For over fifteen years, I have had the fortune to work with wonderful international NGOs as a workshop facilitator, lecturer, and music therapist throughout the Balkans, Eastern Europe, South Africa, and Ecuador, offering workshops and lectures in music improvisation, meditation and community music. I continue to work closely with non-profit, educational arts organizations and diverse communities introducing music as an agent for social change, advocacy, and healing.
In 2006, I traveled to South Africa to work with the clown theatre company The Glass Contraption to work at the Topsy Center Sanctuary where children ages 2 to 20 lived. With the aid of the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum, I brought 50 ukuleles to the center for all the kids and staff to learn and keep. For one month we lived and worked with the children and staff on an original clown show created and performed by the children at Topsy for the community.
In 2009, I offered workshops in Prishtina, Kosovo, working with the organizations Balkan Sunflowers and the Mental Rights Initiative respectively where I taught music improvisation and Sound PaintingTM to music educators in Roma villages and with adults living with cognitive delays and physical challenges. In the summers of 2002 to 2005, I worked with the NGO, Media Artes in Macedonia, formed after the war in 1996, that offers opportunities for young people to delve into the arts promoting cultural tolerance, mutual understanding and freedom of expression as a means for social change.
In 2013, I returned to South Africa to work with the ICRD Group to provide a week-long experience for children and teens in song writing. Once again, thanks to the generosity of the South African Arts ministry, friends and family through Kickstarter, and the donation of 50 ukuleles by the Ukulele Hall of Fame, a beautiful week-long overnight camp was offered to 20 children to focus on music, dance, and songwriting. The project was called Ukes and Kids and resulted in an original CD entitled "The Journey" showcasing songs and stories by the kids featuring ukuleles and a host of other instruments.
Click HERE to watch our video of the project's history.