Hungarian Sample Project
The Peer reflection of Sample Projects had a dual role within our MusInc project.
- To help evaluate the effectiveness of the example sample project as promoting musical inclusion
- To help develop a Quality Framework exemplifying Best Practice across the partnership
This has resulted in some inconsistency in the actual headings partners have used to evaluate the sample projects as we have been using different categories from other suggested Quality Frameworks. Please see the section ‘Quality Framework’ for more information on developing a quality framework
We are presenting here a summary of the feedback from all partners (including self evaluation from the deliverers of the featured Sample Project)
The short version of peer feedback can be summarised by three questions:
- What was good?
- What was best?
- What could have been improved?
- With existing resources?
- With additional preparation/resources?
What was good?
The setting (community house) provided a very secure environment for the children to play with music and creativity. The support of the pastoral staff was also very supportive, and the way the musicians approached the project, by allowing the children to create a story to illustrate with music. The process was well thought out, by doing some work firstly with songs, then with stories so the children had heard and worked with some traditional stories before making up their own.
What was best?
Everyone thought that the finale performance was the best thing, the creativity of the children shone through, and the involvement from the visiting musicians made it special for the children as well. The weather was very good so we could use the garden, which helped make the atmosphere of a happy place to be.
What could have been improved?
With existing resources?
The children were not exposed to very much music through the project. There could have been more singing in the final performance, and maybe some body percussion, or even the use of ‘found objects’ as percussion. Given the lack of instruments the music leaders could have found out more about the visiting musicians and made space for them to enhance the final performance.
With additional preparation/resources?
The availability of additional workshop instruments would help a lot, the children could experiment with sounds and making sounds to accompany the story. The project could have started with some taster sessions some weeks earlier so that the music team could have longer to prepare their work programme and identify what resources they would need.
It might have been a good idea to have booked a venue for the final performance so the children would feel special in performance space.
We had an experience with Sahrawi children, with whom the simple activities we proposed in Pécs worked as well:
- let them have a close look, to, listen to, and try musical instruments;
- games with voice and body percussions;
- vocal warm up, always explaining what we are doing and why;
- learn some songs, simple ones but chosen paying attention to wishes, expectations and characteristics of the group of participants, to the objectives of the activity. to the setting and the relationships between the participants. (Italy)
. . . we got the impression that the three educators knew the children well, had with them a positive relationship and a certain ascendant. The same with their relative, as we saw at the end of the performance. The two musicians developed, in the little time they had, a good relationship with the young people. (Italy)
First of all, the combination of traditional song and dance with small sketches inspired by everyday life is one of the most effective method for achieving social inclusion; each participant can identify himself- without feeling alone, but together with the others - with a happy or sad part, as it is in life. It also feels that belongs to a community / ethnicity / nation. By simplicity, melodicity and specificity the traditional song is appropriate and useful- in the same time- for such sessions. (Romania)
The friendly way of interaction adopted by the two young Hungarian musicians encouraged a positive attitude of children. (Romania)
The children knew the songs, they could interact and sing a long, as well as suggest their own. The activities with creating their sentences and putting them together were also very appropriate and let them use their imagination and organization of the story. (Latvia)
Positive, that the action took place in a comfortable, usual environment for the children. There was not an obligatory requirement to participate more actively; everyone could do so as he wished. The teaching style was easy and friendly. Making music with a guitar gave the chance to teach folk music in an understandable, democratic way. (Latvia)
I think it was the first time the Hungarian musicians had worked in this way and they managed very well. They seemed to have a plan and worked through it and engaged staff and children well. The young people had a lots of energy which the musicians were able to channel. The young people were very able to contribute their ideas to shaping and informing the play – the characters and words were their own The young people enjoyed the song that they were taught by the Hungarian musicians and wanted to sing it lots of times – so they obviously related to it. (UK)
Self -reflection by Hungarian Team
The aim was to provide an opportunity for underprivileged children to get acquainted with our cultural heritage, i.e. folk music and folk traditions, and thereby to motivate them to pursue studying / practicing artistic activities in the future. The goal was to convey these values in a community setting, during a participatory experience.
The main goal was reached, the children were very open, especially when it came to singing. They were very happy to participate in the singing of traditional folk songs.
We had more difficulty in carrying out the exercises that needed the children to focus for a longer period of time. The reason for this may be that they don’t receive enough attention from their own families. For this reason we had to make the analysis of folk tales less detailed and briefer than we had originally planned.
The most successful parts of the activity were the musical exercises, because the majority of the children had an affinity for music, they listen to a lot and many kinds of music, and music is strongly connected to their culture (gypsy music).
We introduced the exercises as games, so they didn’t see them as compulsory tasks, rather as challenges – this contributed to the success of the program. Between exercises we allowed time for playing together, which helped to channel the kids’ extra energy, refresh them between exercises, and also functioned as a reward.
In future we would probably put more emphasis on the musical part of the activity.