November 2008

Make Music not Walls

November 11, 2008 05:48

For the last two summers I have had the good fortune to be invited to teach at the summer school for the outreach programm of the Edward Said Conservatory in Birzeit, Palestine. The outreach programm was started under the auspices of the European Commission and in collabaration with the Edward Said Conservatory, Accademia Musicale di Firenze and Ucodep to bring music to the children in isolated and cut off villages and refugee camps. A short documentary was made of the first year ,the summer of 2007.The possibilities of music bringing peace are being explored from beginners to the highest level I just keep my fingers crossed that it will succeed.

There are lots of problems teaching these children on a regular basis and lessons can be few and far between if the teacher isn't allowed through the checkpoints. Getting children together for concerts and courses has similar problems. Last summer they had a national competition and had to use the Web cam to allow all candidates and parents to participate.Candidates from the Gaza strip had to perform via computer and were screened for all to see. There is however an enourmous enthusiasm and I hope that the project gets all the funding it requires in order to continue.

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