Mira (name changed) is a quiet, introverted girl that started learning Oud last year. She is one of our most excellent students, and one of the few girls learning this instrument. She is one of the AACT students from last year to continue her music education at Beit Almusica; one out of 14 who are now regular students of Beit Almusica on scholarship.
As happy as we are being able to provide these children with high quality music education, it is painstakingly clear that this is far from enough. Palestinian Arabs in Israel make up for about 19.5 percent of the country’s population, and 23.5 percent of the nearly 1.8 million and children enrolled in kindergarten through secondary schools (www.cbs.gov.il/reader/shnatonenew.htm). However, most of these children have no or very limited access to music education; as it is a part of state schooling only by name, and private music education is too expensive for most people - onsidering that about 65% of Palestinian Arab children in Israel live under the poverty line (Myers Brookdale, March 2012).
Therefore we have decided to reach out to more children, and enable more children to be creative, express themselves and find the music in them. And this is what we will do:
- Train more teachers to work in creative music ways as demonstrated by our partners from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – a small result can be seen here
- Establish a network of community music groups throughout the Galilee
- Based on constant evaluation, develop a model on how creative, practical music education can be part of the everyday school schedule – and without excessive amount of money
That sounds fairly easy, but obviously we know there will be many challenges on the way. Even more important than what is why this will work:
- Based on our previous AACT projects, we learned that group work is most effective when reaching out to children from at-risk backgrounds
- The Creative Learning methodology provides us with a whole new approach to music education, one that includes participants as creators rather than recipients
- This concept allows us to build capacities that will stay with us, and make creative music a sustainable and long-term part of our work
And our aspired results?
Over the course of three years, we strive to:
- Train 15 teachers in creative music education methodology
- Reach out to over 450 children
- Develop a sound and practical concept for creative music at schools – one that could potentially reach over 30,000 Palestinian school children in Israel over time
That is our dream – we want to give every child the opportunity to make music. For a first step, we will work with our partners from the Barbican/ Guildhall School – Creative Learning on training the teachers we will need – already in the field and within community music workshops at schools.
You can help us make this happen. Thank you for all your support, our work would not be possible without great people like you.