'The Independent Music Show Magazine' February 2018 - Page 21

WE BUILD A BETTER WORLD THROUGH MUSIC

“Let’s Build Step-by-Step, The Longed-for Peace” ~Soy Musica trainees

Designed to provide music educators with increased leadership skills in peace building and community music, Soy Musica is a collaboration between Musicians without Borders, UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in El Salvador. The project brings together educators from all over the country, for 4 weeks of instruction from MwB Trainers. In between the week-long training sessions, educators apply their new skills at their schools and through community projects, impacting thousands of children. The second week of training (facilitated by Otto de Jong and myself) included instruction in community music workshop design and facilitation, group leadership through nonverbal communication, and the use of body percussion and rhythm. A special focus of this second week was the theme of nonviolence.

“We build a better world through music.” -Soy Musica trainee

The word “nonviolence” can be misunderstood as referring to the absence of war or conflict. Yet those who, like millions of Salvadorans have been impacted by war, know that the mere absence of physical violence is a poor substitute for true peace. Peace and nonviolence in personal and political spheres takes an active commitment to courageous action- action that creates more justice, equality, health and harmony in our personal and social relationships. During one activity, Soy Musica trainees discussed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Six Principles of Nonviolence. The first principle states that nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people- people just like us. In small groups, trainees wrote and performed songs that expressed one of the 6 principles.

Within Non-violence I have to be very active

I will stop being passive and I don´t fear consequences

I have decided to follow the path of justice

I will take peace to all broken hearts

~Song written by Soy Musica trainees, about the 1st principle, ‘Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.’

Let´s defeat injustice without harming people.

Each of us becoming aware of one´s life and rights.

Seek non-violence with love and patience.

Let´s build step by step, the longed for peace.

~ Song written by trainees to express the 3rd principle, ‘Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.’

Trainees created group dances with rhythm or music (but no words) to show a violent interaction transforming into a peaceful resolution through the use of the strategies. Everyone watched silently as each group demonstrated first the suffering of violence and then the beauty, strength and grace of a peaceful resolution. A heavy and hopeful moment of silence lingered after each dance.

WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS