The first meeting of the project partners in Alytus
On the 5th November, 2018, the first meeting of the two project partners - representatives of Alytus Music School (Alytus, Lithuania) and Svefi Folk High School (Haparanda, Svefi) took place in Alytus. The meeting started at Alytus Jurgis Kunčinas Public Library, where both partners held presentations about their organizations, the cities they are from, adult education practices, cultural heritage.
Vice Headmaster for Education of the Music School Gabrielė Dambauskaitė presented Alytus city to the partners, showed a short film that illustrated her presentation. The music teacher Audronė Venckūnienė demonstrated a film "Music and Therapy" to show the methodological examples of teaching people with special needs. Those were the examples that the teacher applies in her work. The librarian of Alytus Music School Laima Žurava presented the School, its community, structure, participation in local and international projects, and showed a film about the Music School, which was created for the 60th anniversary of the School in 2017.
Katarina Persson and Saara Pekkarinen, teachers of Svefi Folk High School, held a presentation on Svefi organization, as well as Haparanda city, gave examples of working with adult learners. They also demonstrated and told the other participants about Swedish cultural heritage.
During this seminar the partners from Sweden were introduced to adult educators of Alytus - the teachers of Alytus Music School. These teachers later carried out or will carry out open classes with adult learners, as well as artistic exercises. Later the project participants had a short excursion around Alytus Jurgis Kunčinas Public Library, where the library's Director Giedrė Bulgakovienė greeted the guests and wished them to have a nice time in Alytus.
The second part of the day started in Alytus Vidzgiris Basic School, where the teachers of the Music School Birutė Jočienė and Rūta Vaičaitienė held open classes with adult learners. In the open class of B. Jočienė the participants listened to the songs, sang by an adult learner Judita Jasionytė. The teacher presented each song, indicating the time of how long Judita has been learning it. In the class of R. Vaičaitienė everyone listened to a performance of another adult learner, Liucija Puškorienė, who played and accordion. L. Puškorienė told lots of stories about the reasons why she decided to learn in the Music School, and why she has chosen this particular instrument.
After the open classes music teacher A. Venckūnienė presented adult education project Erasmus+KA2 "Technological, emotional and linguistic literacy through music", its products and activities. Later, teachers Rūta Vaičaitienė and Sonata Bazevičienė carried out a couple of artistic exercises, which were the examples of more attractive, creative and effective ways to learn English language through music. During the exercise "Musical Alphabet" the project group was learning the names of musical instruments in an alphabetical order. They have heard lots of information about each instrument. Some of the instruments were new to the project participants, therefore this exercise was helpful not only to learn English language, but also to learn some new facts about musical instruments, as well as the sounds of them. During the exercise "Sounding Colors" the teacher presented notes of different length, speed and sound. Later the participants got cards with those notes, and they had to put the cards in a specific order to illustrate their own day - the things that a person does slowly (e. g. waking up in the morning) they illustrated with slower notes, and the things that they do quicker (e. g. preparing for work) - with quicker notes. Later everyone got bells of different colors and tried to play a song using the colored notes.
After the exercises focus group discussions took place. The project participants discussed the activities of the day, shared their own good practises. The project participants have written down their reflections: what they thought was the most attractive and effective during the artistic exercises, how they felt while doing those exercises, how them were helpful in learning a language, what the participants have learned themselves.