United Nations Day with Furuset Skoles Musikkorps

 

On 24 October 2017, PULSE had a chance to perform with Furuset Skoles Musikkorps in Oslo on the United Nations Day. The day was to celebrate all the hard work the United Nations (UN) does to change lives and solve global problems. This was a great experience for the PULSE team, as it was our first performance in Oslo.

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The PULSE team contributed to the performance by playing drums with the band. This inspired more children and it ended up being part of a new recruitment strategy. Surprisingly, after the UN day performance, the percussion section in Furuset Skoles Musikkorps went from having one member at our first rehearsal to three members. In our third session, we had seven new members in percussion! The performance was not meant to be about recruitment, but we think children were encouraged to be part of the band because of the way we were performing. We were using standard Field Band Foundation (FBF) methods. This means dancing while playing and having fun all at the same time.

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After the UN performance, Furuset Skoles Musikkorps is now willing to test this particular FBF model as part of their beginner training. New members in the band will learn basic rhythms on drums before they move to another instrument. To prepare for beginners in Furuset Skoles Musikkorps, we have developed a drum solo together with Jaran Lienig, a former Bands Crossing Borders exchange participant and drum kit player from Norway. Jaran also had a hand in putting together our body percussion challenge that we will use mostly with beginners as part of the recruitment process in the school band. We are very enthusiastic and are hoping that many more children will join after we have done the actual recruitment. The start is very promising!

PULSE is contributing towards recruitment in Norwegian school bands because one of our goals is to improve the imbalance of the past. The imbalance was that most of the children who are not in banding activities comes from low income groups. PULSE will continue to work more on inclusion to include children from minority backgrounds, both musicians and non-musicians, as the year goes on.

 

Written by: Masibulele Langa and Denis Mashabne

Pictures by: Adrian Mackay

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Continuing the Work on Disability Awareness

Together with Field Band Education (FBE), PULSE4 started ”Educational Band Visits” (EBV). The purpose of EBV is to educate field band staff in Education and PULSE content, which further will be implemented in the band members by the staff.

Pictures from the Educational Band Visit in Setlabotjha

PULSE has over the years developed a lot of teaching material, which have resulted in different guides: the “Gira guide”, the “Music an Health” guide , the “Disability Awareness” guide and the “Gender Equality and Social Inclusion” guide. Two main focuses for PULSE on these educational band visits have been the correlation between music and health and disability awareness. The content of the band visits are described very well in a previous blog post about  Educational Band Visits.

Pictures from EBV in Thabazimbi

A good way to work on the content that we facilitate on EBV is to do activities. Here is an example of a good activity that makes the staff reflect on what is possible when living with different disabilities. The activity is called “If I were living with a disability”:

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PULSE is also in the process of developing a “Knowledge and Skill Assessment” for the EBV as a way of “monitoring and evaluation” (M&E). M&E is an area of focus in the whole FBF. This system was developed with the aim to improve reporting processes and the generation of evidence of Field Band Foundation´s achievements and lessons learned. The “Knowledge and Skill Assessment” was first tried out at the band visits to Setlabotjha and Thabazimbi. The aim with this assessment is to get an idea of the staff’s knowledge about the content that is going to be covered during the workshop before and after the EBV. On the post assessment we ask the same questions as in the pre assessment to see how much they have actually learned and understood during the week. This information will be helpful when planning further band visits, to know how we can improve our facilitation and how to move forward.

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Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård and Marie Rotevatn

Pictures by: Hanna Bakke Negård and Marie Rotevatn

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Raising awareness about HIV/AIDS

The Field Band Foundation received funding for the second time from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This is granted for a period of two years, October 2017 to October 2019. It is going to be more focus in this particular topic (HIV/AIDS). A new task that PULSE have been given, and will be working on in the time to come, is developing activities regarding HIV/AIDS. PULSE will also make a plan for implementation and on how the bands will report that they are actually doing these activities. The goal is that the HIV/AIDS – activities are implemented as an addition to the life skills topics that the staff is teaching the band members every month.

“PEPFAR is the largest commitment by any nation toward a single disease. Since its inception in 2003, PEPFAR has received strong bipartisan support in Congress and through administrations. Working in over 60 countries, PEPFAR has transformed the global HIV/AIDS response. PEPFAR support nearly 11.5 million people with antiretroviral treatment, a 50 per cent increase since 2014. This is compared with the only 50,000 people who were on treatment in sub-Saharan Africa when PEPFAR began.” (https://www.pepfar.gov/documents/organization/251737.pdf )

Working with HIV and AIDS, and raising awareness around this topic, is really important for the Field Band Foundation due to the statistics of people living with HIV/AIDS in South-Africa. According to Sanac, the estimated number of people living with HIV in South-Africa is 7.053.987. This number is from 2016. (http://ivizard.org/sanac/)

 

Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård

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Where we meet and share

It is said that it takes a community to raise a child. In this case it takes both Field Band Foundation (FBF) and Norwegian Musikkorps Forbund (NMF) to make the world a good place to be for thousands of children who are interested in music and dance in South Africa and Norway. Taking a look back from the day it all started until this day, we can proudly say that the partnership has been a fruitful journey. Many activities supporting the vision of inclusion has been developed and there are more to come.

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This year the team from South Africa will continue to work with several school bands in Oslo and Bergen on a weekly basis and to participate in different kinds of projects arranged by the national and regional NMF offices (NMF has 8 regional offices across the country). The team has also been challenged to develop a new project called KorpsKlubb that will be offered to some of the schools hosting school bands. On top of this NMF are heading for their 100th years celebration next year and we are fortunate enough to play a role in some of the major events coming up. It is an exciting time and the new south participant team of PULSE are more than ready to rock and roll.

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On Saturday, 21 October 2017 team Oslo (Adrian and Chief) had the opportunity to visit a regional project in Rælingen just outside Oslo called Samspill. What is Samspill you might ask? The word Samspill actually means Play together and that is exactly what they do; 140 young musicians from different school bands in the region meet to rehearse for the entire weekend. This is the youngster’s platform where they get the experience of playing in a bigger band than what they usually do, and it is an opportunity to make new friends sharing the same interest. Many of the youngsters are coming back year after year and only meet at Samspill. Projects like Samspill is therefore important to keep members in their local bands and for the young musicians to maintain the networks and friendships they make here.

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Our aim as PULSE, working in Samspill, is to give the members a sense of belonging, mastery and well-being through music. This we do by inviting everybody to join us in an activity that is slightly outside his or her comfort zone; the Samspill Body Percussion Challenge! The body percussion challenge is a piece created by the whole PULSE team in cooperation with a former exchange participant Jaran Lienig. Jaran was a participant in the previous exchange program Bands Crossing Border and he spent two years with FBF working at Field Band Academy in Eshowe. The body percussion challenge is based on aural training as we know it from home. It offers intonation through singing and rhythmic training through a variety of body movements. Performance principles are an important factor as attitude makes the piece come alive.

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When everyone is performing with conviction, it becomes a testimony of how we are stronger together. The piece also has a part where the group is challenging the audience to join in, the aim is to make everyone in the room feel included in the performance and share the powerful experience of performing together. The piece were dished out for the very first time on Saturday. It was a great success and everybody looked like they enjoyed themselves. The body percussion challenge is Field Band Foundation methodologies in practice!  

 

Written By: Chief  Zwane and Adrian Mackay

Photos by: Adrian Mackay, Denis Mashabane and Maria Torstad

 

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Field Band Foundation’s National Championship 2017

As introduced in the previous blog post, we are now a new PULSE team working in Johannesburg, South Africa (PULSE5). The first weeks we had a lot to learn and take over from the previous PULSE team (PULSE4), and we are now starting to figure out exactly what our job contains and how we can work with this project and develop it further.

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Field Band Foundation 20 years

Saturday, October 7th, the PULSE team went to Alexandra stadium to help out, and watch the Field Band Foundation’s National Championship. The Field Band Foundation are celebrating 20 years this year, so this was both a championship and a celebration. Important people like the Mayer Johannesburg attended the event. There were 11 different field bands from around South Africa that were qualified for the competition. It was an honour to observe all these children, youths and young adults performing and watching the joy they felt by playing and dancing. The different bands performed at their very best, having prepared for this competition for a long time. We were worried about the weather, because the forecast predicted a lot of rain. Fortunately the rain and hail waited until 15 min after the competition was finished.

This week, the PULSE team are preparing for our very first educational band visit, which will take place next week in Setlabotjha. The goal for this educational band visit and the next band visits are continuing the work PULSE4 have done by visiting the bands they didn’t get time to visit, to educate and focus on disability awareness and the correlation between music and health. We are really looking forward to start facilitating these educational band visits together with our colleagues and the peer educators.

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Written by: Hanna Bakke Negård

Pictures by: Karen Bårdsen and Hanna Bakke Negård

 

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Thanks to the old PULSE team and welcome to the new team!

September is an exciting month in PULSE as this is the month where we change teams. The transfer of knowledge between the teams are taken seriously in PULSE and it happens in three phases; First the new group of participants get together in their respective countries for three days. Then all participants from the last round of exchange (round 4) and the coming round (round 5) meets for a whole week in Johannesburg and lastly we participate in a one week training program offered by FK Norway (Fredskorpset) also in Johannesburg.

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The practical exchange of knowledge between the teams was very interesting in such a way that every participant had a chance to share his or her ideas and as well as the expectations of the hosting organizations, which is Field Band Foundation and Norwegian Band Federation (NMF). We owe a great thank you to the old team for transferring all their knowledge and experiences to us. As agents of change, we take the torch from the previous participants and light the way to strive toward the project’s goals.

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PULSE in Norway will keep assisting NMF in creating a learning environment that makes all members feel a sense of mastery, belonging and well-being in the band. We also aim to make more people recognize and acknowledge the positive health benefits of being involved in a band, either it is as musicians or as parents and leaders.

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The South participants in Norway

Our primary target groups for inclusion are communities with high percentage of children with linguistic minority backgrounds and children living in families that have low-incomes. If you continue to follow us in this blog you will read more about the preparations and effects of projects like Samspill, Barnas Verdesdager, Korpsklubb og FeriePULSE.

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The North Participants in South-Africa

The PULSE in South Africa will continue training staff within the Field Band Foundation by facilitating the materials, which PULSE has developed the past years. They will be doing educational band visits, with Field band education and peer educators.Working together as the PULSE team is one of our best strengths because if we work together we’ll be able to achieve the our goals simultaneously.

PULSE partipants of round 5 are:

Denis Mashabane (SA)                           Marie Rotevatn (NO)

Adrian Mackay (SA)                               Karen Bårdsen (NO)

Chief Zwane (SA)                                    Hanna Bakke Negård (NO)

Masibulele Langa (SA)                          Sofie Hjertvik (NO)

Written by: PULSE Team

Photos by: Emely Ruth Waet

 

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The Peer Educators Takes Charge

Last week, PULSE and Field Band Education (FBE) hosted the final training intervention of the Peer Educator Pilot Programme. Since January 2017 we have met regularly to upskill and train the Peer Educators (P.E) in PULSE and Education strategies. The list of topics covered and work done is extensive, and includes topics such as Disability Awareness and Inclusive Teaching, Gira – A Story of Resilience and Music and Health. In addition to this we have provided tools for e.g. study techniques, critical thinking, teamwork and planning and evaluation. After co-facilitating and participating in National Workshops, Educational Band Visits and Peer Educator Training Sessions, we have come to a point where it is time for the Peer Educators to really get to show and test all they have learned. Therefore, we conducted our P.E training session a little bit differently this time around.

The Peer Educators were given the task of planning and conducting a full day workshop in Witbank. They were asked to plan for sessions running from 08:30 to 16:00, and that the time will have to be allocated between Conducting, Practical Music Theory and Disability Awareness and Inclusive Teaching. They were also given goals they were to reach during the day. The goals for the PULSE topics included points such as:

“The participants should be enabled to include members living with disabilities through:

  • Understanding barriers that people living with disabilities might meet.
  • Understanding how attitudes and language can help inclusion, or hinder it.”

It was then up to the Peer Educators to choose appropriate content and method to reach these goals. The task required the P.Es to work closely and efficiently as a team, allocate responsibility and help each other prepare and get ready for the workshop. This model not only tells us how much they have learned so far in the programme, but it also shows the P.Es themselves how much they have become capable of doing, and leads to a sense of mastering and motivation. The Witbank workshop showed us a confident and highly skilled team able to independently plan and conduct a full workshop on PULSE and Field Band Education topics. The Peer Educator Pilot Programme will now be moving into its final stage. In the next few months, the Peer Educators will be working on their own on revising all content and writing a final written assignment. In November, they will be taking their final exams and present all they have learned to a panel consisting of external and internal examiners. We see that there are still big tasks ahead, but in these last few days the P.Es have shown that they are ready for this challenge. As this round of the PULSE programme is coming to an end, we in PULSE 4 would like to wish the Peer Educators good luck in their work, and say thank you for the time we have spent together. You have continually impressed us with your commitment, dedication and will to grow and learn. Thank you for all the hard work you have put into this programme – it has been a pleasure working with you.

 

Written by: Emely Ruth Waet

Pictures by: Ine Nord and Jack Mmetseng

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