There is much anticipation that precedes a new experience about which there are many unknowns. Thoughts of doubt and nervousness creep in, and you start to wonder how what you have to offer will be received. Last night Danny and I planned and re-planned our first workshops which were to take place today. We knew that we would be working with teens from the Jerusalem area who are attending a summer camp. When we arrived at the school (in the old city) which hosted the summer camp for these youth, we were met with around twenty girls.
After a brief introduction we played Handel-Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for the girls, and they listened very attentively. The performance was met with a very enthusiastic response and when everyone had quieted down, we had a chance to talk. What did they like about the music they heard? What did it remind them of? What emotions did the music communicate to them? We explained that the piece that they heard was in the form of a theme and variations, meaning that the main theme, stated at the beginning of the piece, was repeated throughout, each time in a different style.
We went on to help the girls come up with their own personal “themes” in the form of rhythms which they tapped out on the ground with a set of drumsticks. We went around the circle and had each girl tap her own theme, followed by the group repeating together the rhythm that had just been played. This personal expression from each girl gave a perfect opportunity for us to get at something deeper. We explained that each one of us was uniquely made with talents and abilities that are special to each of us. The girls became more subdued, and thought about what they liked to do and what they saw themselves as being good at. We then went around the circle again and each girl shared.
We hope that today was an affirmation to these girls, many of whom find themselves in difficult situations, that they matter and that they have something special to offer that is unique to each of them. They were a joy to work with and they even gave Danny a belated birthday present: