The ”ROOTS: Rhythm Of Our Thoughts”–training course on exploring and practicing education through music with special focus on visual arts and web design as positive non–formal educational tools for empowerment, participation, intercultural communication and European citizenship of marginalised young people was held in Manchester, United Kingdom on the 17-25 June 2018. The training course was based on the methodology of non – formal education. It was based on the needs of the participants and provided space for participants to share and explore the themes of the training course. Experienced trainers prepared the methods based on the expectations and needs of the participants. They provided participatory and innovative methods using music as an educational tool with special focus on visual arts and web design, which ensured the participation of experienced and less experienced participants and gave the opportunity to experience the methods through practice. Some implemented methods included: individual, pair and mixed group work, musical collaborations, drawings, montage, group discussions, brainstorming, role play, dancing, singing, playing instruments, painting, sculpture, photography, songwriting and composition, video, filming, visits to good practice projects, ideas and project development, etc.
In line with the objectives of European Youth Strategy, we provided specialist training in culture for youth workers in order to support the development of creativity amongst marginalised young people by education through music and visual arts. We widened access to culture and creativity tools both inside and outside school as sharing and experiencing non – formal educational methods, tools and techniques of music and visual arts. We used new technology as web design to promote interest in culture as music and visual arts. During our project we encouraged joined-up policy making (e.g. education, health, social inclusion, media, employment etc.) to promote creativity with special focus on empowerment, participation and intercultural communication of marginalised young people within youth work activities. As youth workers, teachers, social workers, NGO workers, musicians, we believe that creativity and culture can be an attractive way of involvement of marginalised young people into non – formal educational activities and through their interest and hobbies, giving them opportunity for personal, professional and social development.
We hosted 43 youth workers, youth leaders who directly work with marginalised young people e.g. immigrants, Roma young people, rural youth, disabled, etc.; who are aged 18+ and have an interest and motivation to work with creative and innovative non – formal educational methods and tools such as music, visual arts and web design; and are open to becoming members of an international platform and work on international youth projects by using education through music combined with visual arts and web design.
The main results of our project included: Original Music created by the participants and performed on the main stage of a local arts and culture festival - Gobe Fest in the centre of Manchester and a Cultural Exhibition, a ROOTS Manual and a DVD on non-formal educational methods using music and visual arts as tools to support empowerment, active participation, and intercultural communication of marginalised young people. 18 project ideas were developed by the participants of the project and the learning outcomes of our participants.