Update on the last two sessions of World Bank Group-funded Psycho-Social Awareness Program – Music and Mentorship
February 21, 2017—
Small Projects Istanbul has recently had the pleasure of learning new techniques in a week-long Music Therapy Workshop led by Lucas Dols. Having participated in the training, program leader Naz Saglam wanted to put into practice the therapy tools she’d learned with her students.
Naz selected several youth support volunteers to take part in the practice and to share her new skills and theory. In the workshop, Naz and volunteers led the way by modeling simple rhythms that could be replicated using objects like drums improvised from pens and buckets. Other rhythm-making tools were participant voices and bodies. The students were instructed to listen, create, and enjoy the sounds that could be made individually and collectively.
The students always take interest in activities that feel like playing a game, but this one was unique as it engaged their creativity and awareness.
Traditionally, students are divided into groups or teams to compete with each other for sports or games, which fuels their motivation to succeed, with a clear cut outcome – the win! This time students had to embrace one another in groups and see themselves as a united whole in order to achieve and maintain harmony.
To reveal greater creativity and develop more complicated beats, students were required to play closer attention to one other and to focus on the timing and sounds their partner was creating. This was a good practice for watching, listening, and recognizing the importance of these skills for a more beautiful collective output. Groups that were able to collaborate recognize the benefit of deeper involvement with their group and felt excited about the new rhythms they could create together.
February 25, 2017
In the latest session with their Robert College mentors, fourteen students from SPI attended an off-site day of games and conversation. Upon arrival, craft equipment was ready and students jumped into personalizing their name tags with their favorite colors, teams, and animals. This was a way for the students to share a bit more about themselves and to grow in their relationships with their mentors. After this icebreaker the students joined in and colored posters together to get them working as a team. Robert College volunteers taught the kids how to make paper planes. The students had fun experimenting with the craft and trying to make the best flying plane.
Volunteers were in high spirits and we very hands on, making sure the kids felt comfortable, involved and expressed themselves. During the short snack break the students were divided into several tables with their mentors among them for a nice friendly chat. The program coordinators and volunteers enjoyed watching as the kids engaged and cheerfully answered questions.
After snack time, the group all joined in a game of musical chairs which kept the energy high! There were a lot of laughs and the kids said they really enjoyed their time. On the way back to the center the kids all said they are looking forward to the next session.
Progress Note: Over the last two sessions SPI organizers have noticed that the students have been very well behaved, comfortable, and confident. She feels proud as she’s watched them closely over time, she’s noticed them them looking out for each other in difficult situations and different environments, helping one another to get engaged and adapt
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