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The Singing Sofa








The Centre of Expertise for Voice [KU Leuven, Research Group ExpORL] is working on a project called The Singing Sofa. During the project, they work with children’s and youth choirs. The Singing Sofa is a metaphor for several goals of this project:

  1. It reflects the experience that singing can be effortless, without stress and full of joy.

  2. It refers to moments when singers and choir conductors take the tome to reflect on the singing activity, on the mechanisms, the knowledge, the self observation, the listening skills, the emotional, psychological and social aims and effects of singing on a person as an individual and as a group member.

  3. The image creates the opportunity to temporarily hold back from the procedure of choral/group singing and learn from each other, other disciplines, other choirs and other cultures, aiming at a broader point of view, an increased empowerment and self-confidence for those involved with choral singing.

In order to reach these goals, the Centre of Excellence for Voice will make an accessible information and work package for singing children and youngsters that contains information about the human voice [together with working materials and methods] related to all aspects of development form child to young adult [physical, emotional, social, psychological, communicative, cognitive…].

While state-of-the-art knowledge of scientific research on the young singing voice is a starting point, the results of a European Young Singers Inventory [EYSI] on the needs, concerns and expectations of singing children and youngsters will be incorporated. This will be combined with knowledge and methods that are already being used in daily practice to insure that the information and work package complements with that daily practice as good as possible.

The results will be presented in a number of activities and will be disseminated through the network of the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat. The Singing Sofa is one of the first cooperation projects between the European choral world and a research institute, revealing new outcomes emerging from the state-of-the-art of both partners.

Hans Helsen

researcher, composer, singer,

music pedagogue

@: hans.helsen@luca-arts.be

W: http://www.hanshelsen.be

T: +32 472 43 99 32


Prof. Wivine Decoster

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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