Over the past two days I have had the privilege of watching the people who completed our Distance Learning Programme here in the Occupied Palestinian Territories delivering music sessions with small groups of children. I have been so impressed by the sensitivity with which they create a space where the children can develop their relationships with each other, try out new ways of communicating, test boundaries and channel their energy into their use of musical instruments.
My visits have taken me to a music centre attended by children from local villages and camps, to a centre for people with visual impairments and other disabilities, and to a kindergarten in the smallest camp in Bethlehem. I have learned so much about the context in which the people I have got to know through the Distance Learning Programme are actually working as well as experiencing the water restrictions, checkpoints, inequalities, beautiful historic buildings, delicious mezze and passionate commitment to music therapy of local people for myself. It’s a complicated and confusing place to be but I will return to the UK much better equipped to consider the role of Music as Therapy International here next year and into the future.
Picture: Fabienne Van Eck arriving to lead her music session at the Kindergarten