Parallel Versing

Parallel Versing (A Music Bridge to Sri Lanka)

Update: The Music Project CEO will visit Northern Ireland for special events October 2017.

Parallel Versing is a project using music to change the life trajectory of children whose quality of life has been impacted by the legacy of conflict. Project Summary: Parallel Versing is a diversity & global education music project through a partnership between children in two post-conflict countries, Northern Ireland & Sri Lanka. Designed and delivered by the organisations Beyond Skin and The Music Project (Sri Lanka); new music is created using new and simple technology to produce audio/visual recordings featuring children from two countries on the same track. Through the process, young people exchange handmade gifts, letters and information about their own cultures. Participants don’t physically travel to each other’s country. 

The Music Project provides a music education for children of rural Sri Lanka aiming to build orchestral communities between the children of the north & south, thereby providing a platform of reconciliation through music

Themes within the project: Community Relations - Diversity, Equality & Global Education – Citizenship – Music Composition & Video Production skills – Self-Confidence & Aspiration – Language & Communication skills.

How it works: Workshops are facilitated at your school or centre by the Beyond Skin team over a designed lesson plan to suit the school’s curriculum or group’s capacity and resources. Throughout the workshop, connections will be made with schools in Sri Lanka through digital media, internet, music & art. Final music productions will be hosted online visually.

Beyond Skin’s partners in Sri Lanka (The Music Project) are facilitating workshops with children in Sri Lanka and both organisations are the conduit to exchange information, audio, visual and art productions between all the schools.

The project was piloted in 2013 with overwhelming outcomes around the themes within the project (above). In 2014 the project was fully launched with staff from Beyond Skin working with schools in Sri Lanka.

Why should your schools or group get involved?

The world is changing fast due to globalisation, environmental impacts and technology advances; and children today need to be equipped not to just survive but thrive in this diverse world.
The legacy of conflict in Northern Ireland has presented many challenges and sharing these with people who have faced similar challenges but within a very different cultural context can present opportunities for growth and learning. Social media & the internet in some ways does provide a door to a wider world, but this project brings a realness to connecting with our global neighbours in the comfort of your own school or youth club. Combined with the innovative, creative element of this project as children produce music with each other 5,000 miles apart, the classroom becomes an exciting global shared learning space that both children & teachers will enjoy immensely.

The Parallel Versing project received development investment from SELB, Esufally Family Foundation, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast Harbour, Arts & Business and IBIS Belfast Hotels.


Healing through harmonies NearFM documentary podcast & video

"Prepare" Video: Limavady High School Northern Ireland & Lakdas de Mel College, Kurunegala Sri Lanka