How the steel drum connects the youth regardless of their differences - Peace Drums Project

How the steel drum connects the youth regardless of their differences

How the steel drum connects the youth regardless of their differences

Our mission is to bring young people together through facilitated group learning and performance in steel bands and drumlines to have positive experiences and build community, regardless of religious, cultural, and social differences. How can playing in a steel drum band bring people together, despite their differences?

We at Peace Drums Project believe that once you play music with someone, you are a friend for life. Music is a universal language, and playing music together is proven to build a bridge and connection between people who might otherwise never connect. Playing music in an ensemble creates a sense of community.

Community building Through Steel Drums

Peace Drums Project puts together steel drum bands made up of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish youth from different parts of Israel/Palestine. Our mission to connect these young people comes alive in our day-to-day rehearsals and performances.

‘Our mission to connect the youth beyond their differences comes alive in our day-to-day rehearsals and performances´

The band members, from diverse backgrounds, experience a sense of togetherness through their collective efforts. Rehearsing together,setting up the stage for performances, and carrying the heavy steel drums as a team all contribute to a shared journey of collaboration and connection. The band members inevitably form a bond, as they rely on each other’s support and cooperation. As a result, the band becomes a microcosm of unity, representing how individuals, despite their differences, can come together for a common purpose.

The ripple effect

The ripple effect

‘The audience witnesses a display of harmony and cooperation that transcends religious, cultural, and social boundaries’

The presence of a diverse band united through the universal language of music, sends a powerful message to the youth. It demonstrates that despite their individual backgrounds and beliefs, they can come together, appreciate one another, and build lasting connections through the transformative power of the music being performed on the steel drums.

The Steel Drum: A symbolic and versatile instrument

Why did we choose the steel drum as its centerpiece? The answer lies in the instrument’s remarkable history and its unique ability to bring people together. Originating in Trinidad, the steel drum was born out of conflict and resistance. It was initially forbidden to play and was associated with gang violence and societal divides. Now the steel band instruments of Trinidad and Tobago perform in world class competitions, in churches, and are used all over the world for music education.l

‘The steel drum was born out of conflict and resistance’

Day-to-Day Operations

To realize our mission and support the Peace Drums Project requires ongoing support. Funding plays a crucial role in procuring instruments, supporting our teacher’s salaries, and facilitating rehearsals and performances. We work on funding the project every day so that the bands can continue to rehearse, perform, and bring and bring young people in Palestine/Israel together. The success of our project relies on the generosity of individuals, organizations, and communities who believe in our vision and who want to contribute to building community through music.

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German friends visiting in Ibillin, April 2023

The students of the Peace Drums Project embarked on their international trip to Herne, Germany, marking the second part of the student exchange. It’s our favorite time of the year, and for some of the children, it was their first time visiting a place outside of their country. In Herne, we participated in the larger youth music festival called Crossing Borders, featuring Israeli, German, and Polish music students.

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