Last week PULSE team Oslo travelled to Mjølby in Sweden to share their knowledge about banding in South Africa with 39 music teachers from 11 different cultural schools in the Ostergotland region.
It was a fruitful workshop and we had a great time. We were singing, dancing and playing the South African songs Makarita and Ubuhle Bendoda the South African way; by ear and with movements. Introducing them to the music went well and the South African rhythm, sound and feeling came through. We experienced a lot of laughter and positive energy in the group when we started to introduce the movements to the music. The different cultural schools indicated that they would continue to use our music and methods, and to keep in touch with each other by bringing their bands together.
The purpose of the seminar was to present NMF’s inclusion work, and to introduce the PULSE project and the long–term relationship between the partners in the programme, NMF, FBF and FK Norway. Our main task for the day was to share information about how NMF and FBF are working with inclusion and recruitment on a day-to-day basis. Our aim was to introduce new ways teaching their students, and share our tools of making rehearsals exciting and inspiring for their members.
Team Oslo was asked to run a two-hour music seminar to let the participants experience a South African field band rehearsal. Through this, we would introduce them to some of the tools we use in our teaching to keep the members focused and interested. In addition, we got a welcome opportunity to do a test run of the music we have arranged for this year’s VinterPULSE in Oslo and Bergen during the winter holidays next month.
During the visit Katja Furnes from NMF and former PULSE participant, Thulani Maluleka, gave a presentation about the project and the collaboration between NMF and FBF. As a part of the presentation, they introduced the Activity Library. The library is a collection of activities easily explained through short videos. The library contains a wide range of both musical and non-musical activities divided into the following categories; Team builders, Icebreakers, Energizers and Warm ups. PULSE participants working in South Africa gathered and filmed the activities and the library is being shared with NMF. The goal is to continue to extend the library by also introducing Norwegian activities.
Team Oslo followed up by explaining the activities that are used on a daily basis in the field bands around South Africa and that we always try to start every rehearsal with an energizer. We used many of the activities as part of our seminar programme in Mjølby and we explained that one reason for using the activities during the rehearsal is that it can help you to get the rehearsal off to a great start as the whole group gets involved and often it brings smiles, laughter and team spirit. By getting to know each other, getting to know the facilitator, and learning about the objective of the event, people often become more engaged in the process and contribute more effectively towards a successful outcome. In FBF we use the activities to open up for a two-way communication with our students, to become more observant of the members in our bands, and also to encourage them to be the best version of themselves and do the best they can.
Another topic that caught the audience’s interest was the presentation of Gira and how Gira’s story can be used to address different social issues of the members without referring to any single member’s issues. This helps the members to feel safe and be able to open up to the social officers and project officers. Another important aspect of the Gira programme is that the members get a better understanding of their own and their peers’ general health and gain tools for reflecting upon how they as individuals can contribute to each other’s positive emotional journey. It is NMF’s vision that Gira soon will be moving to Norway. Together with the participants at VinterPULSE in Bergen and Oslo we aim to develop the story about how she is welcomed, how she can find her way to the Norwegian bands, and what the bands and she can do to make it easier for her to feel included in the band.
This was our first time as Team Oslo to work this closely with Thulani Maluleka and Katja Furnes. We really had fun and it was nice to be part of this team. We would like to thank Tina Herrgårdh from Kulturskolan in Mjølby for the hospitality, and we had a report back from her stating that ”all of the teachers who attended the seminar reported back to her saying they had so much fun, learning and finding new ways of making their rehearsals exiting”.
For more information about Mjølby visit www.mjolby.se/kulturskolan
Written by: Sihle Mabena and Sizwe Nkosi
Pictures by: Katja Furnes