Music students meet residents at the Borkenes asylum seeker centre

Master students from the music performance programme and  the music therapy programme at the Norwegian Academy of Music were asked to hold workshops with residents at the asylum seeker centre, culminating in a final concert that formed part of the Festival of North Norway programme.

Borkenes samspill
Photo: NMH

This practice project is a collaboration between the Norwegian Academy of Music (NAM), the Festival of North Norway, Borkenes asylum seeker centre and Kvæfjord municipality.

For NAM this new module provides an exciting opportunity to explore new practice arenas. The development of the practice module is part of CEMPE’s goal to prepare students for working life and represents an innovative approach to the type of skills that will be required of tomorrow’s musicians.

This year’s project was supervised by NAM’s music therapy lecturer Rita Strand Frisk in partnership with Alison Bullock Aarsten, head of the Academy’s outreach department.

Borkenes gruppedans
Photo: NMH

“The Borkenes project represents a unique teaching situation in which the students are given the opportunity to learn how to adapt and use music in interaction with different cultures.”

A unique teaching situation

One of the main aims of the project was to give the students experience of communicating and interacting with people in new arenas. This gives the students important learning experiences that they can take with them when they enter the labour market. Project manager Rita Strand Frisk says:

Rita Strand Frisk
Rita Strand Frisk
Photo: Kimm Saatvedt

The Borkenes project represents a unique teaching situation in which the students are given the opportunity to learn how to adapt and use music in interaction with different cultures. When students from these two study programmes work together, they are in a position to exchange experiences and skills.

At Borkenes they meet a large number of interesting, musical people. These people are the students’ musical partners. The project hinges on how the students manage to engage, encourage, and ultimately commit the residents to open up and participate in a collective setting.

A spirited concert


A spirited and moving concert was held on 26 June in front of an audience of more than 100. The concert included ensemble performances, song and dance from Western musical traditions, and magnificent acts involving singing and drum beats from different African countries.

Last updated: 18. August 2014