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Another singing nation Syng for livet - Norway


Another singing nation Syng for livet - Norway Hans K re Fl , Ulrika Bergroth-Plur, Tormod Bj rnstad Sing Up National Gathering Gateshead 23. november 2010 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Another singing nation Syng for livet - Norway

Another singing nation Syng for livet - Norway
  • Hans Kåre Flø, Ulrika Bergroth-Plur, Tormod
  • Sing Up National Gathering
  • Gateshead 23. november 2010

  • Wealth, culture and singing
  • The anatomy of singing
  • Singing in Norway
  • Syng for livet a holistic initiative

Norway, an oasis of welfare?
  • 5,7 mill. Inhabitants
  • Left wing coalition majority government
  • Sovereign wealth fund of appr. 300 bn
  • A GDP among the highest in the world, even if you
    leave the oil out
  • 3,4 unemployment
  • No real problems since the beginning of the 90s
  • Signs of inefficiency in the economy
  • Falling performance in the education system
  • Short term thinking, fragmentation
  • Multicultural challenges in Oslo and other cities

The real source of long term global wealth will
be the knowledge society
  • Knowledge and technology is abundant
  • Rate of change is increasing
  • Ability to make use of vast amounts of knowledge
    is whats important
  • Keys to performance for people, organisations and
    countries are therefore innovation and learning
  • Singing specifically, and culture at large,
    stimulate these capabilities

But wealth doesnt guarantee happiness
  • We need people to share it with
  • We need care and good health
  • And we need a meaningful life
  • Singing can contribute a lot also towards these
  • Singing has always been a tool for strengthening
    a group and a society

Lets turn to singing, what is it?
  • Youll never walk alone by Liverpool fans?
  • Psalms in the church?
  • Childrens songs?
  • Your song library on iPod?
  • Your lullaby for your child?
  • Susan Boyle, Beatles, Tom Jones or Madonna?
  • The songs your uncle write for family occasions?
  • The Eurovision Song Contest?
  • The Phantom of the Opera?
  • Your own singing in the shower?

Singing is a unique cultural expression
  • Singing is universal and fundamental compared to
    other forms of music
  • Your own body is the instrument
  • Singing brings joy and contributes to well being
    and public health
  • Singing is closely linked to the language and to
    personal and group identity
  • But singing is also an international language

Investing in singing pays off!
  • Joy and well being public health
  • Stronger cultural heritage and cultural identity
  • Better schools and better learning environment
  • Better grounds for cross cultural exchange
  • A stronger creative ability among people
  • Stronger artistic quality and increased music
  • Synergies between music organisations

Singing is a meaningful holistic idea
  • Singing constitutes a cultural body
  • This body has a structure, an anatomy

The anatomy of singing
  • The activity
  • Universal singing, troubadour singing, choral
  • The repertoire
  • Continuity and development, distinction and
    common heritage
  • Traditional songs and literary songs
  • The context
  • Situations, arenas and functions

Main areas of singing
Main areas of singing
  • Universal singing
  • Singing without an audience, individual singing,
    singalong, lullabies, singing in congregations
    (religious songs, political songs, national
    anthems etc.)
  • Troubadour singing/artistic singing
  • Artist or a group of artists with an audience
  • Street singers, pop singers, rock bands, singer
  • Choral singing
  • Childrens choirs, student choirs, opera choirs,
    local choirs

Troubadour development
  • We want development, renewal and individual
  • But if different generations and different groups
    shall be able to sing together we also need a
    common repertoire
  • Songbooks, records, CDs and new electronic media
    are important parts of the song tradition

  • Situations
  • Concerts, religious worship, burials and other
    rituals, conflict situations, parties, football
    matches, bedtime for children etc.
  • Arenas
  • Concert halls, sports arenas, private homes,
    churches, shopping centres, schools, churches,
    traditional media (TV,radio,film), books, CDs,
    social media, the street, work places etc.
  • Functions
  • Protest singing, religious worship, calming
    children, artistic expression, expression of
    feelings (joy, anger, sorrow), expression of
    national identity etc.

Singing can be cultivated
  • Singing is a strong plant you cant kill it
    but cultivation gives a more beautiful garden, a
    richer harvest and opens up possibilities for
    more people.
  • Individual song writers, artists, and visionary
    organisers have over the years contributed
    greatly the development of the song culture.
    Visens Venner, a small Norwegian visionary
    group of friends, succeeded by means of radio
    programmes and three song books to boost the
    literary song culture from the end of world war
    II and into the sixties.
  • International anti authoritarian impulses through
    the sixties sparked a new wave of popular and
    folk singing in Norwegian language in Norway
    through the seventies. But workshops organised by
    Concerts Norway and the Peoples Academies and
    radio programmes greatly contributed to the

Breadth and elite must go hand in hand
Sports and arts two different stories
  • Sports
  • Interdependence between breadth and elite
  • Effect on public health indisputable
  • Substantial public funding of voluntary
  • Arts
  • Artistic elite promoted without due
    acknowledgement of the importance of breadth
  • Effect on public health and well being is just
    now beginning to be understood
  • More scarce public funding of voluntary

Voluntary organisations are bridges between the
public sector and the individual and are crucial
for bringing singing to everybody
Singing in Norway a growth story
  • More choral singers
  • Rock bands are everywhere, Reality TV style
    choral and singing contests
  • Everybody listening to popular music (which
    means singing) all the time
  • Lots of high quality examples of good work

But the culture of singing is also being
  • Globalisation and international music industry
    challenge national traditions
  • Technological development make high quality music
    available everywhere and may reduce the space
    for and increase the barriers towards personal
  • The common song repertoire is diminishing (at
    least in Norway)
  • Multicultural impulses challenge national mono

Singing in Norway Strong but still overlooked?
  • Singing is the heart and bedrock of music and
  • But the position in public budgets is weak
  • The position in school curriculums is weak
  • Singing is like the air, we breathe it, look
    through it and take it for granted
  • But who speaks up for singing in public debates?

Syng for livet speaks up for singing from a
holistic perspective
  • Holistic consciousness of singing will bring
    inspiration to our daily work! (Laying down a
    brick or building a cathedral?)
  • Shared visions on singing communities and nations
    will create broader alliances nationally and
    internationally and with greater success!
  • We need new forms of cooperation and innovation!
    For example social entrepreneurship.

A cloud of small organisations do the best they
  • We do a lot, but the possibilities are greater
  • Effects are scattered and quite random

For example there are many really interesting
initiatives on singing in schools
We are not acting as a whole
  • We overlap
  • We reinvent what others have invented
  • We are not efficient in learning from each other
  • Each and one have (too) little resources
  • We reach too few
  • We wear out
  • But together we could be strong!

Even so, promising Norwegian projects show the
potential of joint action
  • The cultural rucksack
  • A permanent system for school concerts, but so
    far oriented towards children listening, not
    singing or playing
  • The whole country sings
  • Concerts Norway, 2007-2010, local and national
    events with a common frame. So far not being
  • Sangløftet
  • Privately financed fund, 2008-2012. Small grants
    for innovative singing activities. Have proved
    very succesfull.
  • Syng for Livet
  • A holistic perspective, knowledge platform, hub
    for coordination and innovative initiatives

Syng for livet shall be the hub that makes the
wheel turn
  • We must focus resources towards major challenges

The Syng for livet alliance
  • The Adult Education Association of Music in
  • The Council for Music Organisations in Norway
  • The Association of Peoples Academies
  • The Norwegian Choral Association
  • The Norwegian Singers Association
  • The Norwegian Association for Childrens and
    Youth Choirs
  • Music in Schools
  • The Norwegian Folk and Popular Song Archives
  • The Norwegian Folk Song and Troubadour
  • Nature-Culture-Health Norway

The Culture of Singing Conferences
  • 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010
  • Common understanding and platform for joint action

The 2010 conference
Laine Jänes, Estonian minister of culture The
Singing Nation Estonia
Töres Theorell, University of Stockholm Singing
and Health
Anne Haugland Balsnes, Ansgar University College
Effects of singing
Baz Chapman, Sing Up Singing in Schools
Results new alliances, international network,
research report, base for manifesto and action
Research on the effects of singing report
october 2010
  • Physical effects
  • Relief from physical tensions, heart/lung effects
  • Psychological/emotional effects
  • Relief from stress, effects on depression, well
  • Cognitive effects
  • Alertness, concentration, learning ability, self
  • Social effects
  • Friendship, network, therapeutic effects on
    social problems
  • Meaning of life
  • Unification of body and soul, personal
    transcendence, connection

Our major goal the singing nation
  • Everyone in Norway shall have access to singing
    as an important source of joy, meaning of life
    and creativity
  • Youth and children Sing Up Norway
  • Singing local communities
  • Access for the underprivileged
  • Society should acknowledge and make use of
    singing to create positive effects for society
  • Well being and public health
  • Cross cultural communication
  • Creativity and learning

The singing nation - continued
  • 3. Common insight and understanding
  • Documentation of the effects of song (report
  • Documentation of the state of the singing
  • 4. Creative cooperation
  • Common arenas for learning and innovation
  • Locally, nationally, internationally
  • Shared programmes for pulling together
  • Singing, work force development, innovation
  • Lobbying and PR

We are producing a joint vision expressed through
  • A manifesto of song
  • A joint action plan
  • designed to influence the state budget of 2012
    and 2013 (and onwards)

Acknowledgement in words are at hand
  • If voluntary work disappeared much of it
    would have to be replaced by paid work which
    probably would cost billions of kroner in public
    spending. ... Voluntary organisations are
    also important for the democratic functions in
    society. On the one hand they operate in a kind
    of intermediary space between the state and the
    market on the other hand they play a role as
    mediators between the state and the individual.
    They also channel cultural impulses of different
    kinds into public decision making processes.
  • (Norwegian government white paper on cultural
    policy, 2004, p. 216-217)

Even support from The Norwegian Parliament has
been expressed
  • The committee (of culture) refers to that we
    in Norway have had a strong tradition of singing
    together which has contributed to a feeling of
    shared identity across generations. The committee
    is worried that this tradition, partly due to the
    development within the media sector, may erode.
    The committee will therefore ask the ministry,
    through Arts Council Norway, to support actions
    aimed at supporting this tradition and
    introducing it especially to youth and children.
  • (The Norwegian Parliaments report on the
    governments white paper on culture, 2004, page
    121, based on a letter from Syng for livet)

But so far this means little
  • We have to bring about change ourselves

  • Using our increasing national strength to press
    for a national breakthrough
  • Gaining additional strength through international
  • Taking advantage of international trends like
    globalisation, innovation, emergence of the
    knowledge society and ageing population

Scope of work 2011
  • Launching a manifesto and action plan for Norway
    as a singing nation
  • Creating a Norwegian Sing Up project
  • Strengthening international contacts
  • Stimulating research on the effects of singing
  • Investigating action alternatives on singing and
  • Developing and implementing our model for singing
    local communities
  • Strengthening our organisation

How can we help each other across national
  • Exchange of knowledge, experience and ideas
  • Learning good/best practice
  • Sharing arguments and examples for political
  • Sharing concrete and resources
  • Addressing international organisations and
  • Inspiring and supporting each other

The future is promising. There is no better time
than the present. Lets get on with it!