News from Bethlehem 5

Posted in Blog on 14th November 2009

I cannot believe this last week has gone so quickly and we are almost half way through the project! We have had a great week of sessions at the village and in the school which Liz will go into further detail at the end of this blog! Having walked home from School yesterday via two music shops we have almost come to a decision over the instruments we are going to buy (and definitely come to a decision that we will never walk home from school again at the hottest time of the day as we only just made it!). Many of the children at the school are fascinated with the chime bars and really enjoy the activities that use them. These work on their concentration, listening skills and confidence. We hope by next week to have purchased a set for the Village also. Outside the life of music Liz and I have managed to find a haven of a cafe which hosts all types of Arabic sweets and so fully expect to double in size by the time we return to the UK! They are a delightful combination of pastry, nuts and a gallon of syrup and a must for anyone travelling to the Middle East – we like to think we are fulfilling our cultural understanding rather than satisfying our sweet cravings! We had a super lunch today with Noubar, the music teacher at the SOS school who is one of our trainees and fantastically eager to learn more about Music as Therapy. Something I am noticing here is that the Palestinians are really great people, so friendly and welcoming and extremely fascinating to spend time with and chat to. Their sense of humour is very similar to ours which allows for many moments of laughter and makes light of any problems there could be caused by language barriers. After our sessions at the village tomorrow morning we will set off for Jerusalem for a short break before starting work again on Sunday. We had a very brief (however, very informative!) tour of Jerusalem given by Project Leaders Claire and Paul on our first day here and so are very much looking forward to returning to many of the places pointed out to us. More next week! Below is Liz’s account of some of the clinical work we have done in the past few days: Today we finished our second round of workshops with the trainees in the SOS School. All the groups and individuals have now had two sessions and are progressing well. Yesterday, one of the groups had to be postponed as we had another meeting at the Village. We were disappointed by this, but there was an up - side! Hamed, the School social worker, felt confident enough to take the group on his own. He made notes and fed back to us what he had done with the children and how it had gone. We asked him if he felt able to present this as a Case Study at the weekly staff meeting. Hamed gave us a big "Yes!" to this. Also present today was Hamed's trainee Social Worker who, with the agreement of students, took part in the group. She was an excellent participant - and also made tea for the staff meeting - a very welcome refreshment I can tell you as our day @ School began @ 7:30am. She will be including her Music as Therapy experience in her training report to Bethlehem University. The weekly staff meeting went very well indeed. I gave a short presentation about the principles of "Music as Therapy", and then revised the activities we had done. Hamed felt able to demonstrate an activity Claire had shown him last year, and then gave his Case Study. We also had an improvisation - specially requested by staff! Tomorrow we will be continuing our work at the Village with a group and an individual together with the staff meeting

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