Topic outline

  • General

    Welcome to the MARS training course.
    We wish you a satisfying and productive learning experience on the MARS e-learning platform!

  • Module 1: Project Management I

    The module serves:

    • to deepen our awareness of the complexities of Psychosocial (PS) Music Intervention project management and of the numerous variables (anticipated and not) to be considered;

    • to support the development of a PS Music Intervention Presentation for potential stakeholders;

    • to support the development of criteria and guidelines for carrying out a Needs Analysis prior to project planning.

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  • Module 2: Musical Resources and techniques 1

    Creating musical structures and sound objects / instruments


     The module serves to:

    • Introduce students to the idea of structure within music: its purpose and uses within group music-making which will facilitate psycho-social aims such as interaction with moments of individual expression
    • Critically analyse two different uses of musical structures specifically within every day group music-making – discuss their potential and consider the limitations/challenges of these to deepening our awareness of the possibilities in implementing musical structures within our own group music-making  
    • Consider the affordances/opportunities of creating a sound object or musical instrument from everyday materials and what this can potential offer as a shared experience within psycho-social practice

    Pages: 2
  • Module 3: Risk Factors in Deprivation and Marginalization


    The module serves to....

    • deepen knowledge and understanding of the transient experiences of disrupted, marginalized and deprived communities;

    • increase awareness and knowledge of the possible biological, emotional, psychological and social consequences of extreme and constant stress factors;

    • promote a basic understanding relevant psychopathology.


    • How much do we need to know about the possible causes of the behaviour we see in our PS music sessions?

    • What information will be useful to help us gauge the most welcoming and available stance as facilitators of music groups?

    • What do we need to understand about chronic loneliness, stress and trauma, in order to work serenely with people affected by these factors, in a caring and protecting relationship for all involved (including us!).

    Pages: 4
  • Module 4: Inter-cultural comprehension and mediation

    The module serves to inform how MARS interventions are structured on the basis of 3 topical dimensions:
    • Critical ethnocentrism: becoming aware of our individual and collective positioning within social and cultural frameworks on the basis that understanding ourselves and others is inseparable; and considering the links between healthcare, self care and critical ethnocentrism.

    • The geopolitical and historical contexts within which MARS work is embedded: local, EU and global frameworks of power, identity, legislation, and human rights.

    • Music as a Tool for Active Listening to both Needs and Resources respecting the complexities of the past and the transient present; and forging shared narratives that embody reciprocity and belonging in times of transition; Music as a tool for taking care of the relationships of power and identity and belonging between facilitators and beneficiaries; and within the wider organisational contexts.

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  • Module 5: Musical Resources and techniques 2

    vocal  activities and repertoire


    This module aims to:

    1. Develop, improve competences and share elements of good practice around the role of the facilitator in the context of “using the voice as a group”.
    2. Spark a critical reflection on your own competences and opinions, starting from your practice and with the help of our guide.
    3. Elaborate, deepen and discuss (within the “MARSian” group - both students and teachers) the specificity of “MARSian (choral) conductor”: the profile, the competences, the challenges.

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  • Module 6: Psychosocial Intervention: general objectives, theoretical underpinning, frameworks of thinking.


    The module aims to:

    • refresh and reinforce knowledge and understanding of the concept of Community, its characteristics and needs;

    • raise knowledge about the 'community-based' approach in target areas;

    • increase knowledge about the issue of 'crisis', the importance of psychosocial support and the skills of service providers;

    • expose the different models of psychosocial support, and the challenges and opportunities offered by each of these models.

    Pages: 2
  • Module 7: Musical Resources and Techniques 3. Instrumental activities and repertoire

    Introducing the module

    The starting point for Module 7 is the idea that through the process of learning musical and instrumental skills (both expressive and technical), especially in a group situation, we can develop capacities that are also useful in coping in individual and social contexts. Creative problem solving, social interaction, expressive capacities can all be enhanced through a music formation.

    The module aims to extend your abilities to develop motivation for compositional work which could include both voice and instruments, challenging your capacity to 'build musical bridges' connecting different cultural styles and repertoire, and your capacity to arrange requested pieces of music for groups you are working with.

    One relevant example of this is “Bridgesinging!”, an arrangement by Henry Brown, (leader of this module), of 5 popular folksongs taken from the countries represented in the MARS partnership. The score, dedicated to the pilot student group, was workshopped as part of the project's Staff Training Days, held at the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy centre, London, in April 2016.

    The arrangement is made not only for enjoyment (which is clearly one of the aims!), but also as a starting point for musical learning in many parameters; it therefore provides a blueprint for the teaching of musical competence, skills and techniques.

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  • Module 8 Facilitation and support

    Introducing the module:


    This module focuses on the facilitation of groups using music, developing strategies to enable this, as well as exploring the idea of reflection, considering why and how music can affect groups of people.


    The module will involve documenting and analysing aspects of group facilitation through music that you are currently undertaking in your own practice. However, the module also hopes to promote and foster a “facilitating and sharing” culture within the MARS group, considering the idea of facilitation and support, not only as something that we ‘do’ to others in practice, but something that we also practice within the groups we are personally part of.

  • Module 9: Intervention Management 2. Project planning, monitoring, evaluation and assessment.


    Offering a Stance: An indigenous Celebratory Narrative.

    We explore Planning, Monitoring, Evaluating and Assessment (PMEA) as evidence-based celebration of MARS practice and praxis. A celebratory narrative is not simply a series of self-congratulatory statements. On the contrary, this is a bold narrative that engages with change, with crises and mistakes, and with the learnings that have emerged from any of these – as part of an action learning cycle that is ongoing.

    In this module, you will be invited to plan for such a narrative.

    The PMEA narrative is firmly grounded in MARS actions, rather than in theory and ideas about MARS. It links together MARS values, a specific project’s aims and dreams, your intentions and assumptions, and how these have developed during the project's lifetime. In other words, the narrative is grounded in the practice and grows from people’s experiences and stories– rather than PMEA imposing a set of criteria and tools in order to explain / evaluate MARS work.

    The PMEA narrative attends closely to the experiences of project participants through their stories, and to the specifics of the project place (history, geopolitics, culture, music, etc); as well as to the discourses of the audience / readers. The audience / readers might include project participants, funders, donors, beneficiaries, colleagues or policy makers.

    Finally a celebratory narrative would be incomplete if it did not also contribute to the growth and enrichment of MARS practitioners and praxis.

    Pages: 2
  • Module 10: Fieldwork


    The final module of the MARS pilot training course focuses on your fieldwork experience, which each of you will have organised individually, and which should be a minimum of 80 hours.

    With regard to this active experience, the module aims to:

    • provide you with an opportunity for putting into practice the knowledge and techniques you have gained through the other modules;

    • encourage you to use your ablities for analysis and insight, with respect to the situation you work in;

    • promote your abilities for self-reflection on how the fieldwork affects you;

    • provide you with a practical application of MARS engagement, to share eventually online with, and beyond the MARS community.

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