Romanian Sample Project - Spinning bees / Sezatoare
Community Choir / Folklore Ensemble
Peer Review and Sef Reflection
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 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 choir has good community support, and the participants drawn from the ageing population gets some real social and health benefits from taking part. The choir performs at local events, community and secular, and partners know from previous EU funded projects that BRAT ONEST has allowed some of the choir to travel to other countries to share their national songs.
It was also good that other musical forms were included in our event, so we could observe a dance based project alongside the singing.
What was Best?
Many felt that the involvement of the gipsy/Roma musicians as part of this sharing event. This did seem as if it was fairly new relationship and there were aspects of separation between the gipsy musicians and other musicians in the room. Harking back to one of our ideas that social inclusion involves acceptance of ‘the other’.
What could have been improved?
With existing resources?
Holding the sharing event at the own library gave the event the respect that is sometimes missing in community music projects, lending an aspect of civic pride to the activities of ordinary people in the town.
The room was laid out as for a performance with rows of chairs, these could have rearranged differently during the rehearsal phases to accommodate a circle, which allows singers to interact with each other during the learning phase.
With additional preparation/resources?
The partners felt that the choir leader, although very skilful musically could have adjusted his teaching style towards a non-formal way of facilitating we are advocating within our practice. This meant that there was not sufficient time given for participants to feedback during the session. We could say that the consideration of the participants needs were recognised in a way that was acceptable to the local participants because this method is an expectation shared by the local music leaders and participants. It is noted that the Romanian team showed enthusiasm for the teaching methods of both the Italian and UK music leaders, who might be regarded as the partners with most experience of working with Musical Inclusion, and they (Romanian) reported that they have learned from being part of the partnership.
As one visiting musician commented, the choices are few for musical involvement in more rural areas compared to those living in cities, and this community choir project works well for the demographic of an ageing population living in a depopulating settlement who are more used to the formal teaching of music.
It might be worth the organisation looking at developing younger music leaders with more non-formal facilitation methods, as the needs of young people in the town are not being met, and those who do stay in Onesti become doubly deprived and in the minority and need extra help to become musically included.
What partners had to say:
There was a good atmosphere created by the choice of repertoire, and the participants were happy, if there had been more time perhaps decision making could have been more in the hands of the participants. (UK)
We gained many characteristic examples of Romanian songs, including remarks about correct pronunciation . . . it’s possible to teach them in one’s group, (Latvia)
No progressive, “step by step” pathway for improvement was planned and implemented . . . there was no evaluation of personal progresses. Only the final standard was deemed important and evaluated. (Italy)
Traditional Romanian Folk Songs/Dances were highly suitable for participants. (UK)
I realized a few things, namely how a person living in a small town like this has much less opportunities to take part in cultural activities, and how different the attitudes of these people are from someone’s who lives in a big city, and is offered a million cultural programs all the time. (Hungary)
Self Reflection by Romanian team
As a music leader, I tried to use all my technical and artistic abilities accumulated in the years of study at the Music Conservatory of Bucharest and during over the 40 years of artistic and didactic activity. We had a very clear perception of the starting point for each participant because the activities performed were designed and distributed according to demonstrated artistic abilities on other occasions.
We have established a certain approach to the musical and choreographic repertoire, starting from the premise that the selected examples are characteristic to our geographical space and represent a realistic picture of the Romanian soul.