About Viva Voices
Viva Voices is a positive ageing program that enhances seniors’ wellbeing through participation in community-based singing. Developed as an initiative to engage senior Australians in the joy of music, Viva Voices reinforces Musica Viva’s belief in the intrinsic worth of music (listening, learning and participating) to enhance quality of life.
The Viva Voices program has been developed through a five-year pilot and development phase. The pilot was initially trialled with targeted demographic groups to document the health and wellbeing impact of singing as a creative arts program for seniors. The outcomes demonstrated that participants delighted in singing together weekly, enjoyed the social aspects of the workshops, gained greater levels of confidence and felt increased engagement with the community.
"I have appreciated the opportunity to do something which is both enjoyable and challenging and it has been good seeing people who do not have a lot of confidence blossoming and feeling good about themselves."
Mandurah participant, age 71
Music Education for Seniors
Viva Voices is a lifelong learning program encouraging older Australians to participate in live music making through challenging and uplifting singing activities. It promotes the concept that everyone with a voice can sing, with a program designed for seniors with or without musical training.
Vocal, musical, rhythmic and creative skills are developed throughout the workshops, which include warm-up exercises and a repertoire of songs from diverse cultures of the world, as well as songs that are familiar to many people. As participants gain skills and confidence, their singing repertoire expands. Opportunities for social interaction are embedded into the program structure.
Viva Voices is a non-threatening way of bringing people together to learn and share music from different cultures and different backgrounds, and through this to build communities and enhance seniors’ health and wellbeing.
"I could not believe I could sing until my friend persuaded me to join the group and got a surprise when I found I could … sometimes I did not want the lesson to end." Mandurah Participant
What Viva Voices Can Offer
Musica Viva does not have specific funds dedicated to establishing Viva Voices workshops in your community. The pilot workshops run to date have been funded through various government agencies and run in partnership with locally-based organisations. Most have been sustained after the pilot stage with support from their local communities and are continuing to develop, exploring new and extended avenues to enjoy their singing together. Local partnerships are the key to the successful execution of the Viva Voices program. The venue, the Music Facilitator, the coordinator and all the people involved in supporting the program are all critical to the creation of a dynamic group of singers within the community.
Musica Viva has developed resources both to help local organisations set up a program and to support and train Music Facilitators running seniors singing workshops (see Training & Resources page). Viva Voices is keen to further develop these resources and training opportunities to ensure that high standards of musical leadership are in place for senior singers.
Musica Viva will share its knowledge and information with communities all over Australia to encourage bringing the joy of music through singing to neighbours, friends and community members.