The past two weeks, PULSE and Field Band Education (FBE) have been back on the road conducting Educational Band Visits. This time the regions that received training were Eastern Cape (Dordrecht and Sterkstroom) and Free State (Parys, Kroonstad and Viljoenskroon). In addition to receiving up-skilling in the PULSE and FBE content, a positive side effect of these sessions is that we gather several tutor teams from the same region. Some of these teams are scattered and far apart, and through these band visits the tutors get a chance to meet more of their colleagues in the Field Band Foundation. They get the chance to share knowledge, ideas and challenges, which contribute to a greater sense of community and support from the fellow tutors. As we are also doing these band visits with Field Band Education and the Peer Educators, the band visit arena truly is a place for transferring knowledge between the regions, PULSE and the Education Department. To read more about the topics we cover in our Educational Band Visits, please read our post: https://pulsestrongertogether.com/2017/03/31/educational-band-visits/
The last day of the band visit it dedicated to a final event with the members. On this day, the tutor teams travel back to their bands and plan a final joyful and motivational happening. The aim is to work on members mental and social health, include elements of life skills, and to start implementing some of the things we have covered in our sessions. The format is completely up to the tutors, it can be a rehearsal, a performance, an activity race etc.
In Free State PULSE attended the event in Parys, and were happy and impressed to see some of the activities the team had planned and hear the thoughts behind them. In the last part of the event the whole band played together, and members were encouraged to come up and act as the conductor for their favourite song. In the end their peers were urged to give positive feedback to the conductors. This can be a great way of building confidence and self-esteem, and imagine the sense of happiness and community you’ll feel from getting praise from your peers. This activity can be a way of building a positive environment where you communicate respectfully with each other. And as an added bonus: a great way of teaching conducting and musical leadership.
PULSE and Field Band Education get valuable input on our content from the tutors. We are always striving to improve and make sure our topics are relevant to the tutor teams. PULSE and FBE are working on further aligning our work, and are linking our content closer and closer together. The tutors get upskilling, and finds an arena for sharing knowledge and experiencing community with other tutors in the organisations. And lastly through the final event and implementation of the knowledge gained at the workshop, we see that the members also benefit from the Educational Band Visits.
Written by Emely Ruth Waet and Solvor Vermeer
Pictures by Emely Ruth Waet and Bongani Goliath