World Voice is a versatile music and education programme, which has been successfully implemented in 17 countries so far; it has worked directly with 8,000 teachers and has reached an estimated 500,000 children worldwide.
The programme provides non-music specialist teachers with pedagogical resources and techniques to use song as a tool for learning in their classrooms, not only to support their students’ musical development, but also to enhance their learning in a wide range of subjects (e.g. maths, physics, foreign languages).
The British Council works globally with teachers from a diversity of cultural and educational settings, ranging from schools in the UK to refugee communities in the Middle East and teachers in the remote highlands of Kashmir, India.
The World Voice programme in Greece
The goal of the programme is to integrate singing into everyday school life. To ensure the sustainability and future growth of the programme, train-the-trainer methodology is used. The lead World Voice trainers are from the UK, and are the best and most experienced professionals in the field. Through training sessions with the UK trainers, teachers and educators working with refugee children learn how to integrate singing into their educational methodology as an integral part of intercultural dialogue and positive learning experiences.
The programme launched in Greece with a training session for 35 teachers and youth workers in February 2017, followed by more intensive training for 15 participants identified as having the potential to become Master Trainers in March 2017, as well as a three-day workshop for primary school teachers based in Athens in October 2017. The training was delivered by Jane Wheeler, a British World Voice Singing Leader, who was warmly welcomed by the trainees.
In parallel, the programme in Greece has started working with children from the Skaramagas refugee camp, where the British Council runs a Learning Centre in partnership with UNICEF, partly funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). The children are very keen to continue learning new songs and thoroughly enjoy the workshops. As a result of the programme, children from Syria and Afghanistan, along with young Yazidis from northern Iraq, have formed a small choir and practise songs from the World Voice Songbook.