Norwegian Constitutional day

The 17th of May was established as a National Day in 1814 as the Constitution of Norway was signed in Eidsvoll, declaring Norway as an independent nation. PULSE was really honoured to be part of such beautiful celebration once again with 2018/19 participants in Norway we had our different experiences on this special day both in Oslo and in Bergen. In Bergen Martin was in a parade with the band that he works with weekly, Varden Skole musikkorps and Bongani did the same with the band that he works with Hellen skole Musikkorps. In Oslo it was the same with Chief and Tshepang Parading with Furuset Skole Musikkorps. Penny and Katlego are the Two Toneheim Students from the Field Band Foundation, had a chance to be part of this day and partake in a parade as they last activity before they head home.                                                   Bongani 1Here are some of the personal experiences from the PULSE Team:

Tshepang (2)Tshepang: My personal experience was before the 17th on our dress rehearsal at Furuset when the school Band marched to the Complex and the band played for the Elderly people outside their homes. Music is healing, it’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we all can reflect on no matter which culture you are from; everyone loves music and it brings people together and one will feel the sense of belonging and inclusion. That’s what really touched me! Seeing the joy in their faces and some dancing and waving their flags was the best. In addition, being part of the parade was a great experience! Seeing all those kids parading and passing by the Royal palace, the cheering from people on the side of the streets was phenomenal.                                       Bongani 2 (2).jpg          Bongani: This was a special day for me, it reminded me of my roots and who I am.  To see families coming out in numbers, wearing their traditional attire, marching bands in their uniforms, playing music and parading in the streets of Norway, people waving the national flag on the side of the road. This showed love, togetherness and the pride that they have for their beloved country. It also reminded me of our Freedom Day and Heritage Day combined in one, where everyone celebrates who they are. This was indeed a great honour and privilege to be part of this special celebration, especially wearing the band uniform, marching and playing music with Hellen Skole Korps. It reminded me of my early days when I was a member/student, marching in the streets of Soweto with pride and determination, showing off to my friends who had not yet joined the band. This was my way to show them that banding is the cool, and a positive way to life. Not everyone gets an opportunity like this, to be part of such a celebration. To me it was a lifetime experience and an experience that I have been waiting for years.                             MartinMartin: What made 17th of May special for me was the anticipation from everyone who have experienced this day before us, they asked questions like ‘what are you going to be doing on the constitutional day?’. It made me realise how special the day was. When the day came, I decided to put a twist on what I was wearing. I had my Zulu piece on my head called “Umqhele” and Norwegians medals. This was the way to celebrate who I am at the same time acknowledging where I am and how fortunate I was to be part of this beautiful celebration. Being in a street Parade with Varden Skole Musikkorps was just a cherry on top. Everyone had a smile on their faces, singing and dancing. this is indeed the day I will never forget in my life. Takk så mye Norge

Written by: Martin, Tshepang and Bongani
Pictures by: Martin, Tshepang, Bongani and Hellen Skole Musikkorps Page
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Gratulerer med dagen!

Happy Norway Day from Johannesburg!

Some of the PULSE team has celebrated this day with preparations for our many workshops while the other half went on a band visit to Parys. While this day can bring some homesickness when not in Norway, the office gathered for a great sing-along of the Norwegian Anthem, coffee and cupcakes. Gira was of course also there!


On another note, PULSE has already been in South Africa for eight months. Where did the time go? PULSE has already experienced so much, however PULSE is always ready for new adventures and projects.
The upcoming months will be even more hectic with a lot of fun things planned, starting out with the second round of the Tutor Programme. PULSE is excited to see all of the 21 participants again and we are ready to embrace and continue the learning journey we started the previous workshop.
The next big project PULSE is planning alongside with Field Band Education is the Music and Movement National Workshop. There will be almost 50 (!) Band Coordinators and Dance Tutors joining, focusing on practical music and dance, performance skills and show design. PULSE and FBE will be joined by excellent external facilitators, so stay tuned for more information!
Written by: Madeleine
Pictures by: Lise
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Stronger Together

In Norwegian schools more than 200 different languages are spoken. This reflects the variety of cultural backgrounds that are present and living their lives in the Norwegian society. Still it is fact that linguistic minorities are underrepresented in Norwegian bands. In a survey completed in 2016 NMF also learned that people with linguistic minority background has little general knowledge about the banding activity. This is an important focus area for NMF and the organization has developed a variety of tools and activities in order to change this. Stronger Together is NMFs contribution to develop a broader repertoire of quality music written especially for school bands. The overall aim of is to use music as a door opener to make a more diverse group of people see banding as a relevant and accessible activity for them to participate in.

NMF decided to give praktikants a task to collect music from different ethnical backgrounds. visited different communities and adults’ schools that has people from different nationalities then asked them to sing songs from their home countries and recorded it. Then all that recorded music was given to a composer by the name of Svein Henrik Giske, who chose some of the music and wrote a piece out of that selected music called Stronger Together. This piece has different sections that are suitable for different audiences. It has Poland, Iran, Syria and Somalia and in between these sections there is a Norwegian Folks song that connects these different sections of the song. NMF has commissioned this piece, in believe that it is going to be a very good help in recruitments for bands. The purpose of this piece is to help when the band is playing or doing a recruitment in a community,   for the community to hear the music that they can relate to it will give them joy and attract them in to joining the band or be involved in a banding environment. It is up to the band on which section to play as they will know which community they are performing or doing a recruitment for.

NMF is also making a video aimed towards conductors and band leaders, the purpose of this video is to help the Bands and the conductors on how this piece (Stronger Together) could be used as a tool for the audience to participate in a band performances or recruitments. On the 30th of April 2019 Birthe Kråkenes Bjørstad from NMF assisted by Martin Mxolisi Sibiya (PULSE) and Ingeborg Våge (Praktikant) travelled to Manger for the Stronger Together song video shoot Performed by Manger Folkehøgskule students and this was a good initiative that we can include youth as a part of this process. They were Conducted by Thorqeir Thunestvedt and band members parents were the audience. Youth involvement is important to NMF.

The video is not available yet, but it will be available soon for all the bands and their leaders.

In addition, the audio of this piece has been recorded by the Navy band: Sjøforsvarets Musikkorps

Written by Martin Mxolisi Sibiya

Pictures: Birthe Kråkenes Bjørstad & Martin Mxolisi Sibiya

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LEV VEL and Møteplass Folkehelse

This conference was hosted in collaboration between Extrastiftelsen and Frivillighet Norge, and it was with great honor for the NMF and PULSE team to have attended this conference in Oslo on the 20th March. LEV VEL conference has been organized as a full-day conference over the past five years, and this year the conference was divided into smaller conferences in several places in the country, and in Oslo arranged together with a meeting place by Frivillighet t2.JPG

The two focal themes that were done on the day were “Health and Volunteering”, and it was indeed a great experience for PULSE to be part of the conference. It really shows that the impact the project is doing is really recognized, as PULSE is a Music and Health project that aims to extend and share the knowledge about how music can be as a tool for Health Promotion and social r.jpg

The NMF had two representatives, Thulani and Ragnhild, who had a slot to share what NMF does for participation and recruitment. Thulani had time to engage with the audience to be practical with them, showing them how important it is to include everyone in the room from different places. The activity he did was from the Activity Library, where PULSE teams gathers and archives activities to help with inclusive teaching and giving kids the opportunity to make new friends.

The team had time to network with some other organizations during breaks. There are common things that PULSE had as compared to other organizations, like reaching out to the low-income areas and also creating a safe environment for the kids.

written by Tshepang Moyo

Photos by Chief Zwane

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Tutor Workshop

PULSE had the pleasure of working with 21 aspiring tutors during this week’s Tutor Workshop!
This workshop was the first of four tutor workshops PULSE and Education will arrange this year, and the main focus is to upskill and train new tutors and/or tutors who have not been through the Field Band Academy. The content covered was inspired by Field Band Academy subjects which gives the tutors a solid foundation to teach their members, and also to reflect on their own self-development. The content will vary a little from workshop to workshop, however it will always be a good balance between music, dance, health and professional development.
This group was absolutely amazing! Constantly wanting to learn more and taking responsibility for their own learning made this into a really fun teaching experience for PULSE. Not knowing each other at the beginning of the week, they managed to create a safe and healthy environment where there was room for questions, improvement and  expansion of their comfort-zone. These workshops are not only about theoretical knowledge, they are about gaining social skills, helping each other and showing team work through different activities. PULSE want to thank everyone for their focus, great personalities and for the fun times we had!
Watch some of our activities here :
PULSE can’t wait for the next workshop!
In the meantime, PULSE will be busy planning and facilitating the Social Officer workshop which takes place next week, and ABRSM music theory workshop the following week. Busy times, but fun!!
Written by: Madeleine
Photos & Videos by: Lise, Jakob & Madeleine
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Life skills and banding

Life Skills are targeted differently in South Africa and Norway in the banding environment and in schools. In South Africa, within the Field Band Foundation, the purpose of life skills is to holistically develop a child in a band and empower them with information to make responsible decisions in life. In Norway life skills are taught in schools and there are no specific life skills sessions in the bands. The social skills that children learn in the band are more like a practice of what they teach them at schools. The PULSE Team in Norway is currently working with an activity library to help school bands with different activities and energizers that can be used in their bands, this activity can also contribute in teaching life skills, crowed control, team building and help the children to make new friends.bgp w

The most important things you learn or benefit from being part of the band are Music & Self-believe. Being In a band you get to learn how to play an instrument and read music with others whiles you in that process you Make friends across age and gender, become better acquainted with people your age group in your neighborhood or community and Learn to cooperate with and be considerate of others.


You are taught by an instructor in how to play your instrument and master it or get better in your playing in that way you get to feel the sense of belonging because in a band every member is important, and you all given challenges that are suitable for your level. you learn to be discipline, we learn to experience a feeling of working in a group with different people with similar interests and share ideas with other people you get a feeling of mastering.

You get a good experience and a meaningful activity to attend in your spare time, take an active part in enjoyable concerts, weekend seminars and band trips.

Written by Martin Sibiya

Photos by Martin Sibiya & Dennis Tlou

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Band Visit in Northern Cape

Last week, PULSE went on Educational Band Visits to Hanover and Petrusville.


To give you a small insight to what PULSE is doing during a band visits, you can watch our VLOG from Petrusville!


Written by: Madeleine

Video by: Madeleine

Photos by: Jakob

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Activity Guide

During winter PULSE in Bergen and Oslo, there was a good cooperation between the activity guide project and the PULSE project.  VinterPULSE is a holiday program for both children who are playing in school bands and the ones who are not playing in bands. The project lasts for five days in each region from 08:00 to 15:30. Since PULSE is a music and health project our aim for this project is to give children an opportunity to experience the sense of belonging in the banding environment. One of our goals is to recruit  children without banding or musical background into the banding movement. The VinterPULSE content is not only focusing on musical training, we also try to bring some other activities that can help the participants in making new friends and learning about daily life skills.vm3

It can be a bit challenging these days for children to find activities to participate in after school hours because of the family’s financial situation or other circumstances . Norges Musikkorps Forbund ( The Norwegian Band Federation) and Oslo Idrettskrets (Oslo Sports Association) has collaborated in coming up with a project called Activity guide. The Activity guide project is currently operating in Oslo and Hordaland, but in Hordaland the project is run without the cooperation with the sports association. The goal about this project is to help children and parents to find their own choice of spare time activities, provide them with necessary information or also help them to get support or any other assistance if it is needed. We believe that every child should be able to participate in an activity that they have chosen them self. the main goal of this project is not to get them in the banding movement only, but the children must be able to find their sense of belonging and mastering in any other activity their taking part in. We also have young people who are working in the project who are following the kids during rehearsal and after to make sure that they’re well and happy.vp 1

After Activity Guide working together with PULSE and NMF Peer educators during the winter PULSE, we gave experienced that there is a good potential in achieving most of our goals. The teams has made a great effort to make sure that the children and parents get an opportunity to be part of the banding movement. We were impressed and happy to see some parents engaging with Activity guide leaders during to get information about banding activity. After VinterPULSE several children has send their application to activity guides asking to join bands. This is a good indicator for us to measure our goals which is children finding a sense of belonging and getting the feeling of achievement. The activity guides are eager to do follow ups and make sure these children experience belonging and mastering in the band.  Working together is something that all parts will benefit from and we really experienced that these last two weeks

Written by Tshepang Moyo and Chief Zwane

photos by : Mads and E Vindi



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First Educational Band Visit 2019

PULSE went on their first Educational Band Visit in 2019 last week to Thabazimbi and Springs. It was great to finally try out the new content that PULSE has been developing the past months. In addition, the band visit is a great opportunity for PULSE to see how the staff works together as a team and how their positive dynamics reflect on the members.


PULSE is conducting a Music and Health Focus Group Discussion this year, which gives the staff an opportunity to discuss topics around their role. One major factor that was addressed was being a role model. When PULSE attends the rehearsals, this is exactly what we see; members looking up to the field band staff. The participants from PULSE all come from different teaching backgrounds, and it is a wonderful experience seeing different methods of, not only teaching, but interacting with members. This is something PULSE can learn from and take back to Norway!


One of the important tasks in field band is to build self-esteem in members and teaching values. When building self-esteem and confidence there will be a difference between giving a +2 mark with a smiley face rather than a -18, even though the score will reflect the same result. This is the positive approach PULSE got to witness in Thabazimbi, and this is due to the dedication of the staff to be the best role-models they can be.


PULSE is very excited for the next band visits that are lined up and on Monday we are leaving for Hanover and Petrusville!
Stay Tuned!
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Written by: Madeleine
Photos by: Madeleine, Lise, Jakob, Denis
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As we have rolled over into the year of 2019, PULSE is now in the process of giving input on the development of the new FBF E-Learning platform. On Thursday, FBF and PULSE attended the New Leaf Technologies seminar to learn more about this. New Leaf Technologies is an excellent E-Learning provider that is developing our adaptive learning platform, and we can’t wait to see the final results!
E-Learning is becoming a buzz word in the learning and development industry. Moving into a paperless world is just a small part of what E-Learning actually has to offer. Here are some fun facts!
Did you know that:
  1. E-Learning speeds up employee training? It typically requires 40-60% less employee time than learning in a traditional classroom setting and it gives the students access to learning material at anytime, anywhere.
  2. It will highly reduce the cost of training? By having all training in one place, you don’t have to find facilitators or venues!
  3. It maximizes knowledge retention!  E-Learning can increase knowledge retention rate by 25-60%, simply because it is much more engaging than learning in a traditional classroom setting.
  4. It increases productivity! E-Learning can actually increase productivity by 50%, because it gives the student the opportunity to learn at their own pace and in their own environment. It is also personalized to suit everyones educational needs.
  5. It betters collaboration and communication. Because E-Learning gives you a chance to communicate with peers and facilitators in real time, it creates an open and communicative environment where skills and knowledge can be shared among everyone.
-Brandon Hall (2001 and Rosenberg 2001)
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To have access to all learning material, activities and information on one platform, contributes to excellent learning and development opportunities for everyone. Moving into a finalizing stage of the pilot project, PULSE and FBF are excited to see the positive results!
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Stay tuned to hear more about this project!
Written by: Madeleine
Photos by: Madeleine
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