The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music is taking music to young people where they live, in remote and underprivileged areas of the West Bank.
The project, supported in part by a grant from the Mosaic Foundation, was implemented in remote villages and refugee camps in the areas of Nablus, Jericho, Bethlehem and Hebron. Activities took place in close collaboration with schools, community centers and other local organizations.
A total of 163 students participated on full scholarship, and hundreds of others were exposed to a myriad of creative activities. A musical summer camp took place, new Arab music ensembles formed, and now twelve advanced students participate in student orchestras run by the conservatory.
Through the children, music has become an important part of these communities. Over the year more students expressed an increasing interest in attending classes, rehearsing and enjoying their lessons. Families would check in with teachers about their child’s progress, and friends and family would often come to listen to the students practice.
“Students practice more when they have the chance. They come more prepared, more excited, and most importantly, they are very eager and hungry to learn more. To me 30-40 minute lessons are not enough. Because these students want to learn more, they should be able to,” says an outreach teacher in Jericho.
In the next year, the conservatory plans to strengthen and spread its musical program to other marginalized groups. With the help of ANERA donors, music can begin and continue to be a joy for these communities.