Thursday, September 17, 2020
Music Education News Online – Dr. J. Pisano

Music as a tool to connect and heal – with Laura Hassler, Director, Musicians Without Borders – Music Education Works

By Dr. J. Pisano , in Music Education Research , at September 17, 2020 Tags:


Music for Education & Wellbeing podcast

In this new podcast, Anita Holford, co-editor of Music Education Works, is talking with  Laura Hassler, Founder and Director of Musicians Without Borders. It’s a charity based in Amsterdam that uses the power of music for peacebuilding and social change, particularly in areas of war and conflict.

We talk about:

  • Laura’s upbringing in New York as a child of peace and civil rights activists
  • How Musicians Without Borders began – in response to the Balkan Wars
  • Working with refugees in camps in the Netherlands, then taking the work to Bosnia
  • Music’s role in society: its commodification, and also its power to build community and cross boundaries
  • Developing the work, and developing musicians for the work – MWB’s theory of change and its five principles
  • How the work adapts to context: from working with children affected by gang violence in El Salvador to training young people through an HIV clinic in Rwanda
  • The importance of safety and trust in any music work with people
  • How trauma impacts on the nervous system – and the importance of supporting music leaders’ own wellbeing
  • and we finish with Laura’s hopes and call to action for the world beyond the pandemic

You can access the podcast via a blog on our main website –

PODCAST [22] MUSIC AS A TOOL TO CONNECT & HEAL – WITH LAURA HASSLER, MUSICIANS WITHOUT BORDERS

or on iTunes or Spotify (search for Music for Education & Wellbeing).



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