CEO Nicky du Plessis headed north this month to visit long-term FBF project partner, the Norwegian Band Federation (NMF).  The NMF and FBF have started the first year of the second round of funding from FK Norway for the PULSE Project and this visit enables partner discussions and meetings with stakeholders to take place.

PULSE allows the broader community development benefits of music to be more clearly identifiable to participants, helping them to develop relevant ways of operating at band level to greatest positive developmental effect in all facets of their lives.

PULSE uses strong elements of knowledge-sharing in its approach. Participants from South Africa and Norway on the programme learn about and teach in each other’s communities, both benefitting from their own unique societal experiences in challenges of diversity, cross-cultural integration, working with disability, and related issues of social inclusion. The practical benefits of these learnings are taken in structured training to communities where Field Bands operate.

Du Plessis will spend time with the four young FBF members currently flying South Africa’s flag in Norway as they engage with school bands in Bergen and Oslo: Thulani Dupa, Sizwe Nkosi, Sihle Mabena and Masibulele Langa.  These PULSE South participants use FBF methods and repertoire in their teaching and performing, which have been well received by all.

Perhaps the fact that they are also starting to teach in Norwegian (having been hard at work in language classes since they arrived in September 2016) also contributes to their success. Dupa says, “We realise that the kids relate differently, even if we have just a few words, and we learn with every lesson too”.

We are proud of this team who have navigated a long cold winter full of snow and ice to learn new skills and broaden their experiences of using music to bring young people together.  In collaboration with NMF staff, our young South African leaders will facilitate a special holiday programme for over 200 young musicians, called VinterPULSE!

Lifeskills, games, visual arts and musical performance management will be taught for a week, culminating in a concert that du Plessis will attend.  This is the second year that this holiday programme has been held and it is a significant part of the outreach and inclusion work being done by the NMF.