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Lana Abukhader – University of Reading

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  • Lana Abukhader

    Bringing Music Education to Jordan

Lana Abukhader

lana

Lana is a choreographer, dancer, singer, music teacher and co-founder of Lali's kids dance group. She is also a Member of Tarab 3al 7atab, the Jordanian a cappella group, which reached the semi-finals of Arabs Got Talent in 2015.

Lana was passionate about doing a Master's Degree in Music Education after working with early year's children in Jordan.

 

 

"I never would have had the resources in Jordan to delve into the broader impact of music education. Music isn't really a celebrated discipline there. I wanted to learn everything I could and take that knowledge back to Jordan so I could make a real impact on music and education policy.

Lana's ambition to bring music education to Jordan resulted in her winning the Chevening Scholarship (https://www.chevening.org/) which is a global competition. She was one out of 21 individuals chosen from 1,600 people to receive this.

She then visited the UK looking for a suitable university and upon meeting the course leader Dr Rebecca Berkley, knew University of Reading was the place for her.

She liked the personal connection they had and felt this was more prominent at University of Reading than any of the other universities she visited.

Lana also liked how close Reading was to London allowing her to visit easily without living there.

When speaking of her personal tutor Rebecca, Lana recalled how supportive she was and how she was pushed to do her best.

"She introduced me to her networks outside of the university which resulted in me having opportunities to shadow key people in the field. Through these connections I went on to do workshops around the UK which in turn resulted in enough experience to get a part time job at Berkshire Maestros, the lead organization of the Berkshire Music Hub. This was followed by being accepted onto their Internship Programme. I really feel the personal touch I received took my studying experience to another level and I have Rebecca to thank for that. She's such an inspiring person and her experience is immense. It's really amazing to be around such energy."

Lana also spoke about her dissertation. She undertook an intervention study in Jordan, teaching five early years teachers, none of whom were trained musicians, how to teach classroom music through singing and musical games. During her research, she observed the teachers, interviewed them and allowed them the opportunity to reflect on their practice. She discovered that non-music specialists can successfully teach music with appropriate training. She now has confidence in being able to bring music education to Jordan.

Lana has a doctorate in Pharmacy, so initially found discursive and reflective writing on the MA programme challenging. Coming from a scientific background she was used to there being a right or wrong answer. The support she got in developing her academic literacy skills at the Institute of Education has helped her feel so much more confident in this area.

Lana is now back in Jordan working as a science teacher. She conducts a choir twice a week. She also works as a curriculum consultant and hopes to create a complete Arabic curriculum for early years schooling, one in which music has a firm place.

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