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A Voice for vocal Training – Belgium

Main Organiser: Koor & Stem

2012 - 2015

The European choral world and the world of education are not fully connected with each other yet. “A Voice for vocal Training” wishes to propose new avenues of cooperation for the exchange of knowledge and information on how to make singing fun for children and new and creative tools for teachers in Europe. Existing European initiatives in the field of singing qualitatively with children will be made accessible through a new “European knowledge centre on vocal music.” The use of this knowledge and expertise will also be encouraged through the development of innovative projects.



April 2014 - download the Inspirational Guide!

How to get millions of childen singing within the span of a generation?

This brochure gathers insight from experts in ‘singing with children’ and choirs from all over Europe.

You will read about small and large-scale initiatives from choirs, schools, and municipalities designed to get children singing. Some of the most groundbreaking projects started in the hearth of a small choir with a great idea. We hope these will inspire you because we count on you to guide even more children towards singing.Who knows whether or not the tide can be turned in one generation?
But I do know a little more ‘singing power’ would be wonderful for the future of vocal culture in Europe.
Koenraad De Meulder

Director Koor&Stem vzw


Download the free Brochure here!

PRESS RELEASE: New pan-European research reveals the true value of singing in primary schools

The press release can be downloaded in English | Deutsch | Nederlands | Français


Singing at school can be a valuable and fun experience for both primary school children and their teachers, but not enough is being done to ensure that all children are able to enjoy the wider benefits of singing as part of their daily education.
A new report from Koor&Stem, the Flemish organisation for vocal music, has gathered over 100 inspiring examples of singing at primary schools and teacher training colleges from all over Europe to inspire more schools to become ‘singing schools’. These good practice examples demonstrate the many ways in which singing can be effectively rolled into the school day.
Carl Van Eyndhoven, Vice Dean for research at the Faculty of the Arts of the KU Leuven in Belgium, says that “singing is a fundamental part of who we are as humans – how we communicate, express emotion and learn. And yet, far too many children are being denied this opportunity.”. He claims the report’s case studies “are hugely important and valuable for anyone wanting to consider the future evolution of singing in primary education and the contribution that the choir world can make to this”.

The report

30 of these inspiring international examples have been described in detail in the report, presenting a wide range of successful approaches and partnerships, such as:
• Innovative training courses for primary school pupils and teachers
• The introduction of new singing methods in schools by singing professionals from the choir world
• Stimulating choir activities for teachers, student teachers and pupils alike
• Challenging vocal training programmes for schools organized by choirs – both
amateur and professional – arts centres and professional orchestras
These case studies showcase not only valuable and fun activities, but also demonstrate clearly that singing has enormous added value for pupils, teachers and schools and consequently, for society in general.
The full report, as well as executive summaries in English, Dutch, French and German, links to websites, videos and relevant scientific articles and a short description of more than 110 inspiring international initiatives, is available for download on the website of Koor&Stem,
www.koorenstem.be/avoiceforvocaltraining, or can be purchased via

New singing resources

Theoretical information becomes teaching practice in the new songbook Do you like music?

Experts from different European countries have shared their knowledge and experience in
singing with primary school children and have given useful didactic tips to children’s
repertoire that can be directly put into practice by teachers. This mix of international
expertise allows a broad musical approach with attention for different art forms. Do you like
contains 16 songs in different languages for age groups from 6 to 12 years. All
didactic tips and song lyrics have been translated into English and Dutch. The additional CD
is particularly useful for studying the pronunciation of the different languages. The CD also
includes an instrumental sing-along version of the songs.
The songbook (with CD) costs € 20 and can be purchased via www.koorenstem.be/webshop.

Training day ‘singing with children’

In collaboration with Odisee, Campus Waas, the city of Sint Niklaas and other partners, Koor&Stem organises a training day ‘singing with children’, introducing a broad range of approaches both from Belgium and abroad. All workshops are hands on and focus on working with six to twelve year old children. Topics include vocal training, repertoire and didactic methods. Art education organisations, publishers and other partners will participate at an interactive fair, where also workshop leaders can present their work and educational materials. Networking and sharing ideas are an important part of the day and special time is created in order to make this happen in a fruitful way.

Starting with an inspiring talk by classical radio presentor (and professional singer) Cara Van der Auwera, participants can participate in several workshops. A brief overview of the programme: The award winning project ‘Singing playgrounds’ (UK) shows how to integrate singing games on the playground. Musical futures (UK) uses modern technology to get the kids singing in a creative way. During their workshop work around a famous popsong that they recreate and record a-capella. Petter Ekberg, conductor of the cathedral choir in Gothenburg (Sweden), introduces the new songbook Do you like music and gives a workshop on teaching methods, paying a lot of attention to movement. Conductor Marleen De Boo focuses on the Flemish repertoire for both children’s choir and in the classroom. The Dutch 123ZING developed an online platform to support teachers and provide resources. Folk singer and workshop leader Christine Kydd (UK) works both on vocal training and presents her innovative project on musical heritage. Mariëtte Effing, conductor of a boys choir in the Netherlands goes deeper into working with boys and shares her specific methods. In an interactive workshop voice researcher Wivine Decoster presents the information package on singing with children that she developed with the from the Centre of Expertise for Voice (KU Leuven, BE). The workshops will be given in Dutch and English.

Parallel to the regular programme a special musical programme for children is organised. Children get the opportunity to work with some of the workshop leaders too and present a short show at the end of the day.

More information on the website www.koorenstem.be/spelenderwijs and facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/429424213863555/

Practical information

Venue: Odisee, Hogeschool Sint Niklaas

Date: October 18th 2014, 9.30am to 5pm

Target group: primary school teachers, music school teachers, conductors of children’s choirs, music educators.
Parallel workshops for children aged 6-12 are run.

Organisation: Koor&Stem in collaboration with Odisee, Campus Waas, the city of Sint-Niklaas and other national and international partners

Contact: Mirjam de Wit, Koor&Stem vzw, Zirkstraat 36, 2000 Antwerpen, T. +32 (0)3 237 96 43, mirjam.de.wit@koorenstem.be



‘Spelenderwijs’ is an activity of the project ‘A voice for vocal training’, which is part of “VOICE - Vision On Innovation for Choral music in Europe”, a project coordinated by European Choral Association – Europa Cantat (Germany) in cooperation with Chorverband Österreich (Austria), Expertisecentrum Stem (Belgium), Koor&Stem (Belgium), Epilogi (Cyprus), UCPS (Czech Republic), A Coeur Joie (France), Polyfollia (France), Moviment Coral Català and Mediterranean Office for Choral Singing (Spain), KÓTA and Central-Eastern European Centre (Hungary), Zsolnay Heritage Management Nonprofit Ltd – ZSÖK (Hungary), FENIARCO (Italy), IFAC (France), Länsmusiken with the Swedish International Choral Centre Örebro (Sweden, 2012 to 2013) and the University of York (UK), as well as many other associate partners. This project has been selected under the European Union programme “Culture.

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With the support of the Culture programme of the European Union.

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein