A crucial step on the way to a more cohesive and inclusive European society, are first hand meetings with marginalised groups, who lack a broad integration into our societies. Often the youth hear about marginalised groups as migrants, refugees and disabled people in the news, but don´t get the chance to meet and exchange with them in depth.
Our project “Musical Storytelling” responded to this voiced need. The project offered a protected and comfortable setting for discussing and learning about diversity and inclusion through the universal language, music.
Between 2020 and 2022, more than 100 young people from different corners of Europe participated in six Youth Exchanges in different countries.
“Musical Storytelling” was co-funded by Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.
The Ecole de musique de l’Union Grand-Duc Adolphe (UGDA Music School) organises numerous extracurricular activities on local, regional, national, European and international level such as training and development workshops for children and young adults. It organises also bilateral and multilateral exchanges in collaboration with other cultural and youth organisations and is focusing on expanding the presence of the contemporary repertoire in its competitions as well as the cooperation of emerging musicians with young composers.
The Lithuanian non-profit organisation Natų knygynas has a long tradition in national and international educational events for children and young adults. Among the current and upcoming events for youth is the anti-piracy project. It raises awareness for the protection of music copyrights through seminars in the major Lithuanian music schools.
The organisation Zdruzenie na gragjani MUZICKI I BALETSKI PEDAGOZI Skopje enable musicians with fewer opportunities from North Macedonia which include minority groups and young musicians from poor families to participate in European level musical events (concerts, workshops, seminars, masterclasses), make contacts, develop new skills and training in order to boost their professional careers.
The first activity of the project took place in Munich (Germany) from 21st to 31st August.
EMCY cooperated with the workshop leader Waseem Radwan, the largely renowned organisation “Bellevue di Monaco”, a culture and living center for refugees and “Refugio Munich”, an advisory and treatment center specialized on young refugees. The musicians and the refugees, supported by experts specialised in youth work and music developed a final performance that can be watched here.
The project combined art and music with social learning objectives, illustrating the real value and benefits of a multicultural Europe. Non-formal learning methods included: personal intercultural exchange and peer learning, local visits, country presentations, interactive learning activities, self-exploration, group works, role plays, games and many more.
The project has been possible thanks to the: Erasmus+, BK Kids Foundation, Bezirksausschuss Westpark-Sendling and Bezirksausschuss Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt.
More information about the project here.
The second activity of the project took place in Munich (Germany) from 2nd to 12th of July 2021.
EMCY cooperated for the second time with the workshop leader Waseem Radwan and other local artists, “Bellevue di Monaco”, a culture and living center for refugees, and “Refugio München”, an advisory and treatment center specialized on young refugees. A new partners was included in 2021, the Import Export, a social-cultural institution.
The musicians and the refugees, supported by experts specialized in youth work and music developed a final performance that was streamed live from Bellevue di Monaco on the 10th of July, which is now available on YouTube, and was LIVE at Import Export on the 11th of July.
Funding projects such as “MusicalStorytelling” are a good investment for social cohesion, cultural diversity, and increasing regional radiance. The second edition of the project took place from 2 to 12 of July 2021 and it was a mix of cultural exchanges, emotions, different musical backgrounds, and lifestyles.
The project has been possible thanks to the: Erasmus+, BK Kids Foundation, Bezirksausschuss Neuhausen – Nymphenburg, Pill Mayer Stiftung, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Migrationsbeirat München, Josef Wittmann Foundation and Botschaft Der Republik Litauen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
The fourth activity of the project took place in Birštonas (Lithuania) from 11th to 20th of October 2021.
The 20 participants learned how to deal with special needs and problems. In this occasion people with different disabilities had the chance to exchange and make music with young European musicians.
The musicians performed two concerts, the first one in Birstonas Kurhaus, and the second at the Medical SPA “Egle Sanatorium” of Birštonas.
The all period (9 days) included different activities:
A. Artistic workshops and public performances. The young participants participated every day in an artistic workshop and they performed in different venues of Birštonas
B. Discovery of Lithuania (presentations, discussions and visits). The exchange encourages the young participants to discover the history, geography, culture and economic and social life of Birštonas.
C. Better knowledge of the European Union (presentations, discussions, workshops and excursions). Participants also contributed to the activity through group presentations of their country and debates on themes of their choice.
Non-formal education was the base line of each activity. The method included round tables as well as other group activities, self-discovery, interactive learning and games, organised by the participants.
The fourth activity of the project took place in Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg) from 6th to 15th of November 2021.
UGDA Music School hosted parts of the Youth Exchange at the Conservatoire de Musique de la Ville d’Esch-sur-Alzette and at the Esch-sur-Alzette Youth Hostel. The Youth Exchange and the proper involvement of the young refugees was supervised by a representative of Caritas Luxembourg.
Discovering new cultures and people, reaching out to marginalised young people and contributing to their inclusion is the aim of “Musical storytelling”. The activity contributed to the development of a number of key competences essential in all domains of life: professional, social and personal. Inclusion, diversity, tolerance, and sensitivity for these issues: the project offered a good and protected setting for discussing and learning about inclusion and diversity issues and the young participants should take home an increased sensitivity for these issues.
Musical presentations took place at the end of the exchange in various locations in Luxembourg City and at the Conservatoire de Musique de la Ville d’Esch-sur-Alzette.
The fifth activity of the project took place in Skopje, North Macedonia from 11th until the 20th of November 2022.
Young musicians from Germany, Lithuania, Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia met in a protected and comfortable setting for discussing and learning about diversity and inclusion through the universal language, music.
The Youth Exchange had different activities:
The sixth and the last activity of the Musical Storytelling project took place in Vilnius (Lithuania) from 21st to 30th November 2022.
Over the course of one week, the participants engaged in a variety of activities and workshops. They learned about different types of disabilities, such as physical, sensory, and intellectual disabilities, and the challenges that people with disabilities often face in their daily lives.
Through interactive sessions, group discussions, and team-building activities, the participants also learned how to communicate effectively with people with disabilities, how to adapt to different needs and preferences, and how to create an inclusive environment that fosters diversity and respect.