Sing Out! International is an organization that wants to create a positive, long-term impact. The organization is responding to an international need for communities to process and cope with traumatic experiences. Music is shared and created in communities around the world, which makes the medium of Sing Out! International accessible to everyone. Our goal is to not only provide a medium for expression in communities around the world, but to train members of the community to continue the music programs that we introduce.
Through Sing Out! International, Ashley-Drake and Haden, two board-certified music therapists, are striving to create an organization that inspires a movement to use music to heal communities around the world. A quick search brought up some different definitions of a ‘movement,’ such as “a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas,” or “a group of people with a particular set of aims.” Synonyms for ‘movement’ include ‘development,’ ‘progression,’ ‘dynamism,’ and ‘undertaking.’
Sing Out! International’s first project will take place at Hope North in Uganda, a vocational and secondary school for former child soldiers, founded by former child soldier, Okello Sam. We will lead a six-week music therapy program to foster connection within the community and increase positive coping skills, improve quality of life, and increase expression through music therapy techniques such as songwriting, improvisation, and drumming (read more details about our project at Hope North in Uganda).
Sing Out! International is about making a lasting, positive impact for communities. For Hope North, we will purchase a variety of cultural instruments, and will then donate them to the school at the conclusion of the program. Part of the program also includes time for us to train the educators at the school in some of the techniques in order for the program to continue after we return home to prepare for their next project.
There is a great need to reach out and provide a vehicle for expression for communities that have experienced traumatic events. Sing Out! International can offer the accessibility of music to help individuals find a safe and therapeutic outlet to process their experience(s).