Music as a tool for professional integration in Gulbenkian

Xilobaldes, a group formed by young people inserted in a project that aims at their professional integration and where music is used as a tool for personal development, is presented live on Sunday at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

Xilobaldes is the “performative group” of the Tum Tum Tum project of the Soutelo Social Center in Rio Tinto, in the municipality of Gondomar, whose objective is the professional integration of young people, “whether in employment or training“, and which “officially began in 2016 with the funding of the PARTIS program,” explained, one of the project leaders, Susana Lage.

Between 2016 and 2018 they went through Tum Tum Tum about 300 young people, divided into 23 groups. Of the 300, “about half are young people still in school, do not enter into the numerical issues of employability“. Of the remainder, about 150, the project registered “30 integrations in employment and 42 in vocational training”.

The goal of the project “is to develop personal and social skills” and music appears as “a tool and a means to work these skills”.

The competences go through “concentration, teamwork, autonomy, responsibility, which when worked when developed, allow these young people to be better prepared for professional integration“.

The Tum Tum Tum groups work during working hours, except for Xilobaldes, in a post-work schedule.

This group allows its participants, “in addition to working, continue to maintain some contact with the project“.

They are kids who already have another level of responsibility, who get involved in another way, and also have an interest in more developed music,” said Susana Lage.

The show they are going to perform at the Gulbenkian and has already been shown elsewhere “is a collective creation.

This means that “everyone in the group participates in the creation of the songs and the staging“.

What is presented “intends to reflect a bit what are the experiences of these young people in what is the job search, the professional integration, the difficulties with which they are faced in this process.

On stage will be 11 people, playing “from formal instruments – guitar, bass, drums, keyboard – to buckets, percussion with drums and like buckets“.

Hélder Nogueira, the coordinator of Tum Tum Tum, adds that “the battery itself is an adapted battery, using here a set of objects reconstruction for the percussion“.

The moments of public presentation “are part of the intervention project, it’s the final phase“. “Every year we have two presentation moments, fixed and for all groups. In the three years of the project we had about 50 public presentations,” he said.

Over the three years, in addition to Gondomar, Tum Tum Tum also arrived in Matosinhos and “institutions were recognizing this space as a possible space for integration for many of these young people.”

With “a network of partners and integrated into the social network of Gondomar“, Tum Tum Tum is a project “open to the community“.

Young people are sent there by schools or social institutions. In addition, the Insertion Social Income (RSI) team at Soutelo Social Center “is also identifying potential participants who are referring to the project“.

Over time, Tum Tum Tum also ended “by entering the cycle of the possibility of responses and integration for young people with disabilities.

The focus of the project is young people between the ages of 18 and 30, but Susana Lage explains that “there is a margin, both down and up.” “We have young people from 14/15 until the age of 40. Usually, these older people have some mental problem or associated disability,” he said.

The Xilobaldes concert takes place under the “This is PARTIS” show, with free admission, some of the 16 social intervention projects for art will be presented, which were supported by the Foundation in the second edition (2016-2018) of the PARTIS initiative.

Between Friday and Sunday will show “the result of the work developed with vulnerable people and in situations of exclusion“.

The full schedule can be found on the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation website.

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