Discuss and listen

Compassion and Inclusion in Music Education

30.10.2023 at 15:00 - 16:00 EET
Venue: Alppila Upper Secondary School
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Plugged In is a unique and inclusive non-profit music program near Boston, Massachusetts committed to creating an inclusive, loving, and diverse community empowered to change the world. 

Our world puts a lot of pressure on youth to be perfect, to go to the best college and be the best at everything they do - prioritizing achievement above everything.  There is so much pressure to be an uniform ideal version of a young person that kids often lose connection with their individuality, their souls - what makes them unique.  Ironically, what often leads to success as adults is individuality, original thinking, being connected to one's soul mission.  We often tell our students, "If you chase success, you will lose your soul. But, if you follow your soul, you will find success."

We find that all students blossom in the non-competitive, inclusive, loving and supportive environment at Plugged In that focuses on compassion versus ego - and where students are told to "come as they are," "learn as they do," and be "perfectly imperfect." Students begin to gain confidence in themselves, in life and start to self-motivate as they are acknowledged and accepted for who they are.  

There is no competition at Plugged In.  We don't select bands to perform at gigs.  We only to performances where all students are invited.  Everyone is equal at Plugged In.

Our Inclusion Program is not a separate program for student with disabilities. Students with disabilities who require less support are placed in bands with neurotypical students. Students with disabilities who require extra support are placed in bands with two teachers and with volunteer students to support the band. Our unique Inclusion Program makes being a band possible for all students.

Our experience is that everyone benefits from our Inclusion Program – the students with disabilities, the neurotypical students, our teachers, parents, and the community as a whole.  All we ask for all students is to access compassion for others’ differences. The result is that in the process of accepting others’ differences and offering kindness and empathy, all students find compassion for themselves. They find solace from the ever-present pressure to be perfect, to compete, and to achieve.

The experience of true inclusion for children has far reaching effects. These children will grow into caring adults. They know inclusion works as they have experienced the benefits of it. Our students see how a culture of kindness and compassion for differences lifts everyone up. We have many alumni in their 20s and 30s who carry this sensibility into their adult lives. 

One of most important aspects of Plugged In is the emphasis placed on showing students how they can use music to better the world. The concerts at the end of each session raise money for charitable organizations chosen by the students. These concerts give youth an opportunity to make the positive changes to the world that are important to them. The benefit concerts also foster an atmosphere of compassion and giving instead of competition and ego. All students are coming together to help others. 

In this Discuss and Listen session, participants will discuss and listen to each other's ideas, experiences and views on the topic of compassion and inclusion in all types of education - especially in music education.


Venue Alppila Upper Secondary School Viipurinkatu 21, Helsinki, Finland

Date: 30.10.2023

Time: 15:00 - 16:00 EET

Event type: Discuss and listen

Target group: Basic Education, Upper secondary school, Teachers, Leaders, Parents, International attendees, Open event, Educational entrepreneurs.

Tool for online-event: google


Contact person: Sandra Rizkallah