We received a warm welcome from leaders and members at the Dragen Fritidsklubb. Dragen is a youth club based in an area called Grünerløkka in Oslo. The club is a unique platform for youth that allows them to utilize their time, skills and energies in a positive direction of which is very familiar with the Field Band. The aim and purpose of the Youth Club is to provide young people with social, educational, safety and supportive environment for young people. Dragens’ values and goals could also characterize our field bands. Grünerløkka is recognised as a multilinguistic minority area and is one of PULSE target areas. The club caters for youth from the age of 8-14 years old living in the community and it is free to be a member.
The club offers a lot of fun activities such as indoor soccer, volleyball, table tennis and several other physical sporting activities. It is also a place where the members can get help to do their homework. It was our first time being in a youth club but we enjoy the environment and engaging with different members by playing soccer, basketball and other activities with them.
Since the beginning of November, the PULSE team has been visiting the youth club every Thursday. To observing and get to know the atmosphere around the youth club and experience how the club leaders are relating to the members. We got a chance to interact with the youth and have done several activities with them such as energizers and team building activities known from the field band e.g. Do like I do, Clap your rhythm. In January, PULSE will be introducing music as one of the weekly activities in the youth club.
We will be teaching a wide range of percussion instruments and we aim to draw on the Field Band style of teaching with learning by ear. We will also be using some of the methods we have learned from working with the Norwegian percussion player Ante Skaug and Glow music (http://www.glowmusic.no/). We aim to challenge the youngsters to;
- Play on objects they find in the venue
- Play on regular percussion instruments
- Develop a drum break
- Participate in activities as ice breakers, team builders and energizers
- Use body percussion
We will be working towards a house concert for the rest of the club, their parents and the local school band; Lakkegata Skoles Musikkorps which PULSE has been working with for the past two years. We hope by February the youth will be ready for VinterPULSE as they have all been invited to take part in the holiday program (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge1DDjnA23g)
Earlier this year NMF Øst completed a survey concerning people’s perception of the banding activity. The survey was distributed in the same community as Dragen; it was handed out to people with linguistic minority background as well as people speaking Norwegian and/or Sami. The results showed us that most people living in the community had limited knowledge about the banding activity. The last few weeks at Dragen has thought us that the same applies to many of the club members.
With this project NMF, wish to explore their information work where the main goal is to change people’s perception of the banding activity and make them see the band as an activity that promotes mastery, interaction, togetherness, fun and well-being for the individual musician and their families. This we aim to achieve through Dragen percussion ensemble.
Written by: Sihle Mabena and Sizwe Nkosi.
Photos from Dragen Archives.