Ukraine – Music in the Community


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Ukraine – Music in the Community

Emeritus Professor of Music Nigel Osborne is one of the world’s experts in the use of music to tackle trauma as a result of war and conflict, in particular with children. We, along with many others, have worked with Nigel for over 20 years in the Western Balkans, UK and India using music to help children deal with anxiety, stress, their disabilities and trauma. Nigel has projects around the world including in Yemen, Lebanon, Sweden and India as well as his home base of Scotland. In Ukraine he is currently training teams of student psychologists, psychotherapists, musicians and doctors, partnering with the following

  • Ivan Franko National University, Lviv, Performing Arts faculty/li>
  • Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Psychology faculty
  • SState University of the Arts, Applied Arts faculty, Kharkiv
Discussions are in an advanced stage to expand teaching to universities in Kropyvnytsky, Kyiv and Odessa

“The course seemed very serious to me and I was scared. But actually the course is very interesting and clear. Thanks to him, (Nigel) I saw that it was difficult for me to work with children in the shelter. In a global sense, it is sad to see the conditions in which children live. In order for significant changes to take place, a lot of work needs to be done.” A student studying in the psychology programme. 20 December 2022

The regular schedule consists of a monthly two week-long trip to Ukraine to teach in person and lead workshops with children alongside trainees, followed by weekly online lectures. The practical workshops with children are taking place in locations across the country, supervised by Nigel and his team of local and international colleagues.

“The project is building outwards from a collaboration between ArtDot (the lead arts NGO based in Ukraine) and Nigel Osborne (Emeritus Professor of Music, and MBE). Artdot is led by Cultural Producer Veronika Skilarova. ART DOT is a non-governmental organisation that aims to produce and conduct artistic and educational events that stimulate civic activity and create ecological spaces for the implementation of social improvements and social responsibility. We emphasise the performing arts because it’s a mediator of the level of civil society consciousness and a non-violent tool for inclusion.

“We integrate contemporary Ukrainian culture into the context of world art. Through its activities, the ART DOT NGO forms a new identity for Ukrainians and raises issues of inclusion, media manipulation and human rights.

“At the same time a project has been initiated by two long-established organizations that use art as a response to social challenges – Kazalište Ulysses and ArtDot. The recent history of Croatia includes the dark chapter of the Yugoslav War in the 1990s, an experience which led to widespread trauma in Croatian society. Contemporary Ukrainian society is traumatized for similar reasons, experiencing the human cost of war on a daily basis. The negative effects are becoming increasingly clear. In the future, we can expect that Ukrainians will face even more acute social problems – division, cruelty, despair, stress. There are many historical examples of nations that were victims of wars and later became aggressors themselves due to collective trauma. The victims often become perpetrators, violence begets violence – a vicious circle. In the synergy of organizations with similar experiences, this project was created with the aim of escaping from this vicious circle of violence” – Zero Zero Art Therapy Force/Art Dot, Ukraine.

The main objective of the project is the creation of an active international artist and therapist network for art and music therapy for children traumatised by the war, led by educational institutions and civil society initiatives in Ukraine. Professor Osborne will also be a leading lecturer, trainer and artist in this process.
The methods and approaches employed are based on clinical studies with decades of scientific evidence. The goal of the project is to implement a systematic network of artists to work with Ukraine’s children using therapeutic methods, starting simultaneously from the ground up with individual artists and so from institutions at state level across the country.”

Here is a short film made by ArtDot with the people involved in the process mostly on phones.

Opera Circus has provided the links that have led to the development, for the moment, of online conversations between Kings College London and the universities and conservatoires in Ukraine, with a view to setting up joint research programmes, seminars, conferences and other possibilities for mutual collaboration.
Partners in this collaboration also include Darren Abrahams with The Human Hive and Priyanka Devarni of the Silk Road Music Group.
More news as the work progresses.
Many, many thanks to everyone who so generously funded our last Crowdfunder in particular to Anthony Ingle, George Nickson and Bauern helfen Bauern and Doraja Eberla.

The crowdfunding page is still open if you would like to contribute to the work.

If you can offer further support, ideas or contacts please contact

Thank you.