PULSE is a joint project with the Norwegian Band Federation (NMF) that focuses on how music can be used to develop life skills and be health promoting in bands in South Africa and Norway. The NMF and FBF have enjoyed a mutually beneficial partnership since 2001, sharing resources and personnel with the common aim to build each organisation’s capacity to service their respective communities.
Since 2013, the relationship (which is supported by FK Norway) took on the specific health focus – to deepen practical knowledge of how to use music and dance as a tool to contribute to healthier, happier societies that are inclusive. Each year, 4 senior FBF band staff members are selected to spend a year in Norway, working with the NMF and sharing FBF teaching methods and repertoire. In exchange, 4 Norwegian professionals from the music therapy sector live and work in the FBF head office in Johannesburg.
The aims of the PULSE project are to:
• Build a better understanding of how music can be health promoting and part of life skills education in the FBF
• Increase the FBF’s knowledge of how to use music to include people with disabilities in the FBF bands
• Encourage women to be leaders and to overcome the cultural barriers that make it difficult for them in South Africa
• Contribute to the NMF’s ways of working in low income communities in Norway
• Grow the understanding of how music can be a tool for health and building social communities in both countries
• Provide opportunities to develop young leadership that is concerned with community health and development