Sing Me In - Collective Singing in the Integration Process of Young Migrants
Sing me In is a Strategic Partnership coordinated by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat in cooperation with 10 other organisations from 9 other European countries with the support of the EU Erasmus Plus - Youth Programme.
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The “Sing Me In” project
Crossing lines, daring to try something new, this is an exciting challenge when it is only about music or work methods. And it is easier if you get a little help from your friends. But some people are forced by the circumstances to cross more serious lines, to pass borders, leaving one's homeland and culture; and to try to start a new life in a foreign country, in a new cultural environment which includes different food, different music, and using different social rules. They also certainly need a little help from friends.
Many young people in different European countries are confronted with these challenges. They risk being excluded due to their socio-economic origin, because of the neighbourhood they live in, because of migration backgrounds, because of their religion, etc. Of course, this issue started long before the last migration episode, triggering a lot of initiatives from all the sectors of civil society. We strongly believe that the world of collective singing can and should play a role in this integration process.
The “Sing Me In” project aims at providing children and youth choir conductors and music teachers with pedagogical approaches and tools that allow collective singing activities to play a positive role in the integration process of young people.
A number of choral organisations expressed their need for structured tools to address the issues at hand: they share the same challenges and are only partially aware of the solutions developed in the other European countries. Yet, most organisations do not have the resources to research and develop solutions at the national level, and it would likely lead to duplicating the effort in each country. As a European network with a long-standing experience in cooperation projects, we decided to address these needs at the European level, to ensure that the whole sector and as many young targets as possible can benefit from it in Europe.
The project gathers 11 musical organisations involved in youth work in 10 countries including Turkey and Lebanon. They will join forces and use their extensive networks to collect good practices related to the use of collective singing in the process of inclusion of young migrants in their respective professional and geographical areas.
The project will evaluate the existing experience to extract best practices, and use this basis to collectively develop innovative pedagogical contents. It will also gather examples of challenges encountered in projects aiming at the inclusion of young migrants, collecting “tips and tricks” and pitfalls to be avoided.
The main outputs of the project will thus be three practical handbooks targeting children and youth choir conductors and music teachers:
Working with young refugees in their environment (refugee camp or accommodation)
Including young people with migrant background in existing choirs
Working in a school environment
They'll be available in 11 languages, and freely downloadable.
Another innovative tool will be a carefully curated collection of repertoire reflecting the migrant's cultural background to allow for musical exchange between the young singers, accompanied with video sources, sound files, transliterations and translations, pronunciation files to help conductors implement inclusion using relevant material.
We will organise a test training and a number of conferences and workshops to disseminate the results of the project and reach out to active practitioners that will in turn use and spread the methods and output further.
If we are to believe anthropology, the human voice was likely amongst the first instruments used by humans to produce music together and it helped members of a group to develop their skills, share emotions, organise common life and provide a sense of belonging. The “Sing Me In” project thus relies on a multi millenary tradition to look into the future and offer innovative and effective tools to help young people to meet without prejudices, acquire skills and enter a productive and balanced relation with the community. And we believe that through this journey across cultures, we can also learn a valuable lesson in how to reach out to these 95% of the European population who are not yet singing in choirs. With a little help from our new friends.
News from the project
The project partners are actively collecting best practices across Europe and beyond, and they will be evaluated and analysed during our next transnational meeting taking place in Tripoli, Lebanon in May 2017.
20.10.2016 | Oslo NO | Conference “Kraft Tak For Sang”
Presentation of the project. In the frame of the Kraft Tak conference 2016, presentation of the project and exchange with stakeholders. www.krafttakforsang.no/konferanse-og-mter-1/
12.11.2016 Presentation of the project in Utrecht NL
During the General Assembly of the European Choral Association: Presentation of the project to the members of the European choral network
During the conference “Cross the Line”: Presentation of the project and workshop on arabic collective singing with the Fahya choir from Lebanon.
Dissemination of the initial questionnaire
23.01.2017 Public event in Brussels
During our public advocacy event in Brussels, we briefly introduced the project to the audience, and developed contact during the reception (EU stakeholders, policy makers,press, etc.)
09.02.2017 Expert Meeting "Arts as tool for Social Integration". Ede, NL
Presentation of the project to cultural operators involved in social integration projects.
16.03.2017 Pop-Mind | Grenoble, FR
Invited to make a 90 minute presentation to the audience of the Pop Mind, the European gathering of Live concert venues (rock and pop sector)
Sing Me In is coordinated by the European Choral Association - Europa Cantat (DE) in partnership with: Estonian Choral Association (EE), Sulasol (FI), Ung i Kor (NO), ZIMIHC (NL), Koor&Stem (BE), A Coeur Joie (FR), Musica International (FR), Moviment Coral Català (ES), Koro Kulturu Dernegi (TR) and Fayha Choir (LB)