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