Published: Nov. 5, 2013

teach for peaceFollowing the brutal ethnic cleansing that ravaged Kosovo in the late 1990s, Liz Shropshire wanted to find a way to help the tens of thousands of children living in refugee camps. 

So in 1999, the Los Angeles-based composer and music educator solicited donations of  $5,000 worth of instruments and headed off to the city of Gjakove, Kosovo. There she set up a music-education program at a camp. The next year she founded the Kosovo Children’s Music Initiative for education and performance programs and the Shropshire Music Foundation

In 2004 and 2005, respectively, she brought the program to two more “conflict zones”: Northern Ireland, where the program brought segregated Catholic and Protestant children together for after-school programs; and to refugee camps in Uganda, where children flee to avoid being kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers.

Shropshire will speak about the foundation’s work at the CU-Boulder College of Music on Nov. 14, hosted by the local collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education. There also will be an informal follow-up meeting on Nov. 15. 

“This event is open to everybody,” says graduate student Bethany Nickel, who is coordinating the event. “Liz Shropshire uses music, but her work is also a model for anyone interested in global awareness and peace.” 

There is a lot of political and global awareness … they are teaching children peace through music.” 

A United Nations report on the “Impact of Armed Conflict on Children” has found that programs that provide “opportunity for expression and structured activities such as school, play and sports,” are the most effective way to address the trauma of children living in conflict zones. 

According to its mission statement, the Shropshire Music Foundation’s “goal is to help children know that they always have the power to make their own choices, that the path of peace leads to happiness and security, that weapons do not equal power and safety, and that violence is not the answer.”


WHAT: Liz Shropshire, founder of the Shropshire Music Foundation, will speak about the foundation’s work bringing music to children in conflict zones
WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, with reception to follow
WHERE: Imig Music Theater, CU-Boulder College of Music
TICKETS: Free and open to the public
INFO: Email or call 970-396-8841
ETC.: There will be an informal follow-up meeting from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 in Imig C113.