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03/26/2018 - Empowering Through Music at Negba’s Teen Club


Once a week, the sounds of singing voices reverberate through the walls of Negba’s Beersheva Headquarters. They are usually accompanied by a flute or electric guitar, and on occasion the pulsating thump of a bass drum, mimicked by a beatboxing teen. The sounds emanate from Negba’s Teen Club room, as part of a music empowerment seminar offered to Negba’s youth introducing them to formal concepts in vocal and instrumental music such as rhythm, voice development and tonality.

“I like music, so I was interested in the seminar from the start,” said Atara, 14. “But it’s much more than about music. We have lots of discussions about things related to music, like appearing in public. I used to be terrified to speak in front of a group. The seminar definitely helped me deal with this. I’m still scared, but much less.”

A natural outgrowth of the seminar has been the formation of the "Negba Teen Band" which has been performing at Negba events and at local neighborhood programs to strengthen the teens’ involvement with the greater community, an important goal at Negba. Instructor Meral Maor serves as an inspiration for the teens, singing voluntarily with the Kolot Samuel band for Jewish communities around the world. A successful musician in his own right, Meral has released three singles to Israel radio in recent years.

“Meral is one of the reasons I joined the band,” said Ori, 14. “He’s a great instructor and helps me strengthen my self-confidence. I love the seminar because it gives me a weekly place to make music all I want. At home my family is going crazy from hearing my music.”

Ori and other teens greatly need an outlet for their social and school pressures, and the therapeutic tool of making music provides such a refuge. “Adolescents undergo so many physiological and social changes. Music allows them to escape from stresses, and to explore and express their creativity,” said Meral. “This contributes to better overall learning, and it increases their self-image exponentially.”


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