The fourth meeting of the project partners in Alytus
The fourth meeting of the project partners started in Alytus city municipality. The vice mayor Valė Gibienė, the deputy head of Foreign and Public Affairs department Loreta Gaižiuvienė, and the chief specialist of Educational department Daiva Pasaravičienė have kindly welcomed the guests, showed them a film about Alytus city, asked questions about Svefi Folk High School. Katarina Persson and Saara Pekkarinen, the teachers from Svefi, told about the organization, Haparanda city, and adult education in Sweden. After a nice conversation all the participants took a picture, the vice mayor wished the guests to take all the best experiences during the visit in Alytus.
Later on, the project participants went to the mound on 1st Alytus. They have performed several ancient rituals: fire celebration, oak glorification. While the music teacher Alis Krūvelis was playing music, the others were singing Lithuanian folk songs, danced, played folk games. The music teacher Audronė Venckūnienė told some interesting facts about Lithuanian ancestors, the Balts, their faith, traditions, customs, the meaning of different kind of celebrations, the importance of nature. Everyone gathered near the fire to make some wishes. They took some salt and had to make a wish while pooring a bit into the fire. The participants wished each other health, luck, hapiness, honesty in their lives. The atmosphere was magic: colorful leaves, fog, the music, laughter - everything was calm and peaceful. The participants felt as if they came hundreds of years back. After the celebrations everyone had an opportunity to taste an acorn coffee, to try some dessert mushrooms. Afterwards the project participants visited the "White Rose" bridge, which is the highest pedestrian bridge in Lithuania.
The second part of the day was in Alytus Vidzgiris Basic School. The teachers from Svefi, K. Persson and S. Pekkarinen tought the others of Swedish folk songs and dances that everyone had enjoyed. The music teacher Audronė Venckūnienė invited everyone to an open class with an adult student with special needs. She had demonstrated the methods she used to teach her student, told how it was difficult at first, because the student did not communicate at all, but after the teacher started to play music with Kanklės, Lithuanian folk instrument, step by step he started to talk, to keep an eye contact. Now he sings and plays Kanklės too. After the lesson, the project participants shared their experiences in working with people with special needs, and how music is helpful to understand and control emotions, and to get through to a person.
The day ended with a concert of adult learners of Alytus Music School. Some of the adult learners made solo performances, some of them performed together with their teachers, there also were several musical ensembles created specially for this event. The concert was full of energy and good mood. The surprise of the evening was a performance of Saara Pekkarinen. She amazed all the listeners by performing a Finnish folk song.