Words, Beats and Moves

In reception centres for asylum seekers

Music for small children from 1 to 6 years
In these workshops it’s all about experiencing structure, social connectedness and about enjoying. Parents often come along and take part. This is an important moment for them. They see their children enjoying music and that has a positive effect on them. In addition, they also come in contact with other parents. The children learn to sing children’s songs and they play along with rhythmic instruments.

Music for children from 6 to 14 years
In this group the experience of structure and inner peace is very important. Children living in a shelter life are often quite restless. Every workshop consists of a welcome song, a centre piece and a closing song. In the middle there is a creative process: children learn to express themselves and gain space to try new things. Because of the different language level we work with simple texts or with instrumental compositions. Often we use simple songs from an unknown language (e.g. African). Children like this and feel so connected with each other.

Music for unaccompanied minors
Also here it’s about experiencing structure and peace. These young people are often quite restless and have trouble with structure. Through percussion we try to channel this unrest. The focus is not on traumatic experiences though there is space to tell their stories. Certain musical themes often come back. The integration of music from the country of origin provides a strong added value.

Music for adults
In workshops for adults it is about play techniques, enjoying, relaxation and improvisation. Music from the original country is often used and acted out. Depending on the nationality different styles of music are played. Also here there is no trauma processing although participants can tell their story if they want to.

In OKAN Classes

The OKAN-classes consist of refugees, migrants and expats-a very diverse group. Common is that they live in a new country and that they want to learn a new language. During the music workshops language is an important tool. Simple raps and hip hop beats stimulate language development. Through a variety of musical exercises they learn to express themselves. Rap lyrics tell about their new experiences. For young people it is difficult to identify themselves with all the new in their lives. Music and rap brings them more in touch with themselves and with others. Also instrumental exercises encourage self-expression. To the end of the workshop series a small show is prepared for the broader school community.

With older kids ( teenagers) who are still in the process of learning Dutch, we made an accent on a word as a main goal of both their working levels - OKAN program and Crea Thera program. By choosing one specific word as a main topic of creative experiment participants are encouraged to show through their performing art skills the personal meaning and importance of their chosen word.

In elementary schools

In elementary schools the classes are mixed: refugees, Flemish children and migrants. There are 3 levels: first, second and third level. The first level (the little ones) is all about fun and relaxation. At the second and third level songs are taught and created. To the end of the school year the 3 groups work on a joint show for the broader school community.

It’s a working process of encouraging and directing children towards a show moment. We use some basic tools of the Stanislavski method ( team work, magic realism, moto " love art in yourself, not yourself in art ) . The final result is a short play invented completely by the kids ( story, text, roles). Starting point of the process is the theme "one morning in my school" as a part of wider theme " I feel home at my school" - as extension of theme ‘Words’ in ‘Beats, Words and Moves’.