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How can singing in communities shape individuals and develop our society nowadays?

• Emergence of positive self-concept, optimistic vision on future and healthy personality due to active singing and music making.
• Benefi ts of singing and instrumental music making on physiological and psychological state, health, emotional intelligence, behavior and learning ability.

• How does singing in a choir help community integration, improvement of cooperation and problem-solving skills?

• Integration, inclusion and development opportunities of people living in disadvantaged social conditions as well as with disabilities through community music activities.


back to Symposium on Music Education - Hungary

3. Keynote speech Freund Tamás (HU): Our inner world - enriched by arts - stimulates learning, memory and creativity

Information is stored in our brain in the form of strengthenedconnections between nerve cells. Even for a simple memorytrace, millions of neurons have to potentiate their connectionswith each other, which requires a synchrony of their signals with a 2-3 millisecond precision. Themechanisms that allow this high degree of synchrony are brain waves that are brought about byinhibitory neurons, which rhythmically inhibit many excitatory cells. The rhythmicity is providedby nerve pathways that carry information about motivation, emotions, and autonomic state,which together represent our inner world. Thus, the more active and richer our inner world, themore eff icient our learning and recall capacity. For an eff icient storage of information represeningthe outer world, those information-packages have to be associated with impulses from (or get„stamped by”) our inner world. In other words, bricks of information have to be covered by the„mortar” of our inner world, which allows us to place those bricks not only side by side, but ontop of each other to build something new. The ticker the mortar, the better the bricks stick toeach-other, thereby enhancing associations. On the other hand, our inner world is individualand unique to us, therefore our associations and thoughts that derive from the same externalinformation, but coloured by our own emotional self, will be diff erent from those of others, whichis the key to originality and creativity. A highly eff icient way to enrich our inner world is via arteducation, particularly music, that has the most direct access to our emotional self, can triggercathartic experiences, and develop our inner world. Active participation in musical activity – ofwhich choir singing is highly recommended – multiplies this eff ect, thus, from the point of learningabilities and creative thinking the importance of musical education is immense.

3.1 Lecture Susan Knight (CA): Growing the Voices: A transformative model to revitalize, initiate and enable ensemble community singing via multiple modes of access

This presentation elaborates an innovative concept of enabling ensemble-singing access/experiencein a comprehensive community model. It describes a novel enterprise for the development ofsinging-together-in-community via multiple modes of practice. An outgrowth of the celebratedinternational choral festival/academic symposium, (Festival 500), this new enterprise operatesfrom Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, with international outreach. It builds on Festival 500’score value of ‘sharing the voices’, where singing-as-community grounds the choral ensemble as anempathic socio-cultural expression. The presentation elaborates multi-purpose music educationplatforms across the lifespan.

3.2 Lecture Martin Berger (DE): Shaping individuals and developing a multi-ethnic society: Choral singing and Choral Conductors´ training in South Africa 20 years after apartheid

South Africa is a vibrant and diverse country with an incredible wealth of diff erent choral cultures.Before 1994 ethnic groups and cultural identities were grouped together by the segregation lawsof apartheid. However, post-1994, this rich culture of choral singing is still in need of more formaland postgraduate training for choral conductors – and an increase of multifaceted mediationtechniques. Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape is one of the few South African Universitieswhich off ers an academic program in Choral Conducting. The lecture-presentation will make use ofanalysis, interviews and video to present the eff ective methods and mediation techniques used inthe university for the training of Choral Conductors in a multilingual and multi-ethnic society.

3.3 Lecture Németh László (HU): Moldavian Csángó Dance House Movement in the XXI. Century

The Moldavian dance houses (táncház) in Hungary form a bridgebetween the ancient culture and the modern musical world ofurban youth. The dance house music groups incorporates both traditional and modern elements intheir own musical world. The admissibility for today’s urban listener is much more important thanthe authenticity.Many of the dance house visitors also started to play on instruments and they have started formingbands with basic musical skills, similar to the rock music fans who took up guitars and foundedgarage-bands. The musicians, singers, dance teachers have the opportunity to raise young people’sawareness of original Moldavian folklore. The way how they choose songs, how they play on theirinstruments are very important factors that infl uence their followers.

3.4 Lecture Lee Willingham (CA): Choral Singing: a pathway to Cultural Capital through Justice and Wholeness

Our research supports the proposition that choral singing is animportant agent for the development of cultural capital and inspired change. In Canada, centresfor social innovation have become hubs for mobilizing ideas into action. A vital component of theculture sector is choral singing. Thousands of Canadians engage in ensemble singing on a regularbasis. Through the presentation of my studies and the annual Sing-Fires-of-Justice ecumenical,multi-faith and cross-cultural choral event in Laurier I will explore the social capital that choralsinging provides as it animates and addresses the issues of justice, and health and wellness.

3.5 Lecture Philippe Rixhon (UK): Singing Cities

Singing Cities off er continuous singing activities to all citizens whichculminate in yearly voice festivals. The Aarya Foundation launchedthe initiative with Berlin, Brussels, Namsos/Norway and NewcastleGateshead with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union. Practically, thefounding cities are developing a collaboration model within and across cities, an electronicplatform to share advocacy documents, best practices and singing info, and a label to be granted tolike-minded cities. Each Singing City pursues the common objectives at its own pace and accordingto its own approach. The founding cities are currently assessing their own singing situation anddraft ing their own singing strategy. Singing Cities are open for collaboration!


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3.6 Lecture Józsa Mónika (HU): Music and Identity - Hungarian Choir Movements Beyond the Borders

The lecture points out the community shaping and holding powerof choral music that bears increased signifi cance in communitiesliving as national minorities. It deals with the recent activities of the choirs operating in the regionsof the Carpathian Basin with transborder Hungarian population (the historical Upper Hungary,today Southern Slovakia, Transylvania [in Romania], Subcarpathia [in Ukraine], Voivodina [inSerbia] and in other post-Yugoslavian countries, such as Croatia and Slovenia]) touching upon theirhardships and problems as well as their joys and achievements, enriched with lots of visual andsounding materials.

3.8 Workshop Lakatos Ágnes (HU): Jazz Vocal Improvisation

Performance of a be-bop piece of Charlis Parker with ownarrengement (block-chord voicing) by a 6-8 members choir. Duringthe theme listen to: swing-feel frazeation, notes starts with jazzy way,scatt syllables, beat, off beat accents, rhythmical preciseness, delay of the melody. The soloistswill do improvisation upon the vocal background (based on a harmony movement of the 4 partspiece) and will show 3 diff erent way of improvisation technique: melody variations, horizontalthinking and vertical thinking. The performance will include a group improvisation to show howto give and take motives to each other with a playful mode, wih repetition, variations in tempoand improvisations with a given notes. Videos of Agnes Lakatos and the Jazz Voices Choir:

http://youtu.be/6H6g_ZNNWE0 http://youtu.be/9kTyzrYxUAo

3.9 Panel discussion Nuria Fernández Herranz (ES) + Rita Ferrer (ES): Choral singing in marginal sectors of the population

The aim of the panel discussion is to defi ne the benefi ts produced bychoral singing in diff erent marginal sectors of the population, such asthe elderly, prison communities, marginalized social strata and peoplewith mental health problems. We use the experience of diff erentresearchers who have developed empirical studies on each of theseareas and, therefore, provide us with scientifi cally proven informationabout the manifold benefi ts - physical, mental and emotional- that choral practising can produce in these sectors of society.These studies prove that choral singing can provide resources and tools that can help in diff icultmoments through diverse life stages or simply provide the motivation in everyday life to help faceand overcome a complex reality. The areas which benefi t from choral singing are: physical well-being,emotional well-being, cognitive stimulation and benefi ts related to sociability. Choral singing alsooff ers alternative solutions to the everyday problems of emotional stress, promotes physical andcognitive maintenance and provides ways to continue contributing to society and to feel less isolated.

3.10 Presentation Côme Ferrand Cooper (FR): Singing Europe: providing reliable data on singing in the European countries

Our European countries have diff erent cultural backgrounds and habits.Music education is of course directly impacted by these diff erences. Providing the musicalcommunity with a reliable picture of our singing Europe, and as much as possible, of each country, canhelp implement the right initiatives and programmes, for educational, cultural and political purposes. Asa fi rst attempt to shine light on the issue, the European Choral Association has set up “Singing Europe”,a non-commercial, community driven, pilot research programme to produce reliable statistical data on“people singing together”. We will present the research programme, how it gathers information, sometemporary results, and we will explain the need of the involvement of every members of the singingcommunity. Singing Europe is an initiative of the European Cooperation Project “VOICE”.


link to the presentation




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