Our Advocacy Work

The European Choral Association sees it as one of its important tasks to represent the sector of collective singing within other music and culture organisations as well as at the level of the European Union. It advocates for the needs of the sector towards to the outside world, as well as for the implementation of innovation and improved quality, inclusion, gender equality and environmental sustainability within the sector.

Since our vision is a world where everybody experiences the benefits of collective singing, the #BenefitsOfSinging campaign, started in 2021, is a significant part of our advocacy work.

Besides, we carry out our advocacy work by joining forces with other music and culture organisations and networks in Europe. Joining forces makes us stronger, it is more likely that we will be heard if we work together.

As their members, the European Choral Association especially joins forces with Culture Action Europe and the European Music Council when it comes to general advocacy work for music and culture, as well as advocacy work at European Union level. For specific advocacy initiatives and calls, such as advocacy work related to Music Moves Europe, it also cooperates with numerous other European networks and organisations. As member organisation of the International Music Council, the European Choral Association advocates for the IMC five Music Rights, as well as for Collective Singing as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

In addition it closely cooperates with EAS (the association of music teachers in schools) and AEC (the European association of conservatoires) when it comes to advocacy work in the field of music education, with AMATEO when it comes to Amateur Arts, and with TENSO when it comes to the cooperation of the amateur world with the world of professional choirs.

Advocacy Statements of the European Choral Association

Collective Singing as Intangible Cultural Heritage – Call to safeguarding collective singing traditions
Advocacy statement published in September 2023 calling on decision-makers and cultural heritage professionals to fully recognize the importance and the role of intangible cultural heritage and support measures of support, protection and promotion. It also calls on persons active in the education sector to integrate collective singing traditions in their work with all age groups.

Breaking Down Walls  – A vision for increased unity and cooperation in the collective singing community
Advocacy Statement calling on all those who are working with collective singing to reach out to others in the sector, and on decision makers and funding bodies to support organisations and events in the sector

Singing Improves Peoples Lives
Advocacy statement on the benefits of singing

Singing is an important part of culture and the economic ecosystem
Advocacy statement from 2020 about the impact of Covid-19

In addition, the European Choral Association published an Advocacy Guide as part of the #BenefitsOfSinging campaign

Advocacy Statements by others, supported by the European Choral Association

Culture 2030 Goal Campaign
(advocacy statement for the addition of a culture goal to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, supported by the International Music Council and Culture Action Europe)

Position paper on the new European Bauhaus
(advocacy paper of Culture Action Europe)

Include Culture in National Recovery Strategies
(advocacy statement to ensure that culture is explicitly included in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) will help secure both the future of the sector and its important contribution to Europe’s future)

Handle with care: Envisioning a Culture of Care
(The Elefsina Manifesto, developed by Culture Action Europe, aims to serve as a rallying call to artists, cultural organisations and professionals to embrace politics and ethics of care as a fundamental element of our collective work.)

Letter of concern regarding the proposed 2024 budget cuts to Creative Europe
(Letter drafted by a small group of European culture networks (including the European Choral Association), endorsed by more than 70 cultural organisations in Europe and sent to to the EU Member States and Institutions by Culture Action Europe in September 2023.)

Voices of Culture Brainstorming reports

We also support and disseminate the Voices of Culture brainstorming reports which contain advocacy statements, proposals, ideas and demands about different topics.

We actively contributed to:

We indirectly contributed through the European Music Council which directly contributed to:

Further brainstorming reports can be found here

Collective Singing in Europe – an article by Sonja Greiner & Helmut Schaumberger

In this article Sonja Greiner and Helmut Schaumberger describe the status quo in the field of collective singing in Europe, with a focus on singing in schools. They discuss different guiding questions about the what collective singing in Europe is and what it can do, present their two organisations with their main projects, and at the end, advocate for more research, a stronger cooperation between music educatiors and leaders in the choral world, as well as between different genres and styles, among others.

In this article, Helmut Schaumberger (European Association for Music in Schools) and Sonja Greiner (European Choral Association) describe the status quo in the field of “collective singing” in Europe. To this end, they define the central terms singing, Europe, and choir and argue for the use of the inclusive term collective singing as an umbrella term for group singing activities in school and non-school contexts. They then discuss guiding questions such as, “Are there cross-national commonalities in the field of singing together in Europe?”, “How diverse is Europe?”, “Why is collective singing important?”, “Is singing together a panacea?”, “What can digital media and new teaching/learning approaches contribute to singing together?”, and “What does collective singing look like in schools?” By introducing the two organizations they represent and their major activities, and by listing other projects in choral practice and research, the authors refine their view of the status quo. The article concludes with suggestions for concrete actions to further develop collective singing in Europe: generating more research data, stimulating further transnational research, especially on singing in schools, promoting more collaboration between music educators and leaders in the choral world, encouraging more collaboration between different styles and genres, and calling for more accountability in the world of collective singing for issues that are important to today‘s society.

Sonja Greiner – Secretary General of the European Choral Association based in Bonn, Member of the Board of the World Youth Choir Foundation and Governance Advisor of the International Federation for Choral Music IFCM
Prof. Dr. Helmut Schaumberger – University Professor for Music Education at the Gustav Mahler Private University of Music in Klagenfurt, National Coordinator of Austria within the of the European Association for Music in Schools (EAS) and Head of the Special Focus Group Singing in Music Education (SiME).