessions. It was a great experience that will be fun to have again. Distance simply means separations in place, but never in connection as we manage to meet again and do what we love.” https://musikkorps.sharepoint.com/sites/PULSE-team/Delte%20dokumenter/General/Klipp%20fra%20P%C3%A5skePULSE.mov
Picture of Oliwia Cichocka
Drawing from Oliwia Cichocka saying thank you.
In addition to the daily sessions on Zoom, the participants were given a daily pack of activities to be done by the participants on their own at home and on their own time. The home activities were fun, easy, and required no expensive equipment to executed them. Activities included watching a film with dance choreography and dancing along with it, composing an Easter rap song. You can find the whole program here; https://musikkorps.no/musikalske-paskeaktiviteter/
Like any other FeriePULSE programs, digital PåskePULSE was open for children with and without banding experience. The aim is to have fun and create a healthy environment for the participants to socialize, meet friends, and making new friends while they are learning music through playing instruments, singing, and dancing. Another aim with digital PåskePULSE was to keep contact with participants from FeriePULSE programs in Molde, Oslo, and Bergen, with a special focus on participants without banding experience.
Musicians from NMFs member bands and children who previously attended FeriePULSE were invited to be part of the program. We had a total of 46 participants divided into three groups. 26 of these had previously participated in FeriePULSE, while 20 of them never had the experience of being part of FeriePULSE. 37 of the participants were band members and 9 of them did not have musical training. We had 39 different schools represented from different regions which included Oslo, Viken, Rogaland, Vestland (Bergen included), Møre and Romsdal (Molde included), Vestfold, Innlandet and Troms, and Finnmark.
The overall conclusion is that NMF would like to continue to explore digital platforms and PULSE is proud to announce that we will be part of developing a variety of activities and explore different methods for digital training.
Greetings from Oslo, Haugesund, Bergen and Honningsvåg!
Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the North Participants unfortunately had to leave South Africa and travel back to their hometowns in Norway. Despite being on the other side of the world, PULSE is still working for the Field Band Foundation.
The current situation in the world has naturally affected the work PULSE does. Shortly after arriving in Norway, all PULSE participants started on new projects in order to accommodate the field band staff and members. One of those projects is; Virtual Educational Band Visits.
KroonstadField Band – During Virtual Educational Band Visit
The Virtual Educational Band Visits Pilot occurs this week and next week, with Kroonstad and Parys Field Band. The content for these workshops includes the same topics as before, but facilitated in new ways over Zoom, which is an online meeting platform.
Parys Field Band – During Virtual Educational Band Visit
The Virtual Educational Band Visits and implementation of new methods is so far a success. It has proven to be a valuable arena for continuing the upskilling of staff as well as creating a supportive forum, which is of great importance during the lockdown in South Africa.
PULSE is excited to continue the important work using new methods and technology, and will keep creating new ways of fulfilling the goals for the project.
The FeriePULSE has been a successful project that has been growing and getting popular in Oslo and in Bergen. This year has been amazing and wonderful, the numbers tell it all. The total number of participants was 143. This has shown how the program has grown. A major highlight we have seen from the participants that came to the FeriePULSE without the banding background has now joined the banding system. This highlights the importance of including everyone in the project with and without banding background.
Photos by Monika Heggen
FeriePULSE is open for both participants from local school bands as well as participants that don’t have any music background. We facilitate different levels and want to give everyone a feeling of achievement. There are staff members at FeriePULSE that focus on the well-being of the participants, and that everyone feels welcome and included. For us, every participant is equally important and plays a major role in this musical activities. In this matter, Alle-Spiller music has been a valuable contribution, as it is specially designed to cater for all levels.
What is Alle-Spiller Music?
”In 2019-2020, The work began on arranging music for the project “Aller-spiller” when NMF received support from the Norwegian Music Council for the initiative. Hanna Stenstøen Nilsson, Erlend Solemsli and Khayalethu S. Benela were placed as youth trainees in the project. They got together with Odd-Erik Nordberg who has a lot of experience and knowledge to share in the area. The project resulted in seven songs for the band. The starting point for repertoire selection was already obtained song material from a previous project in NMF. At that time, songs were collected from countries that are strongly represented among immigrants in Norway.
The songs are arranged so that everyone has parts to play. Aller spiller music is intended to function as a bridge between those who have little or no experience from a band and those with experience from playing in a band. The alle-spiller parts should be taught by ear. The parts can be written for the voice, body percussion, drums, P-buzz, Boom Whacker and/or choral instruments. Not all parts need to be present for the arrangement to be played.
NMF wants to continue to fill the Alle-spiller project with several works and arrangements for the bands. The Alle-spiller project is used as a repertoire for NMF’s Weekend and Holiday PULSE. (Publisher 05/03/2020 – Updated 10/03/2020 Author: Birgitte Grong)
All songs that were arranged for the project are now available to anyone who wants to use them.
Aller-spiller team with participants from the Oslo winter PULSE
The process of developing Alle-spiller arrangements.
“The youth participants have really worked hard and have contributed to creative and innovative ideas. One of the best things is that the Alle-Spiller «set up» caters for different entry levels and hopefully gives a challenge for all students involved. It gives me great pleasure to have seen students from 6 years old to 15 sharing a stage and show such joy and passion in their playing and dancing” (Odd-Erik Nordberg 2020)
This is what one of the participants from the alle-spiller project and our very own PULSE participant Khayalethu Benela had to say about he’s experienced being in the project.
We had several workshops with Odd-Erik Nordberg who was the leader that was overseeing the whole project regarding giving us tools and ideas on what to think when writing music for alle-spiller. We were given a huge opportunity to use as many ideas and creativity as we can to make the project a success.
What I personally learned on the Aller-spiller project was that it is highly important to make music simple and fun, and to make sure that you include everyone that is part of the band despite any instrument, voice, dancer or non-musical people. During the process of the Alle-spiller workshops, I was able to use my own ideas in challenging myself writing and include – playing, singing, p-buzz, boom wreckers and dancing while singing and the arrangement was a success.