Jean-Paul Samputu‘Harmonise’ is our national music project supporting school children from refugee, asylum seeker and Roma backgrounds, celebrating their heritage with their peers, teachers and community leaders. Our refugee and Roma music facilitators will share their stories, discuss the effects of war and prejudice, then work with children to learn about different languages and cultures, and create original songs for performance as part of Refugee Week Celebrations at the Southbank Centre, London and in Z-Arts in Manchester.Harmonise_Seb_Matthes_20‘Harmonise’ has benefits beyond developing children’s musical skills. We aim to contribute to the social, personal and emotional development of children in some of the most deprived areas of the UK through creative engagement. For many children newly arrived from war-affected areas, being able to contribute to group activities and to learn and share songs in their own language, increases confidence and raises levels of participation.  For both children and teachers, exploring reasons why refugees or Roma leave their country creates a feeling of empathy and a greater understanding of what refugee/asylum seeker and Roma children may have been through.Harmonise_Seb_Matthes_23Songs collected, information, stories and creative ideas from the project are being made into an online resource for other classes and schools to access, enabling more children to benefit from creating and sharing music.

If your school is interested in participating, please contact hello@musicaction.org 

Harmonise is funded by Youth Music, Children in Need, Salford EMTAS and Martyn Donaldson Music Trust

Photo credit: Seb Metthes