Where are they now? Alumnus Lucas Dols

Where are they now? Alumnus Lucas Dols

Lucas Dols was already a graduate of the Amsterdam Conservatory before he joined Knowmads. He’s a musician. Played in the band Room Eleven. You may have heard of them. They recently did a reunion tour.

For a lot of people, that would seem like quite a successful life. But Lucas still felt there was more. He always had the vision that bigger things were possible. But how? He craved for a moment to zoom out and have time to look at himself; to get to know who he is in the bigger context of the world.

During his year (Tribe 8), he learned a lot that played into his life now. He learned that you can just start something without exactly knowing where it may lead and what all the steps are. He learned that it is okay to under-structure workshops. He doesn’t prepare, technically, and doesn’t stick to a plan if it doesn’t work. He is over-prepared though, with countless tools in his bag that he learned over the years. And he realized that education is really facilitation. If you can’t keep a group on board (in terms of energy and in content), you can’t teach them. When pressed, he came up with a last learning. A big one. Questions your judgement. It can come up quick, but it’s usually wrong.

It’s been 2,5 years after graduating Knowmads. In that time he fulfilled his lifelong dream to become a Doctor without Borders. But he did it in a different way: He started healing people with music as his tool for Musicians without Borders. He hosted countless workshops, and was a speaker at TEDxArnhem.

And Lucas still tours. Now he tours through conflict areas in the Middle East giving workshops on behalf of his new foundation Sounds of Change. These workshops are offered for aid workers, volunteers, and teachers about how to integrate music in their work with (traumatized) children. To him, it is vital for these kids to experience the joy of music in their war-affected lives.

“Music can change the world because it can change people”

He gets really passionate when talking about musical improvisation, because in that act there is a lot more than it appears and it can have a enormous impact on these kids. Improvisation requires you to constantly try to look at things differently and seeing new possibilities. It trains creativity. And by doing it they learn to communicate and to lead, all skills that are desperately needed in the places where Lucas works.

This work gives Lucas a sense of meaning, purpose, and joy. And, as he’s quick to say, it may not only seem like a lot, it is. Not a lot of free evenings these days. In his experience, things don’t happen by themselves. He’s constantly working to put new blocks on the fire; actively engaging on social media conversations and coming up with new proposals. If something doesn’t work, he’s quick to come up with a way to try again. The work doesn’t stop at a moment of success. An artist can never sleep.

And performing on stage? Yes, but he now knows much clearer when the mix is right. Like February 2017 when he played with Qeaux Qeaux Joans (Tribe 14 alumni Coco) in the Paradiso. The mix between message, people, and good music was there and it is was great.

Lucas’ labor of love at the moment really is Sounds of Change (check it out here).

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