June:Month of confidence

As some might have caught on to already, each month the blog is written with a certain theme in mind.
The themes are a part of our anniversary celebrations, highlighting topics that have been a part of the programme ever since it started.

The theme for June is Confidence.
Confidence can be very subjective and individual, one can have the confidence to speak up in class, or the confidence to accept yourself for who you are.
The PULSE team works diligently on helping the bands we interact with so that confidence is increased across the board. The tutors and dancers instructors need to be confident in their skills, they must be confident in their teaching and most importantly, confident in themselves and the work they do. They need this in order to pass that confidence over to those the band members they interact with

This is why PULSE strives to interact with the bands, why we hold workshops and events. Besides the obvious academic part, it is also to help everyone see their worth in the organisation. 
Confidence is not easily achieved, it demands hard work and effort, something PULSE is more than happy to assist with.

The past few weeks most of the PULSE team has been busy with arranging the Virtual Educational Band visits (VEBV), and so far, only one band remains.
Feedback has currently been very good and all who has participated has come out more knowledgeable on the other end. Upskilling staff like this is a great way to increase the overall quality of the excellent work that’s being done in the different field bands, and it is also a great way to increase confidence. Upskilling is one such important tool that we can use in order to help staff feel more confident in themselves and the work they do. It gives them the possibility to develop and sharpen their own skills, so that they can feel even more comfortable with their role as instructors.   

SommerPULSE is being arranged this summer, with the Praktikants (interns) starting their digital training as early as the 16th this month. This year, SommerPULSE will be held in Bergen, Ålesund and Skien.

For those that are unfamiliar with it, SommerPULSE is an event that goes on for a few days, where young children, with or without field band experience, can come together to play music, sing and dance and to rehearse for a show that they will hold at the end of the event.
The praktikants are teenagers and young adults that are helping with the arranging, and logistics of keeping the children active and engaged during the event. For them, this event just as much about gaining experience in working with such events, as it is a possibility for them to engage with likeminded individuals of all ages.
They will have two digital seminars, spanning two hours each, were they will be introduced to different topics, such as how to be a role model, inclusion, pedagogical tool and much more. This year we are lucky to have Christian D. Larsen to be the one who hosts the digital training events. SommerPULSE will be held in person at a rented venue for the duration of the event. All of the praktikants will also meet up, in person, one day ahead of the planned SommerPULSE they are attending to go over the schedule and program. It is an exciting event that PULSE has helped arrange several times already and we hope that this year, despite the pandemic, will also be a great success.

FBF Leadership cluster workshop.

PULSE and Field Band Education (FBE) has been involved in FBF leadership cluster workshops. The first cluster workshop was held on 7 to 8 June in Kimberly, Northern Cape, and the second workshop was from 9 to 10 June at 1st Bryanston Scouts Hall in Johannesburg. The purpose of these workshops was to check the progress of the projects on different tasks and to go through new upcoming plans and events of the year.

PULSE team presenting during the Johannesburg FBF cluster meeting

PULSE and FBE was allocated a slot during these two workshops. The first workshop PULSE and FBE attended digitally, and the second workshop was physical. PULSE and FBE notified the leaders of the projects about the upcoming workshops which are going to be held in July at the Container House in the Free State. The PULSE team also had a session with the Project Officers regarding the One Drive challenges. In this session the Project officer mainly asked questions which are going to be answered later.

FBF leaders in the Northern Cape cluster meeting.

The ABRSM music theory examinations will be written by the tutors and Tutors in Training. With this examination we want to bridge the music theory knowledge and boost the confidence amongst the staff members and make sure that everyone is on the same level. The team did a VEBV follow-up session by going through what we call THE CHALLENGE. This is a task that projects are going to do throughout the year, and we are going to follow and guide the leaders as they are doing it. The FBF staff members are required to produce an event which will take place at the end of the year. Every month the project leaders are supposed to send a progress report to PULSE and FBE for evaluation and guidance.

FBF leaders at the Johannesburg cluster meeting

Overall, the cluster workshops were a success and productive, they have increased the level of confidence in what we are doing. We are looking forward to the upcoming workshops and excited to meet tutors and Band Coordinators in the upcoming workshops.

FBF leaders at the Northern Cape cluster meeting

Pictures: Thembeka Joe, Paul Mongwe and Thabo Mapholo

Authors: Jacob Mhlapeng and Nicholas Bahrawy


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