The article witnesses the ten-year commitment that the Prima Materia association, together with laudable social and academic partners, has addressed in support of the Palestinian community in the refugee camps of Lebanon, after 73 years of diaspora and confinement. Findings discussed in the article indicate that music therapy had a positive effect on the children’s emotional and social functioning. Music Therapy stands out as an effective therapeutic method in lowering anxiety levels in children suffering from the effects of stress and trauma, and in strengthening their self-esteem and sense of agency, thus contributing to the development of their resilience.
We are delighted to present the preview of the peer-reviewed article,“Adjusting the Pitch” written by key members of the M&R project team, Deborah Parker, Dario Gentili, Henry Brown and Alberto Balducci, which has been accepted by the international journal Voices, for publication in July 2021.
Structured as an ethnographic exploration of action learning, the article narrates and analyses the project’s developments and transformations during its first 8 years, considering both its successes and challenges.
“Voices” are given to the Palestinian, Italian and Lebanese children, students, teachers and healthcare professionals involved, through both their words within the text and the inclusion of 4 substantial videos, illustrating the key actions of the project.
M&R is contextualized within the Lebanese geopolitical situation and the condition of Palestinian refugees in this context is discussed. The article focuses on the project coordinators’ ability to “adjust the pitch”, thus modifying actions and methods in response to the constantly changing, contingent situation.
After 9 months of waiting and hoping, at last it is possible to travel to Lebanon again. From 11th to 21st December 2020, with the support of Montespertoli council and Città Metropolitana Firenze, and on behalf of the PM M&R coordination team, Deborah Parker will lead a 10-day program of monitoring, evaluation, training and supervision, together with Assumoud, in all the localities where project actions take place: Beirut, Beddawi, Saida and Baalbek.
During these months of covid restrictions, with no group activities in the Assumoud centres, PM has offered distance support, including online supervision for the music therapy team.
The visit will be used for strategic planning of actions in 2021, in particular regarding the recuperation of community and psychosocial music workshops, as soon as the covid crisis permits.
The visit also provides an opportunity for gathering narrations directly from the Palestinian refugee community regarding present-day life conditions, due not only to the sanitary crisis, but also to the prolonged economic and political chaos of the host country.
On Monday 28th December at 18:00 hours, these witness accounts will form the basis of an online conference for the local Italian community, thus maintaining awareness in one of the project’s main partner populations.
This project action is sponsored by the comune di Montespertoli and the Città Metropolitana di Firenze – our thanks for this support!
The video presentation of the Music and Resilience 2018-19 project is online: an overview of the activities we have done during the eighth year of the project. The activities took place in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon in collaboration with the local partner Beit Atfal Assumoud and thanks to the support of Taawon Lebanon. Video by Dario Gentili. https://youtu.be/zXta5blclU4
PM coordinator Deborah Parker is completing a 10-day visit to Assumoud and the centers where M&R is active, for follow-up, monitoring and planning meetings for 2020.
Unfortunately, the road closures caused by the civil demonstrations against political corruption have made travelling up North to Beddawi center impossible, but all other scheduled meetings, in Baalbek, Beirut and Saida were able to take place.
The project is “healthy and kicking”; it’s tendencies towards growth continue to challenge us to maintain quality and ensure sustainability.
On this last point, a very fruitful meeting was held with Welfare Association Lebanon, main sponsor of M&R, in which support for M&R was confirmed and preparations for a 3-year strategy plan (2020-2022) were discussed.
Here I am in Paris, to represent the Music & Resilience project at the 6th World Forum on Music organised by the International Music Council. The forum just wrapped up a couple of hours ago and I am quite overwhelmed by the massive amount of ideas & great vibes shared with kindred spirits from all around the world who share our same vision in music as a tool for social change!
we were showing a big poster explaining the M&R project (among the others who won, like us, the 5 Music Rights Award in the past) and I managed to set several hearts on fire about M&R, so we might expect some new volunteers soon! (and my own little heart was sent in flames as well a couple of times…)
Many thanks to all the friendly people from all the corners of the world who proved diversity and freedom are what makes us human deep inside. NO MUSIC NO LIFE!
We worked hard in July – there were 17 of us, between professionals, trainees, students and volunteers, working in the Community Music groups (Saida and Beddawi) in psycho-social music support (Baalbek), and in music therapy (Beirut and Saida).
We worked hard … but we received much more … from more than 100 children, adolescents and student volunteers, who studied and played with us.
Together with the the M&R music therapy research team, Mohamad and Liliane continue to monitor and study the effects of clinical work for the protection of refugee children in Lebanon.
2 research projects are currently underway:
investigating the effectiveness of music therapy in improving the emotional and social functioning in children between 7 and 11 years of age (publishing is planned for 2020);
investigating music therapy as an intervention method for children under 3 years old with speech difficulties (results will be presented at the NISCVT 13th Mental Health Conference, 15-16 November 2019, Beirut).
Our Summer program in Lebanon with Beit Atfal Assumoud is underway, with a 3-day training in psycho-social music interventions, facilitated by Deborah Parker, which brings together music teachers and students from the M&R project in Saida, Beddawi and Baalbek, Al Kamanjati project Beirut, Rashedie Music project, and KG teachers from many centres. Thanks, as always to Welfare Association Lebanon for the essential financial support!
Our Community Music team arrives Saturday to begin the Summer worshops and Music Camp – stay with us for more news soon!