Wednesday, 2 October 2013

World Voice Bulletin Vol. 2



Dear colleagues,


As autumn and the new term have arrived we wanted to update you about some exciting developments in the World Voice programme.  There may have been a heat wave this summer, but the team have been working hard to expand the project and introduce the concept of learning through song to children around the globe.



Artistic Director Richard Frostick travels to India to begin the legacy work following his week of workshops in March.


We start the search for 10 UK-based Master Trainers to take part in two days of training Cardiff, with a view to increasing our capacity here in the UK and overseas.


Three more countries join the World Voice family for 2013/14.  We're delighted to welcome Ethiopia, Argentina and Sudan into the fold.


Research underway in Chile and Jordan to investigate how World Voice might effectively be rolled out in these countries.



India and Senegal

You may remember from our last bulletin that the project's next step was to return to India and Senegal, to build upon our work there.  World Voice Artistic Director, Richard Frostick has just come back from a legacy visit to India where he and India World Voice Champion, Mohit Chauhan, worked with a selection of teachers from state and private schools.  Richard trained teachers in the techniques which were so successfully used with Indian school children earlier in the year.  Both Mohit and Richard were excited to see the enthusiasm with which the project has continued to be greeted (check out pictures on the British Council's Music team's new website when it goes live later this month). 


Richard will be returning to India once more in early October, when he will support new trainers as they begin to roll out the programme. Meanwhile, the Senegal team are planning their own legacy visit, as Richard will travelling to Dakar at the end of October / beginning of November.


UK Master Trainers

If we can find a single fault with our marvellous Artistic Director, Richard, it's that there is only one of him.  His legacy trips to countries ensure that techniques and skills are passed on to teachers who can act as in-country trainers, enabling them to communicate the skills they have learnt.  Through training teachers to be trainers thousands of young people in the countries we work with will have access to new learning methods. 


Back in the UK, Richard and the World Voice team are looking for ten UK-based Master Trainers (from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales) to form a team of UK Master Trainers.  Those invited to be part of the team will take part in a two-day training workshop in Cardiff.  As further funding is secured, these Master Trainers will go out into their regions, and potentially overseas, to train other teachers as World Voice expands. This will ensure we continue to cascade the learning and resources from this programme, bringing World Voice to more young people in the UK and abroad.


Three new World Voice countries

The World Voice team are enormously pleased to be working with teachers and pupils in three new countries in 2013/14.  Continuing the programme's Overseas Development Assistance focus, Bridget Whyte, our project manager, has just returned from a scoping trip to Ethiopia, while Sudan and Argentina are making preparations for our first visits.  We are also thrilled to announce that Seleshi Demissie (aka Gash Aberra Molla) will be our Ethiopia World Voice Champion.


Research in Chile and Jordan

Before we start work in Jordan, and indeed in other Middle Eastern countries, we need to explore methods of working and ways to approach schools and ministries that are most effective in these areas. We have therefore commissioned research to be undertaken, and it is likely that Richard will be running workshops in Jordanian schools and possibly Syrian refugee camps near the Jordanian-Syrian border in 2014.


World Voice will arrive in Chile in mid-2014 allowing time for the Chilean national elections to have taken place and any changes in administration to have settled in.  Research is currently underway to ensure that when work does begin we have involvement from all relevant partners and can fulfil the programme's potential in this region.


Other countries we are talking to include Bangladesh, Brazil and Burma – with an aim to have started work in at least 15 countries by 2015 (and we promise to make sure we don't just work in countries beginning with the letter B!)


The World Voice Songbook

Here in the UK one of the most important elements and assets of our work is the World Voice Songbook.  As well as collecting songs from the countries we work with – focusing on children's traditional songs in native languages, we need to ensure that all countries of the United Kingdom are represented within this virtual book.


Over the next few months we will be adding at least two Welsh and Northern Irish songs.  Through conversations with key partners we hope to record these songs and exhibit them on the British Council Schools Online website: by the end of October.



As we continue to expand this exciting programme we would welcome your ongoing support and advice. If you have a moment to feedback on the news stories above and / or some of these questions below we'd really appreciate it.


?         Have you used any of the World Voice songs or resources yet?  If so, what was the outcome and/or what comments would you like to make to help us going forward?

?         How do you think the British Council could help you link with schools overseas through song more effectively?

?         What do you think of World Voice's online presence?  Do you feel there is anything missing from the Schools Online World Voice songs and resources section?



We hope you will want to continue to support our work through receiving these bulletins and providing us with feedback.


Happy New School Year!


Hannah (World Voice Administrator) and the World Voice team



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