The first 2 events of the project has been implemented according to the Project Timeline. Our project is focused on quality, on the application of innovations in special music education. On the 10-12 of  September there have been organized the Study Tour to the Resonaari music centre, which plays a leading role in the educational part of the project. 6 participants from three NGOes – partner organizations in Latvia, Poland and Russia were very interested in studying (The list is attached. An.1). On the first day, there was a meeting with the all delegations from Poland, Latvia and Russia. It was very important that the participants could meet each other personally and to discuss all the issues of the project implementation – the details of the budget, to put the concrete dates for the further activities, to clarify the questions on reporting with Irina Vorontsova, Coordinator of the Project from the Women’s Alliance NGO.

     The Study tour has started with the presentation of the Center which was made by the Director Markku Kekkonen. On the second day Markku Kaikkonen organized and conducted workshops for the delegations, where also the methodology of the Finnish colleagues was shown. This method allowing children with a special need and disabilities to learn how to play musical, singing solo and in ensemble. Also between the master classes Irina Vorontsova presented the project “Music without Barriers”.

     On the last, third day of the trip, the participants of the master-classes went to the public Valteri Ruskis school to see an open lesson, conducted by the Second Director of Resinaari school – Kaarlo Uustino, the open lesson was with the special needs children. During the master class was showen how music and tactile sensations can develop children. After the open lesson, the workshop participants returned in Rizonaari, where students showed live performances that they learned during the school year. 

     Al the participants indicate that the topics during the meetings were very interesting and inspiring. The innovative method of working with children and youth with special needs, which was presented at the school of Resonaari, made a great impression on them. They are sure that the stay at the workshop will affect positively on their further work with talented youth and they will use acquired knowledge. The teachers in the Center who develop new methods are enthusiasts and professional musicians. They inspired the participants with their positive energy and learned everybody to have a lot of patience. All these features will surely lead to success and achieve the intended results.

     Lana Burmistrova, Present Lecturer, Jugla Music School, Riga (Latvia) is writing a dissertation thesis based on the EEG-neurofeedback approach to substantiate criteria of musical giftedness in children and adolescents with autism. She says that she has got a high-level experience while being at Resonaari Special music centre in Helsinki. She has been working for more than 10 years with children with special needs (specially with several types of visual impairments) and during this period she was interested for different methods used in the music teaching system and musical performance in the context of several disorders in children, youth and adolescents. She was very excited about the Resonaari Special music centre’s experience teaching individuals with special needs without age limit, organizing individual and group lessons, and developing individualized approach to every person based on his/her disorder and mental state. It was very important to realise how individuals with special needs understand music. During the practical tasks it was presented  that a very specific kind of interaction is developed and achieved, changes in the sound structures can help to understand what happens in the space and time. Several rhythm exercises can help to make a connection between a child and a teacher, e.g. in the context of autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s syndrome. During the imitation process there is possible to create a “inner world” and to help children to communicate with this world through the music, through the musical therapy. In the Valteri Ruskis school there was a possibility to get an experience in working with children and adolescents with special needs using music, dance movement therapy and art therapy. Rhythm stimulation made an interconnection between children with motor function disorders (in a wheel-chair) and a teacher. All the teachers got an experience in working with FigureNotes, i.e. playing colors (main colors and “their friends”). Teachers were involved to practically use FigureNotes in the instrument playing. It was very important not only to get an information about it theoretically, but also to use this approach practically and to see how it works in a real life.      It was very important to get such an experience for pedagogical and scientific work. She will use this experience and new approaches in work and will develop new methods in teaching and playing music with children with several types of disorders. After the study tour in Helsinki the Rotari Astor clubs from Riga decided to start a new regional Rotarian project and to establish special awards to children and youth with special need, who will participate in the Festival in Jurmala in Summer 2019.

     At the end of the master classes, the school staff presented the certificates to the participants in the master-classes at the Rizonaari music school. Congratulations for Markku Kaikkonen and Kaarlo Uusitalo and thanks for wonderful teaching and spending time creatively! (Photoes of the Study Tour to Finland are attached/ Files 1-11/

  1. Dissemination Seminar

The second event according to the plan was the Dissemination Seminar for the Saint Petersburg Women NGOes. More than 50 leaders and members of the NGOes, City administration, guests from Latvia, Lithuania, Kazachstan and Uzbekistan took part in the meeting and were acqainted with the project and the results of the Study Tour to Finland. The participants mantioned that the seminar was very fruitful and they are intetrested to participate in the further activities – on-line conference that will take place on the 27th of November,2018, developing of the concept of the future International Music Festival for the youth with special needs. Photoes are applied

     During the first stage of implementation two additional activities have been arranged in Saint Petersburg by the Swedish partner of the project “ShareMusic&PerformingArts” with support from Russian Partner “Women’s Alliance”, who invited the audience. There were arranged 2 Master classes: “Using Musical Technologies in Inclusive Performance” on the 18th of May (in the Swedish Consulate) and on the 7th of November 2018 (in Alexandriyski Theatre).