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Music out of a suitcase.


A music project for social development in Romania

Article by Manuela and Michel Widmer



For many years my husband Michel and I visited a social development project for street kids in a small village north of Bucharest in Romania. The living arrangements encompassed eight children, four girls and four boys between the ages of 6 and 16 living with an educator in small houses.

We developed a program with which we brought musical games and activities to their houses. Everybody could participate in these activities without any formal or previous musical knowledge at all! We packed a suitcase with instruments and wrote preparations containing more than 20 musical activities and games which were then translated into Romanian. In the summer of 2017 a young filmmaker joined us and we could film the entire course with all the activities. In that way the Romanian educators were able to take on board the practical musical activities and could continue to share these with the children in their homes. A touching video document was created and we would like to share it with you.

What inspires you about the journey to Romania?

Hier der Infotext und der Link für die deutsche Version:

“Musik aus dem Koffer” – ein Sozialprojekt in Rumänien

Seit vielen Jahren besuchten mein Mann Michel und ich ein Sozialprojekt für ehemalige Straßenkinder in einem kleinen Dorf nördlich von Bukarest in Rumänien. Immer 8 von ihnen (4 Mädchen und 4 Buben im Alter zwischen 6 und 16 Jahren) lebten mit einer Erzieherin in kleinen Häusern. Wir entwickelten ein Programm, um Musikspiele in ihre Häuser zu bringen, an denen alle teilnehmen konnten, ohne irgendwelche Vorerfahrungen mit Musik! Wir packten einen Koffer mit Instrumenten und schrieben ein Konzept mit mehr als 20 Musikspielen, die ins Rumänische übersetzt wurden. Im Sommer 2017 schloss sich uns ein junger Filmer an und so konnten wir einerseits die Weiterbildung für die Erzieherinnen filmen als auch die praktische Arbeit mit den Kindern in ihren Häusern. Ein berührendes Dokument war geboren!





Manuela Widmer is a music and dance teacher who worked with children between the ages of four and ten along with students at the Orff Institute until 2012. In addition, Manuela remains active in training teachers and educators in Germany and abroad. She is the author of various specialist books for early childhood music education, basic training, and elementary music theatre.


Michel Widmer studied social work with a special focus on music and theatre. He studied Elemental Music and Dance Education at the Orff Institute. He works with children, adolescents, adults, people with disabilities, and families. Michel is also active as a teacher educator at an international level. He performs as a clown in shows for children and families. He is also a member of the "Doctor Clowns" in the children's hospitals in Salzburg.




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