The World Voice Project was launched in India with a four-day workshop on singing, held from 14 to 18 March 2013 at the N.I.E. Auditorium in the N.C.E.R.T. Campus, New Delhi. The workshop was led by Mr Richard Frostick (Artistic Director, World Voice project) and Mr Mohit Chauhan (Musician and Indian World Voice Champion), with around 70 participants including, school students (age groups 9-11), school music teachers and independent music trainers from various public and private schools across Delhi in India.
The World Voice Programme is a pioneering initiative between the British Council and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). It endeavours to promote arts in school education and uses music through singing to support the development of musicality and contribute towards a wider learning. It will promote sharing of British expertise in singing education with classrooms globally and to promote an exchange of skills, knowledge and understanding between all participating countries; support colleagues from around the world who wish to learn more about singing leadership techniques; provide a network where countries can forge long-lasting working relationships; provide resources which teachers and young people can use in the classroom; and last but not the least, celebrate singing as a fundamental global expressive art.
During the much enjoyed workshop sessions, the school children learnt six English songs well as a Hindi song, ‘Morni’ (a Himachali folk song from the western Himalayas) taught by Mr Mohit Chauhan. The other Hindi song, unanimously selected by the participants was ‘Saare Jahan se Accha’. The sessions were joyful, lively and interesting as Mr Richard Frostick, employed a step- by- step approach to explain the background as well as the geographic, historic or cultural context of each song. In addition to this, he emphasized on correct body posture; proper breathing; voice modulation and accuracy in pronunciation. The students were fascinated with the new words and phrases that they learnt while learning the songs.
During the interactive sessions, the teaching techniques and learning experiences were discussed and exchanged by the school music teachers and the music trainers. Richard emphasized on integrating music into the curriculum, for which he felt lesson planning was necessary. He stressed on ‘learning to be fun for the children’.
Post workshop, Mohit who never had any formal training, said that “music has a way of doing things with people”. He also remarked that he was delighted to teach kids as they picked up lyrics and tune of a Himachali folk song within two hours.
It is interesting to know that the idea for the World Voice project grew in the UK with one goal: to promote learning through music and, in the process, connect classrooms around the world. Cathy Graham, Director Music, British Council, who has 14 years of professional experience in music, said, “Singing is a joyful experience. If you start it young, you have it for life. We would like the World Voice Programme to leave a legacy such that perhaps 10 years from now, children of one country are happily singing the traditional songs of another. They are all doing it without knowing why.”
So, would you agree if we say that such is the magic of music as it connects people globally by transcending the physical limits and connect directly with you? Share your views with us.