Welcome to The Singing Sofa!

Within the framework of the European VOICE Project (Visions on Innovation in Choral Music in Europe), the Centre of Excellence for Voice [Catholic University of Leuven] developed ‘The Singing Sofa‘. In this project the link between choral singing and the development of children and youngsters is central. Everything is approached holistically. The results of the project are freely available to everyone and contain information that is relevant to all singing children, young people and their choir leaders.

On the first page of this website you can find our information pack. This information pack consists of a blog full of fascinating and useful information for young choral singers and their choir leaders. All the blog posts are short, easy to understand and relate to at least one developmental aspect relevant to young singers. At the same time, specific attention is paid to voice well-being and voice awareness. Topics of various kinds end with a useful tip. You always have the option to read all the blog posts, but if you are looking for something in particular it is probably wisest to use the ‘search’ function or to choose a subject that interests you from the word cloud in the right-hand column. In this case, you will only see posts that deal with your search term or chosen subject.

On the second page you can read the results of our European Young Singers Inventory (EYSI). This research project was conducted among singing children, youngsters and choir leaders across the length and breadth of Europe. The results are available in full for all interest parties. If you find some of these results a bit too technical, it is probably advisable to return to the information pack, since this also includes a summary of all the most important findings of the EYSI survey.

An interesting interactive game has also been developed. This game is most suitable for youth choirs (target age ca. 14-25 years, although the game has been tested and approved by both younger and older players) and is called ‘The Singing Sofa, sit down & play. The game is played using a clear and concise game manual and a minimum of game material that can be downloaded and printed via your computer. ‘The Singing Sofa’ is highly educational for your singers and is full of valuable choir-related information. This means that it is an excellent supplement to your normal choir rehearsals or an ideal way to organize an extra and more informal choir activity.

Finally, we have also made use of other interesting sources (books, journals, web-links) that we feel you might like to explore. These are the sources on which we based the development of our own material or other sources that we thought were very good – and therefore wanted to share.

So why not get started with ‘The Singing Sofa‘, rummage around in our information pack, assess the results of our EYSI for your choir – and then just relax, sit down & play!

Wivine Decoster, Ayla Benoy, Hans Helsen

With thanks to Elise Jacobs, Karolien Luyckx, Anke Schreurs, Marjolein Van Dessel and Elke Verhoeven (master students at the Catholic University of Leuven, Logopedic and Audiological Sciences), A Coeur Joie – France (translation of the game manual into French), Secretariat ‘De Corals Infantils de Catalunya (translation of the questionnaire for children into Catalan) bvba Birotech (all other translations), CIS Leuven (game development and production by Silke Wouters, Heidi Lewyllie and Jasper Van Thienen), ECA-EC (coordination), Koor&Stem (info and advice), Denys Marrow (design logo), Jenevora Williams (good advice), the test choirs (under the leadership of An Alen and Sien De Smet) and all the respondents to the EYSI.