Music-making, as a human endeavour, can enable deeprooted connections across profound social and cultural barriers. This discrete case study examines how, with clearly defined facilitation methods that respect individual autonomy, Ethno Denmark 2019 provided a framework in which participants could develop significant connections to themselves and others within the context of a structured music-making experience.
Themes emerging from the data collection, suggest that the foundational community music principles of ‘welcome’ and ‘hospitality’ (Higgins, 2012) are crucial to the development of strong interpersonal and musical connections. Within the safe enclosure of a welcoming and hospitable space, musical connections, connections with others and connections to
self could be formed at a depth and intensity heightened by the suspension of the every-day within the camp’s fixed boundary lines.
The invitation into the Ethno experience was offered by a strong and growing network of previous Ethno participants. Friendship was at the core of these invitations, and this made a significant difference to the ‘home from home’ environment the participants spoke of, generously facilitated by the host family who embodied hospitality in their interactions with
As participants engaged in music-making with one another, the connection to the music enhanced understanding of both themselves and others. The sharing of songs enabled deep connection to cultural heritage, with a generosity that created bonds between participants and increased intercultural understanding. The artistic leaders’ skilful and sensitive
facilitation of peer-to-peer learning gifted an autonomy to participants where personal confidence and agency could be developed. Within the safety of a structured musical space, friendships were formed and nurtured, accelerated in their openness by the intensity of living together. And finally, increased connection to self was identified with a greater understanding of cultural, musical and personal identity.