Music workshops and an orchestra for youth with disabilities

Solution
An accessible music programme
Organization
Primary and Secondary Boarding School Milan Petrovic, Novi Sad, Serbia
Country of Implementation
Serbia
Region
Europe
Subregion
Central and Eastern Europe
Start Year
2013
First published
10.02.2023

The Music Workshop’ is a project operating within Milan Petrović, a boarding school and day-care centre for youth with disabilities in Novi Sad, Serbia. Using innovative assistive technologies, participants learn to create and interpret music. In 2016 the workshops led to the creation the Good People Orchestra.

A man who appears to be blind is seated beside a woman in wheelchair while an orchestra is playing adjacent them in a medium-sized room with other audience.
In the music workshop in Novi Sad, Serbia, participants learn to create and interpret music.

Solution details

People

Zarko SEBIC Website
“Active participation in creating and performing music improves the social life of youth with disabilities.” Renata Koler, Co-founder of a music workshop for youth with disabilities

In 2013 Primary and Secondary Boarding School Milan Petrović, a school based in Novi Sad, Serbia, developed music workshops for persons with various kinds of disabilities, such as blindness, autism, or cerebral palsy. Based on a workshop model in a day-care centre that attracted young musicians, the Good People Orchestra was formed in 2016, continuously working with 30 young people and providing them with unique opportunities to learn, socialize, and travel. The model has been replicated in Baja, Hungary, using EU-grant funding.

Problems Targeted

Due to a lack of opportunities and accessibility, people with disabilities often cannot participate in creating and performing music, and thus are excluded from cultural activities.

Solution, Innovation and Impact

The music workshop for people with disabilities is a project operating within Milan Petrović, a boarding school and day-care centre for youth with disabilities over 18 years of age. With assistive technologies such as the Soundbeam and MiMU Gloves, participants learn to create and interpret music. These assistive technologies use sensors and ultrasonic and laser waves to produce sounds that can be registered with the slightest movements of the body, making it usable by people with low mobility as well. After some individual practice session, they play together as part of an orchestra. In 2016 the workshops led to the creation the Good People Orchestra, and over the years the orchestra has performed at various events, such as the Novi Sad Jazz Festival. In addition to performing live, the group also creates music for documentaries and radio dramas. The initiative has 30 young participants in 2022, compared to 17 in 2017.

Funding, Outlook and Transferability

The workshops have received funds from the Serbian Ministry of Culture, the City of Novi Sad, and the Serbian organization of music authors (SOKOJ). Additional smaller funding comes from the cities of Novi Sad and Sokoj and cross-border cooperations projects between Serbia and Hungary, the Regional Office for Youth Cooperation of the Western Balkans, and donations from private companies. Milan Petrović has replicated the project in Baja, Hungary, and obtained EU funds for a total of €100,000. By 2025 the organization aims to form a network of music workshops across Serbia while establishing cooperation with partners abroad through the Erasmus framework.

Media

Pictures

A man who appears to be blind is seated beside a woman in wheelchair while an orchestra is playing adjacent them in a medium-sized room with other audience. In the music workshop in Novi Sad, Serbia, participants learn to create and interpret music.

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Related information

Solutions with the same:

Country of Implementation

Serbia

Region of Implementation

Europe