Jana’s Music Program
Recognizing that music is an important subject that is frequently awarded a “shy” part of the academic curriculum, if any, AL-JANA has been active in creating opportunities for children to explore the world of music. In 1997, it initiated its “Jana Music” program with a project “Listening Sessions” that ran over 2 years. The outcome was musical recordings that initiated and enriched Janana’s music library. This modest library has grown over the years to include instruments and resources, both of which are borrowed by NGOs and child center in marginalized communities to engage children in discovering music. The library has sections focusing on Arabic music and songs, Jazz, classical music and world music.
In 1999, AL-JANA initiated the program “little musicians” which worked to develop a methodology that captivated children in discovering music as a way to self-expression. It also worked to help children learn with music. Since then, AL-JANA has been active in training NGO facilitators on using music as a resource and tool to work with children. It has been training NGOs' animators on recognizing and utilizing musical sounds and instruments in their work with children through specialized workshops given within the annual Janana Summer Encounter. A learning pack has been developed (book and DVD) entitled “Let’s Open a Door to Music”. The pack is the result of five years of working with children, animators, and facilitators. It trains children how to listen, and builds their leadership and coordination skills through group activities using musical instruments, or materials that they make to give different sounds.
Over the years, AL-JANA has been active in providing TOT for NGO facilitators using music to facilitate active learning. During 2008, two workshops related to music were implemented during the Summer Encounter. The first workshop, "Music as a Way to Express Stories", aimed at enabling trainees to use certain simple musical instruments while telling a story and to accompany narrations with a musical piece of their own creation. The workshop was very successful. The second workshop "Music and Children" introduced participants to certain musical instruments which do not require any previous knowledge of music basics and ways of using these instruments with children in order to create a friendly atmosphere within the place where the animation is taking place.
During Summer Encounter 2009, another workshop was implemented entitled "Music and Expression with Children". The workshop aimed at twining music with drama, and enabling the trainees to become familiar with three essential things:
- differentiating melodies, not necessarily professionally
- understanding the rhythm
- getting acquainted with instruments
All of this through discovering the process of tying melodies with imagination and feelings, as well as activating the emotional memory and developing it.
Up until today, Al-JANA continues to make use of its musical instruments and book resources during its yearly Janana Spring Festival and workshops, which are given to facilitators at Janana Summer Encounter.
The latest workshop was organized during the 2017 Janana Summer Encounter; “Yes, We’re All Musicians”, which tackled the subject of music teaching for kids using modern teaching techniques. It was divided into three sections; It’s simple and I know it (Basic music theory in a simplified way); It has a sound, the sound of music (Musical instruments); I play therefore I’m a musician (Music games).