We arrived back in Palestine on a warm and windy evening in April, looking forward to seeing all the people we met last Autumn. Having quickly settled into to our lodging and met up with Music Therapist, Liz Coombes (Project Leader), we eagerly went to our first school on Monday morning, ELS Beit Sahour. And what a delight! The five people we worked with during the 6 week project, the social worker, three teachers and a learning support assistant, have all taken the ideas to heart and practiced them faithfully.
All the trainees report good effects among the students who participate regularly. Children who fought in class, no longer fight, but drum together as partners. Children who paid no attention are more able to focus. Children who misbehaved are more able to empathise with the teacher and co operate. Most importantly, all the children love their music sessions and can't wait to play!
Some trainees have developed the ideas they were taught and have created their own music games to reflect their goals for the students. There is a dedicated space to play music in, and a locked cupboard to safely store the instruments we bought with money so kindly donated by supporters. Some things have clearly been well used but also show signs of repair, because the instruments are very important and treated with care.
On Wednesday we travelled to ELS Dar al Kalimar, and met with the trainees there. These people too, have used the skills they learnt to regularly play with small groups of children who have enjoyed it very much. The social worker in particular has used the music to interact with children who have special difficulties and develop warm and therapeutic relationships.
We have another day there before going on to Ramallah, to see how the staff and students at Hope school have fared. We are very excited, and happy that everything has progressed so well.
It is with thanks to all of you who donate to make these trips possible, and to everyone who has a vision of music touching people and communities across the world. We are all participating in a great adventure!
Hazel and Teleri, Project Beit Sahour.