D a ncing the Darkness Away

Dancing the Darkness Away: A Study of Healing through Artistic Expression of Rwandan Children danice brown

“Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast.” —Congreve in the evenings at Umuryango, as the sun sunk behind our building perched halfway up one of the thousand hills in Rwanda, we would gather together in the backyard and wash each other’s feet and shoes before dinner. This cleaning ritual was very important to the girls, whose priority was to keep their precious shoes spotless. They scratched and scrubbed at their (and my) plastic flip-flops with the utmost intensity. However, it was usually for naught, because as soon as we finished cleaning, the singing and dancing would begin, soiling the valued shoes once again. If it was an especially energetic night, the shoes would fly off and the feet would be dirtied again as well. Dancille would start singing, and the others would gather around her and join in, singing and dancing in their own style. Later in the evening, we would sing together again, slower songs quietly spoken to the night sky while lying on the steps. Through this music we came to know each other. Bridging the language barrier was difficult at times, but through song we were able to convey more than I thought possible. The songs set the tone for each day, encompassed our daily actions, and defined us as a group, both to ourselves and to others. In this work, I plan to explore the use of music in everyday life by the girls at Umuryango Home for Children for healing in a 

journal of undergraduate research

post-traumatic situation. I specifically will argue that music empowers the children to declare their own identity, to form a community, and to define the identity of that community as well. I will begin by discussing trauma for children in an international context, and apply these concepts to Umuryango specifically. Afterwards I will describe one particular song, “Our God is An Awesome God,” in its context at the home, relating the various performances of this song to these concepts of casual uses of music in healing. I will conclude with a more general look at how creative expression is used with children in post-conflict situations, and how these concepts can apply to larger communities on the local, regional, and international level. The Definition of Trauma The book Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives, edited by Julie P. Sutton, offers useful information from several sources who have worked with trauma. Mercedes Pavlicevic notes a casual use of the term ‘trauma’ in South Africa, “to describe confusion, anxiety or distress, and…‘losses of living’; whether these are material losses, loss of feelings of safety or power, loss of community or of relationships.”1 She calls trauma “the emotional and psychological impact of acts that impinge on the self.”2 There are many types of trauma, ranging from single instances to long, ongoing events, from natural disasters to acts of personal violence. Results can include physical sickness, hyper-arousal, sleeping issues, detachment, and feelings of loss and victimization,3 depending both upon the individual and the type of trauma experienced. Matthew Dixon observes that trauma can result in symbolic anxiety, through nightmares and dreams, and physical anxiety through actual illness. Both of these responses occurred among the girls of Umuryango. Both affects need to be dealt with through physical assistance, with medicine, but also emotionally. Straker also notes that the concept of trauma in a situation of ongoing violence is often a misnomer implying a single instance instead of a constant scenario, and suggests the term “continuous traumatic stress syndrome”.4 

D a ncing the Darkness Away

Trauma in the Context of the Youth of Rwanda The children of Rwanda have been experiencing this more lengthy form of trauma. Although all the girls were born after 1994, they all have been raised in a situation of ongoing unrest as a result of the genocide. That event may have been the fastest mass killing ever witnessed, but it was not over with Rwandan Patriotic Front’s victory on July 4th 1994. The effects are certainly still present in Rwandan society today; an atmosphere of distrust, uncertainty and confusion For children born still remains. The country also experi- after the genocide, enced a swift transition of population the event becomes after the genocide—with most Tutsis something they learn and moderate Hutus murdered, and extremist Hutus expelled by the rebel about in class, but army, an influx of exiled Tutsis re- also something they turned from the neighboring countries experience on a daily to which they had fled as early as 1957, basis. when persecution of Tutsis had begun. Some years later, thousands of Hutu extremists returned from the Congo, where the rebel army had pushed them. Today thousands of men are in jail, while thousands of women and children have been left to live alone and to raise their own children, children of neighbors, and children conceived in rape during the conflict. Sometimes children raise each other as well; UNICEF estimates that even today there are 100,000 child-headed households in Rwanda.5 The country experienced a demographic transformation, turning the previous society on its head. Rwandans who were alive during this time talk of immense fear, especially when returning to schools, where killings continued—students killing each other or teachers, or teachers killing students.6 For children born after the genocide, the event becomes something they learn about in class, but also something they experience on a daily basis. From informal discussion and personal observations while in Rwanda, I learned that revenge killings still occur, family structure is still generally very unconventional, the 

journal of undergraduate research

economy is unsteady at best, and emotionally, the atmosphere of distrust is pervasive. A recent African Rights discussion paper states that the Rwandans “ability to trust even those closest to them has, in many cases, been permanently destroyed. Tutsis were also betrayed by people in positions of authority and responsibility to whom they had looked for protection…amongst others, teachers. It will undoubtedly take the Rwandese nation several generations to recover from the social and psychological consequences of this betrayal.”7 The combination of these factors clearly creates an unsettling situation of ongoing trauma for every member of such a fluctuating society, but for these girls individually, the scenario was especially dire. Trauma at Umuryango Home for Girls in Gitarama, Rwanda Umuryango Home for Girls was very recently founded (April 2006), and while I was living there (June-July 2006) we were still learning about the histories of the girls for whom we were caring. We hired a child psychologist in July, and Dr. Claude slowly began to ascertain their current family situations. We learned that one girl has a brother and an uncle in jail, another brother in the capital city, and still another in Uganda. Another has a mother in the capital, but her father is dead and she was living with an aunt who abused her. One strong young girl was sexually abused by her uncle, a short man. Due to that trauma, she was so afraid of men, especially shorter ones, that she became physically ill when she was around them. Another, Dancille8, had a particularly unique situation. She believed that she was raised by her mother, but this woman was actually her aunt, and the young girl whom she believed was her younger sister, Justine, was actually her cousin. The aunt died and made Dancille promise to take care of Justine, then two years old. Soon after her aunt’s death, the two girls were separated. We at Umuryango did not know of this other sister until the entire story unraveled as a result of Dancille’s poor performance in school. Some confusion followed because of the mistaken identity of the Justine as her sister instead of her cousin, but recently they have been reunited. 

D a ncing the Darkness Away

As exhibited by the personal stories above, the girls of Umuryango were clearly exposed to long periods of individual trauma of the continuous type described by Straker, and exhibit many of the symptoms that result from such experiences—many would cry at night or be unable to sleep, some did poorly in school, a few were afraid to participate in group activities, some were even physically ill, and others seemed to demonstrate feelings of continual vulnerability through perpetual need for attention. Music as a Means of Healing I mentioned earlier Dixon’s definitions of two results of trauma, and the corresponding two types of healing which can occur—physical symptoms that call for physical care such as medication, and symbolic symptoms that require more symbolic treatment, such as therapy. Artistic expression offers one very productive way of finding healing through symbolic language. Marie Smyth describes creativity as an active “refusal of victimhood and helplessness.”9 The book from which most of my sources in this section are drawn describes situations in various international post-conflict situations that utilize clinical music therapy as a way for children to regain their personal independence as active creators of their future. Through visits to a trained therapist, children utilize music as an outlet—a way for them to shed the feelings of helplessness in their life by asserting control over instances of artistic expression. Each instance may last for only a few moments, but it has lasting repercussions in helping the child see the options that he or she possesses to alter situations through his or her own actions.10 I am applying these theories to more casual situations to demonstrate how the children of Umuryango use creative energy to overcome their personal situations of trauma through their musical performances in various settings—for example, at the church and at the home. Dixon says that music can be used to invite others to participate in a communal activity, or to assert one’s individuality.11 At Umuryango, the girls both form their own identities and commu

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nicate with each other communally. Furthermore, they define their group as a whole through their performances. I will now address each type of use of music in the casual setting of play at Umuryango. Music as a Means to Form Identity First, many girls used music to assert their personal identity and regain control over a life of victimization. These tended to be the louder, more active girls at the home. For example, Dancille soon identified herself as one who had a vast knowledge of traditional and hymnal music. She knew the local songs, the ones sung on the streets, and was always ready to dance, clap and open her mouth, smiling and belting the lyrics at the top of her lungs. When she sang a song, Many girls used the adult Rwandans would often marmusic to assert their vel and say they did not know where personal identity and she learned the song. She was not conregain control over a cerned with whether anyone else knew life of victimization. the words or would join with her, but they tended to do so simply because of her natural ability as a leader and the attention she drew to her boisterous singing and dancing. I noticed this as well and would often call on her to teach songs and dances, utilizing her natural talents as a leader. She set herself apart as one who specialized in religious and local music, but she often refused to learn songs in English, which were much more difficult for her. During these portions of our musical rehearsals she would either sit or stand quietly, or often would simply leave. Claudine by contrast defined herself as one who learned English quickly. She was ready to learn other songs from Dancille, and sometimes took a leadership role in the Rwandan songs as well, but she was most prominently known as a fast learner of English pieces. She often helped me teach the other girls the English words, hand motions, and bell parts. Jullienne was quite shy when she first arrived at Umuryango 
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(the same day as I did), but soon opened up. She had a sarcastic tone and a vibrant sense of humor. She was nicknamed “Elephant” because her uncle had cared for the rogue elephant at the Akagaera National Park before the genocide. She emulated this masculine tribal role for the group. When the others were singing an indigenous song, she would sometimes stay silently on the side for a while, and then suddenly run through the group, mimicking a male hunter’s pose in traditional dance. In this action she clearly asserted her individuality in relation to the rest of the group. She also would announce this independence while we would sing religious songs by imitating the pastor and shouting such phrases as “Bona si fewe!” (Prasie the Lord!) and “Allelluia!” Through such actions, Jullienne communicated her identity to her companions in our small community. Music as a Means to Form Community The girls at Umuryango also used music to create this atmosphere of community. Umuryango was a unique situation in which ten girls had been brought together and cared for by three young women with the help of one young man, under the guidance and support of one motherly American woman. None of these people knew each other before arriving at Umuryango. All had experienced abandonment in their past, and were working, some more hesitantly than others, to build an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding. Creative activities such as music often played a large role in the formation of this community. I will describe one particular example of such a formation. The day our tenth girl, Jacqueline, arrived at the orphanage, she was shy and withdrawn. We soon coerced her into playing a game of keep-away soccer with us, and I was surprised at the effort she took to throw her very skinny arms and legs around every time the ball came to her. Later in the evening, we tried to involve her in singing and dancing, but she was much more hesitant to join into this activity. Participating in musical events required more intimate communication of herself than simply physical activity. For about a 

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week she did not join in any musical activity; however, when she was more comfortable around us, she began to join in this recreation as well. She never turned out to be a very vocal singer, but soon she was one of our more enthusiastic dancers. The effort the other girls made to include her in the activity and her eventual participation demonstrate both her entrance into the community of Umuryango through the symbolic language of music and the importance of such participation as an expression of this community. Defining and Proclaiming Community Umuryango, as mentioned before, was quite a unique ensemble of individuals asserting their own identities in relation to others in a new situation. This communication was facilitated by the specific style of the music performed at the orphanage. The songs were generally very simple and repetitive, which allowed the girls to learn them easily and gave them a lot of space to add their own flair. At the same time as the girls were creating their personal identities and communicating each other’s personality within the group, they were also working as a group to synthesize the identity of this community. Umuryango means “family,” and the girls were actively defining themselves as an unconventional version of the family. They achieved this by various mirroring of family activities and roles, through drama, play, and music. In Rwanda, music is present in almost every aspect of daily life, from the making of a canoe, to farming, to entrance into battle to the praise of cattle. Thus music seems to be required to create a family atmosphere. The young women working at Umuryango, as nannies or cooks, offered the best opportunity for the girls to learn traditional and local music. They would teach the girls songs about being good wives and about the value of cows, and dances that reflect the traditional style. I took on the role of aunt or older sister, because I also taught them songs. Two older girls assumed responsibility as well, through their leadership of the other girls in song. It was obvious that the girls looked to these two guides in musical performance but also in many 

D a ncing the Darkness Away

everyday activities. It was very important for these girls to learn from the older leaders of their small community. The girls would sometimes sing and dance to mirror the situa- In Rwanda, music is tions in which they encountered these present in almost arts at Goshen Holy Church, our lo- every aspect of daily cal parish. Often at home we would life, from the making sing religious songs probably appropriated from services at Goshen (but of a canoe to farming possibly also heard on the radio). The to entrance into girls would sing and dance to the song battle to the praise of as if they were in the church, with a cattle. few girls (often Jullienne and Dancille) playing the pastor. In one instance, the girls acted out a traditional wedding, taking on the roles of bride, groom, pastor, attendants, and choir. This performance was an intricate enactment of a significant religious event, including costuming, traditional songs, recitation of improvised religious texts, and even processions to different locations for portions of the event. This play allowed them to assert their traditional past and to bring the atmosphere of a church and a holy, traditional event to their home. Through these uses of music, the girls have defined their community as a religious family. They have role-played in their performances in order to declare their own individuality in the situation of the group, but also to demonstrate the tone of the group as a whole. Jullienne does not actually want to take on the role of a pastor, but her acting as one in the context of a religious song allows her to assert her own independent creative energy and also to add to the general religious identity of their community. Through the performance of a few songs, these girls transform themselves from a disconnected collection of helpless individuals to a group of active, assertive individuals, unified and defined as a religious family. 

journal of undergraduate research

Case Study: “Our God is an Awesome God” In this section, I will explore the therapeutic aspects of artistic expression by focusing on the performance of one song, “Our God is an Awesome God.” This song pervaded my summer experience at Umuryango, and emerged in my experience several times in several ways. In order to understand how both the girls and I experienced this song, I will first describe its context in North America, and then that in Rwanda. I will then narrow the focus to our various interactions with the song at Umuryango, and apply its uses to the methods of healing through identity definition and community building previously discussed. I first heard the song “Our God is an Awesome God” at my parish in eighth grade. For the next five years, this song was a favorite at many youth group events. Written by Rich Mullins, and most famously performed by Michael W. Smith, this song appears on many Christian worship compilations. Its dramatic violin background coupled with rapid lyrics reminiscent of rap is pleasing to many young American ears. Personally, I had learned hand motions as well as harmonies to the very popular song. These hand motions implied a play on words in the English language—for example, when the line “He reigns” is sung, the hand motions implies a different “rain,” pronounced the same in the English language. Obviously such a play on words does not translate well into another language. Considering the rapid rate at which music can spread around the world, it is not astounding that a song like “Our God is an Awesome God” would be widely known and readily accessible in Rwanda, a place where Protestant religions are swiftly gaining popularity, English music is frequently played on radio stations, and illegally burned CD’s are the only type of media available for purchase. When I arrived in Rwanda, I was not expecting the large amount of music transmission that I would immediately encounter. To my surprise, my first dinner at Umuryango was accompanied by the most current songs on the American charts by Sean Paul and Shakira. A few days later I heard the melody of “Our God is an Awesome God” being 

D a ncing the Darkness Away

proclaimed on the back porch. I discovered that it was also sung at Goshen Holy Church services. Goshen Holy Church is a new inter-faith institution in Gitarama, recently founded by local Pentecostal pastor Constantin Niyomwungere. While its motto is “We worship Jesus,” it is frequented by people of all religions, from Catholics to Seventh-Day Adventists to Muslims. A service held under the strips of metal held up by tree branches, with worshippers squeezed onto wooden benches set on the dirt floor, can last up to six hours, and by my estimate it is regularly attended by 800 people. Goshen is a unique location that seems to provide many types of healing for its congregation. It offers spiritual knowledge through readings, sermons and prayer, along with entertainment through the numerous choirs and opportunities for interactive prayer and dance. The church itself provides a community and a family setting for the children to find a sense of belonging through prayer, song and dance. It also provides a chance for them to perform their group identity as Umuryango Home for Girls as we entered, sat, sang, danced, prayed, and even performed as a choir together. Goshen Holy Church has many musical groups that perform every week, and Umuryango’s emergence as one of these choirs allowed us again to proclaim our identity as a religious family. At Goshen, I first encountered the song “Our God is an Awesome God” in a prayer by Pastor Constantin. There were usually close to ten choirs that performed every Sunday, but these were generally viewed by the congregation with minimal participation. It was when the pastor led simple, repetitive songs that people would get very involved. He would begin by singing the melody a few times, and then the congregation would join in. After some time, he would change the melodic line but maintain the wording, and the congregation would follow along. Then he would return to the original melody. One such song was “Our God is an Awesome God,” which was known only by the chorus in the Kinyarwandan language. During a period of prayer, in which the congregation had been praying aloud while he shouted his prayers for the group or 

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called down the hand of the Lord, he would direct the sea of voices to unite in the singing of a simple melody. He would sing the chorus through slowly, and the congregation and instrumentalists (usually electric The instrumentalists guitar and drums) would follow him. would pick up After repetition of the chorus multiple the pace, and the times, he would begin to repeat the congregation would last line, once again the words “Our quickly react, jumping God is an Awesome God,” continuously. The congregation would once up and down as again follow him, as well as the instruthe tempo rapidly mentalists. Soon the instrumentalists doubled. would pick up the pace, and the congregation would quickly react, jumping up and down as the tempo rapidly doubled. The pastor would initiate an alteration in melodic content as well repeating the final line of the chorus on an octave higher, centered on the same tonal center but with a new melody. Instead of descending by step, this new section ascends by step to the tonal center an octave higher. This section is the most uniquely Rwandan addition to the piece; it is unlike any portion of the Western version in melody and tempo. It would be much more agitated and fast-paced, and the congregation would actively participate both in body and in voice, jumping up and energetically dancing while singing along loudly. After some time of this, the pastor would finally return to the slower full and original melody to finish. Near the end of my time at Goshen, the pastor invited a gospel vocal group, International Gospel Performers, from the capital to a service. After they performed their songs during the service and at an afternoon concert, IGP came to Umuryango. Together, they sang the song, adding harmonies with the girls of Umuryango. Harmonic textures in traditional Rwandan music are generally much more polyphonic12 than IGP’s more homophonic harmonies, perhaps deriving from the hymnal traditions brought by missionaries one hundred years earlier. 

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When IGP came to Umuryango and sang with the girls, they provided an interesting opportunity for a public group of performers to interact and combine with a group of amateur children, both singing for enjoyment and worship. Their performance was much calmer in action, perhaps because they were also being recorded with professional recording equipment at the time. However, in its tripartite structure, it mirrored that which had been performed both at Goshen Holy Church and at Umuryango in the past—a slow beginning, with a middle section building on a melodic, rhythmic and textual ostinato at a higher pitch, faster tempo, louder volume, and heightened energy level, eventually returning to one or two iterations of the entire chorus at the slower, calmer pace. At Umuryango, we would perform the song alternating between the English and the Kinyarwanda chorus, perhaps in order to include the entire family, including the owner of the orphanage and myself. The inclusion of the English chorus also reflected their work that summer to learn the language. We would sing the entire chorus several times in each language, either with hand motions or simple steps and arm swings. The girls’ performance of the music in the home mirrored that at Goshen Church, with one or more of the girls acting as the pastor and leading the transitions. However, the Umuryango version was more complicated, because each section was performed in each language. This generally led to two energetic “coda” sections, one in English and one in Kinyarwanda, an alteration the children fully embraced. The girls would often become more involved and generally more excited about the song during this section. For example, in early June, soon after my arrival to Umuryango, the girls were singing the song on the front porch of our home before leaving for church. One girl was excited to perform the English lyrics and hand motions I had just taught them, but many of the other girls were clearly not as enthused about the song at first. Jullienne was bouncing a ball to the rhythm, and Dancille was simply sitting down on the stairs. However, when the girls arrived at the “coda,” with the high-pitched and more energetic music, Dancille stood up and Jullienne stopped bouncing the ball. 

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They both joined in with loud voices and exuberant dance. One may attempt to analyze this musical sample in light of traditional Rwandan music. The music of sub-Saharan Africa was integrated into everyday life, performed and enjoyed by large numbers of people within the society.13 Specifically in the area of Rwanda-Burundi, research demonstrates that Hutus and Tutsis had many Hutus and Tutsis varieties of music for events as diverse have many varieties as birth, successful elephant hunts, caof music for events noe-making, boasting, and war. They as diverse as birth, have specific songs for young married successful elephant women and for children. Ibiririmbo hunts, canoe-making, songs are call and response style songs performed by two men, either in comboasting, and war. petitive boast about the merits of their cows or in union praising one cow. Inyambo are another variety of cattle praise songs.14 The specific deviations from the original piece, such as the addition of a higher pitched coda, alterations in the harmony, and the emphasis on repetition could be reflective of this traditional music. However, the significant influence of Western hymnal music must also be addressed. The Western choral style in Rwanda was known since the first hymnal was published in the native language, Kinyarwanda, in the 1930s,15 and since that time, Christian congregations of Rwanda have struggled to emulate the Western style. For example, IGP’s style was highly reflective of Western R & B and gospel. Their very name, International Gospel Performers, reflects their desire to expand beyond traditional subSaharan music practices. Worship music in Rwanda is probably reflective of traditional tribal music in its use more so than its actual structure. The people of Rwanda sang very frequently in daily situations. For example, the children and nannies sang in harmony while doing chores such as cleaning or cooking. These concepts of both traditional and Western music combine in all the innovative performances of this piece that I have encountered. The song “Our God is an Awesome God” permeated my 

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summer experience with the girls of Umuryango, from our evening rehearsals to our Sunday choir performances. Their utilization of the song even early in the summer demonstrates their use of it to actively define themselves as a religious family. The act of singing that song brought the atmosphere of Goshen to the home, and their appropriation of the song through alterations makes the song truly their own. Their changes allow the children to add to the connotations of the song, maintaining its religious content but making it their song, one which calls for an exhortation of the “power, wisdom and love” of their Awesome God while utilizing those same qualities in musical expression. Art in Therapy in a Larger Setting Many around the world have utilized the power of creative expression in therapy and conflict resolution. Several organizations, such as War Child International and Art for Refugees in Transition, or ART, combine art and therapy. Through the Eyes of Children is a project founded by David Jiranek that gave cameras to Rwandan orphans and allowed them to take their own photos, which were then shown as collections in the United States and sold to raise money for the orphanage in Gisenyi.16 Amollo Maurice Amollo has used community theatre to facilitate conflict resolution and social change in Kenya.17 Nestor Mungarurire, president of Gitarama’s Genocide Orphans Association, is initiating a community theatre as well to discuss issues and teach lessons in the village. Alice Cyusa is a Rwandan refugee who teaches Rwandan dance classes in South Bend. The motive for her group, Berwa (Kinyarwanda for “Be Proud”) is to pass on traditional dance steps to Rwandan children growing up in America. She was forced to flee Rwanda because she is Tutsi, and she notes the power of music to bring people together. The children she teaches are both Hutu and Tutsi, and they unite in this play of song and dance. Performing together requires two conversations—one between performers, and one between performers and an audience. A successful performance requires these parties to understand each 

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other, and this is perhaps the first step in conflict resolution. Cyusa hopes that this understanding, created by creative performance, will travel to Rwanda itself. It may begin here with her group, but she wishes that all of Rwanda may also come to this understanding of each other.18 This would be a powerful step towards “reconciliation and unity,” the current goals of the gacaca courts in Rwanda, controversial local community justice sessions that are currently deciding the fate of all genocide offenders. Nuanced Symbols: The Meaning of Music Part of the power of music lies in its inherent non-neutrality. Previously I have only discussed music as a medium of communication and as a new creation by the children of Umuryango. But it must be noted as well that any type of music is tinged with various connotations from outside of its current performance. Performing or even listening to a certain type of music can communicate many associations—political, religious, societal, and emotional. The conflict in Rwanda was especially connected to music—the radio, specifically the station from the Milles Collines (the hotel featured in Hotel Rwanda) was the mechanism by which the Interahamwe directed and organized the genocide. In fact, Simon Bikindi, a famous Rwandan singer, was recently put on trial at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for inciting racial hatred through his music in the 1990s.19 It is argued that his music was written and performed with the specific intent of encouraging people to kill.20 In a place where music has been utilized in this way, the act of performing and listening takes on a new importance. Its previous associations are in many cases dark and profoundly connected to the trauma that the Rwandans experienced twelve years ago. However, perhaps the most unique aspect of music is its innovativeness. Every time a song is performed it gains different associations as well. These new associations do not erase the old aspects of the piece, they simply add another layer. For example, when the girls of Umuryango performed “Our God is an Awesome God,” the American origins of 
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the piece, coupled with the memories of singing it at Goshen Holy Church, played a large role in the tone and meaning of the song; however, it was also significantly new and different to be performing it at Umuryango. The next time it is performed the song will take on that meaning as well for the girls, and serve as a reminder of their identity as a religious family of girls. The meaning will be different for me as well, and will take on associations of the community and the spirit of these children. These powers of music—to create, to heal, to forge connections as a community, to communicate ideas, to declare an individual or group identity—were used at Umuryango at the local level, and are being used among organizations and individuals on a broader community level as well. Music can be used to worship, to pass time, to entertain, to communicate, to declare identity, to heal, and in many other ways. In this work, I have discussed some of these uses of music by the girls of Umuryango as a casual therapy on both the individual and the community level. The girls’ music communicates both their own personal identities and the identity of their small community. I have also postulated that these same uses could apply to larger communities—entire villages, even provinces or nations. Indeed, we have seen music used quite recently to destroy and to communicate very negative actions in 1994. Those who experienced the genocide often speak of the nighttime as their most fearful hours, because that was when the interahamwe was most active. Now the nights are calmer, full of the voices of children singing or radio proclaiming more peacefully toned music and news. Hopefully, in the joyful communication that is music, the children of Rwanda can dance the rest of the darkness away. 

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Endnotes
1

V. Stavrou, ‘A case of severe word abuse?’ Recovery April, 3-6. Quoted in Mercedes Pavlicevic, “South Africa: Fragile Rhythms and Uncertain Listenings: Perspectives from Music Therapy with South African Children,” in Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives, ed. Julie P. Sutton (Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1988), 110. 2 Mercedes Pavlicevic, “South Africa: Fragile Rhythms and Uncertain Listenings: Perspectives from Music Therapy with South African Children,” in Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives, ed. Julie P. Sutton (Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1988), 110. 3 Ibid, 112. 4 G. Straker, and the Sancutaries Team (1987) 48-79. Quoted in Marie Smyth, “Culture and Society: The Role of Creativity in Healing and Recovering One’s Power after Victimization,” in Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives, ed. Julie P. Sutton (Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1988), 72. Emphasis added. 5 UNICEF, interview in Kigali, Rwanda, July 17 2006. 6 Kevin Uyisenga, Genocide Orphan, interview. July 2006. 7 “A Wounded Generation: The Children Who Survived Rwanda’s Genocide,” African Rights Discussion Paper no. 14, (Kigali, Rwanda, April 2005) 26. 8 All names of children are pseudonyms. 9 Marie Smyth, “Culture and Society: The Role of Creativity in Healing and Recovering One’s Power after Victimization,” in Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives, ed. Julie P. Sutton, (Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1988), 76. 10 Matthew Dixon, “Music and Human Rights,” in Music, Music Therapy and Trauma: International Perspectives, ed. Julie P. Sutton (Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1988), 128. 11 Ibid, 125. 12 Alan P Merriam, “Yovu Songs from Rwanda,” African Music in Perspective, (New York: Garland Publishing, 1982), 251. 13 Alan P. Merriam, African Music in Perspective, (New York: Garland Publishing, 1982), 75. 14 Ibid, 68-9. 15 Gerard Van ‘t Spijker, “Credal Hymns as Summa Theologiae: New credal hymns in Rwanda after the 1994 war and genocide.” Exchange, 30, no. 3(2001): 259. 16 See http://www.rwandaproject.org/index.html for more information. 17 Amollo M. Amollo, From Learning to Playing to Change: Theatre in Conflict Transformation and Peace Building, (Nairobi: Amani People’s Theatre Publishing, 2002). 18 Alice Cyusa, at Refugee Meeting on November 30, 2006, sponsored by 
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Amnesty International. Center for Social Concerns. 19 ”Simon Bikindi,” http://www.trial-ch.org/en/trial-watch/profile/db/facts/ simon_bikindi_221.html. 20 Sukhdev Chhatbar, “Musician goes on trial for inciting Tutsi massacre in Rwanda,” News.scotsman.com, Sept. 19 2006, http://news.scotsman.com/topics. cfm?tid=1106&id=1382552006. 

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