Hit the Beat is an association that is passionate about putting people in tune with their own heartbeat: “Unity through cultural diversity”. In inter-cultural projects, art provides the platform for young people from quite different backgrounds to meet.
Article and Photo by Simone de Picciotto
Building Bridges through Music, Dance, Art, and Culture
The projects create genuine enthusiasm through a combination of choral sessions, drumming, and dancing workshops that really get down to business, as well as world café sessions – all culminating in a grand performance. Lasting from one day to several weeks, and taking place mostly in Namibia, South Africa, and Germany, they bring together young people from a wide variety of cultural and social roots. Project sizes vary from 10 – 100 participants.
Through music and movement young people discover their strengths – and come face to face with other cultures: on stage they stand as individuals, but also as members of an artistic community that draws its power from cultural diversity. Thus, young people build bridges, overcoming prejudices and differences. For regardless of their origins, they all have dreams and talents. And with Hit the Beat all hearts pulse to the same rhythm.
Why does Hit the Beat exist?: Global Challenges
We at Hit the Beat have identified a number of global developments which we regard as major issues of our time. One is migration: all over the world cultures are clashing and mixing all the time. This puts many people in a position of not knowing how to relate to others, how to treat them with respect, interest, and due consideration. The question facing everyone is: how can I value and be an active member of my own culture and still be open to others?
We also sense that the increasing digitalization of everyday life tends to make individuals more isolated, there is a constant search for recognition in social media and our lives are increasingly ruled by superficial relationships. How can we create more community experiences and authentic human interaction? How can young people show mutual appreciation of their abilities and creatively develop them, for instance, in school, at work, in daily life?
Our aim and the purpose of Hit the Beat: Building Bridges
Our aim is to bring people of different backgrounds together and build bridges between them. Our idea is that through their getting to know and appreciate each other personally they will also meet culturally: “Unity through Cultural Diversity”. At the same time, we are keen to invest in the potential of the rising generation and resolve conflict through cultural exchange.
We lead the participants into a character-forming process: learning to listen and recognize themselves in others are the first steps to more attentiveness, tolerance, and respect for one another. Hit the Beat projects have a lasting effect and turn the performers on stage into ambassadors for a way of life based on mutual appreciation and harmony. Often strong, continent-spanning friendships form.
Artistic Workshop Dornach 2021: The Power of Community and Diversity in Togetherness
A Musical Improvisation
The upcoming workshop at the WSIF Network summit 2021 in Dornach will lead to experiencing nonverbal communication with music using special instruments or objects such as drums, gongs, sansulas, shrutibox, monochord, wah wah tubes, singing bowls, steeldrums, djembes, and more. Every participant can contribute with their own musical culture and skills – however musical requirements are not necessary – everyone can find their place; all instruments can be used by absolute beginners. Through improvisation, we practice mindfulness, awareness, empathy, and creativity. Soft tones, as well as dynamic sounds, are possible. We will create beautiful compositions and have a lot of fun! If you would like to bring your own instruments with you, you are very welcome. The workshop is also based on insights from experience-centered music therapy with musical improvisation.
About the Contributor Simone de Picciotto was brought up in the USA and Germany and spent her working life in Israel, Russia, Namibia, and Germany. She worked as a music teacher, a Waldorf teacher, music and sound therapist and is the founder of Hit the Beat (1999).
About Simone de Picciotto and Hit the Beat: Hit the Beat – In Rhythm We Meet