Construir Cantando: Social Development Program

"Construir Cantando" Permanent Program

The Pequeños Cantores de la Schola choral workshop was initiated in 1988. Its primary purpose was to provide musical training to children and adolescents aged 3 to 18 years, and thus, the expand the network of Schola Cantorum de Venezuela training. The workshop encouraged choral singing through studies of music theory, eurhythmics, vocal technique, diction, and music appreciation. Ten years later after its first inauguration, the Pequeños Cantores de la Schola choral workshop became a permanent program named "Construir Cantando". Like the Pequeños Cantores de la Schola choral workshop, ¨Construir Cantando¨ was designed on the premise of providing choral training to children and adolescents living in vulnerable communities with limited economic resources, who may have little or no opportunity to complete primary education and who have no access to formal employment opportunities. To this day, ¨Construir Cantando¨ is dedicated to stimulating social integration among sectors with different economic realities.

This social project uses choral singing as a pedagogical tool that facilitates the development of intellectual, physical, emotional and expressive capacities. ¨Construir Cantando¨promotes awareness through music, the acquisition of knowledge, and the pursuit of excellence and consistency in children and adolescents. Its activities help strengthen civic values, promote social interaction, and contribute to the strengthening of formal education system in primary schools through effective pedagogy and rewarding extra-curricular activities.

Construir Cantando

¨Construir Cantando¨ has been developed over a network of choral groups (nuclei) in active partnership with other Social Development Organizations (mostly educational) across various communities. Today there are several groups of Pequeños Cantores located in the Metropolitan District of Caracas and the states of Miranda, Trujillo and Bolivar. The program has attended to over 846 children and adolescents aged 3 to 18. Occassionally, the ¨Construir Cantando¨choirs come together to form a large Youth Choir of the FSCV which performs collective works for choir and orchestra.

Groups of Construir Cantando Program (choirs)

Clic ---> Groups (choirs) of Construir Cantando Permanent Program

Construir Cantando program relevance

Most of the partner institutions where our groups work, serve their communities with formal education, nutrition and health. However, they do not provide extra-curricular activities for the children and youth in their communities. As a result, these partner instutitions require the support of other institutions such as the Schola Cantorum to provide the young people in their vicinity with 2 to 3 hours of activities such as choir practice. The time spent by children after school is extremely important to insuring that they are not involved in negative social activities such as drug addiction, drug trafficking, violence and early pregnancy. Thus, participating in ¨Construir Cantanto¨ programs is an beneficial alternative to harmful activities and is preventative of potential social problems.

It is very important that each participant´s family supports his or her endeavours. While not every family in Venezuela registers their children in a national census, ¨Construir Cantando¨programs help its participants to obtain legal identification through careful monitoring of its members. In 2009 the program assisted in issuing of identification cards to 50 infants and over 250 children, including 56 passports for those who needed them. Having legal Venezuelan identification allows each ¨Construir Cantando¨participant to perform in public concerts and to travel abroad on choir tours. Obtaining proper identification not only enables each child to be a registered member of society but also reinforces their intention to be part of and perform with his or her ensemble.

It is essential to systematically promote all choir members’ locomotor system stimulation through body language, improved management of native language (Castilian), development of self-esteem, teamwork, punctuality, respect, diction, knowledge of other cultural and language, the basic rules of communication, environmental awareness and appreciation of cultural heritage. For these reasons, the choral activity is really effective, quality also requires preparation and training of young music directors and assistants from the communities and nuclei.

Organizational Structure

The program “Construir Cantando” is strongly supported by the Fundación Schola Cantorum’s organizational structure. It consists of two branches, one artistic and the other administrative. Part of the artistic team and the entire administrative team spends 2 / 3 of their working time to this program.

About 19 ​​people are the permanent staff, with conventional time and FSCV fellows. 3 to 5 volunteers support the administrative activities and 26 conductors and assistants underpinning the functioning of coral groups of “Construir Cantando” Program. Approximately 6 microenterprises, most family enterprises, run operational activities include preparing snacks, maintenance the offices and headquaters, transportation of the choirs, stages, lecterns and shells and sound amplification.

Methodology

Can you imagine living the expirience that hundreds of children expirience through choral singing?. Choral singing speaks the language of music, connects children and adolescents from various socioeconomic and educational conditions, offering a common space in which you learn while singing. The teachers and choral directors, trained in the program, use various strategies grounded in the game, the expression and the collaborative construction to promote the development of intellectual, emotional, the hand of conviviality and social interaction. The experience of choral singing in the children suggests a kind of communication with the possibilities of what we are, what we express through the voice and our body as an instrument. This is eurhythmy (which trains the body to consciously feel the muscular sensations of time and space), the notation (develops the inner ear to listen and sing in tune musically) and improvisation (which stimulates the powers of concentration, ability to imagine and innovation). The three areas are developed with practice exercises, which results in rhythmic body.

“Construir Cantando” translated into musical language learn to know, learn to live together, Learn to do and Learn to Be (UNESCO 1996). Through this experience stimulates cognitive processes associated with the elementary concepts of music, develop skills for teamwork, and provide tools to build in different contexts and contribute to the shaping of a person who sings values. Aware of the importance of forging our identity, “Construir Cantando” "sings" to the Latin American cultural diversity. Rhythms, literature, colors, instruments and authors are the window that connects us, appreciating their differences, but recognizing the common elements, representative and unifying our nations.

Objectives, activities and expected results

The permant objectives of "Construir Cantando” are:

To develop the musical training of children and adolescents, provide rewarding after-school extra-curricular activities, promote civic values, and foster intellectual, emotional, locomotor, and social growth through choral singing.
More specific objectives, detailed activities, and their long-term impact can be seen below.

Construir Cantando


Objectives, activities and expected results

"Construir Cantando" is dedicated to appreciating each culture's differences and similarities, which in turn represent and unify the continent.

Specific Objectives and Activities of "Construir Cantando" Program

Specific Objectives  Activities Details of activities
1. Planning and implement the practice and teaching of choral singing in each of the groups through the principals conductors and choral assistant for the proper and effective use of non-formal educational time and free time.1.A. Planning and implementing every week educational and choral activities for each group.2 rehersals (2 hours each one) every week per choir, led by a conductor and a choral assistant, for an approximate total of 144 hours of rehearsal per group per year. Use of teaching materials and support tools.

1.B. Planning and implementation of concerts between local and regional choirs.
Average of 3 local concerts and 2 regional concerts every year per choir. At least 12 movilizations extranúcleo. Uniforms for approximately 1045 children and youth. Services are required to move the lectern, tranport, sound, snacks, etc.  
2. Comprehensively strengthen the conductors and their assistants to improve the transmission of technical corals, civic values​​, development of intellectual, emotional, locomotor and social corals. 2.A. Planning and implementing training workshops on values, music education, vocal and choraltechnique for choral directorsand their assistants.Organization of at least 3 national workshops by professional nacional experts and / or international where Coral representatives support the artistic choir to the speakers. 
 Program Administration Administrative expenses, management, accounting for "Construir Cantando" Programm.

Objectives of the "Construir Cantando" Program results

Specific Objectives NO Measurable ResultsMeasurable Results 
1. Plan and implement the practice and teaching of choral singing in each of the cores through the principals conductors and chorals assistant for the proper and effective use of non-formal educational time and free time. 1.A. Minimizing exposure of children with social problems, civic stimulating behaviors, intellectual and emotional capabilities.Effective occupation of non-formal educational time and free time.
Development of a sense of timeliness and consistency in the work.
Stimulation of memory.
Stimulation of locomotor skills and musical eurhythmy, rhythm, melody and harmony.
Stimulation of the correct use of Spanish. 
 1.B. Social integration through teamwork, strengthening the family, recognition and respect of the existence of different socio-cultural communities. Integration of the choir members and their family with others chorals group.
Make samples of the work done through concerts at the nearby communities.
Meetings with parents and representatives for planning extra activities. 
2. Strengthen integrally choir conducters and their assistants to improve the transmission of choral techniques, civic values​​, development of intellectual, emotional, locomotor and social corals 2.A. Planning and Training of the principals conductors and their assistants, teaching choral techniques for the transmission of musical knowledge and civic behavior. Participation of conductors and attending workshops.
Make Samples to the learning community through concerts in the workshops.
Strengthening the technical skills of principals conductors and assistants.

Objectives and activities Indicators

Specific Objectives Activities Indicators 
1. Planning and implement the practice and teaching of choral singing in each of the groups through the principals conductors and assistants for the proper and effective use of non-formal educational time and free time 1.A. Minimizing exposure of children with social problems, civic stimulating behaviors, intellectual and emotional capabilities Number of hours of rehearsal on each group.
Punctuality percentage of conductors assistants in choral activities.
Number of works memorize in Spanish and other languages, ​​and performed in concerts per year for each group.
Number of works performed with eurhythmist per year for each group.
 1.B. Social integration through teamwork, strengthening the family, recognition and respect of the existence of different socio-cultural communities. Number of choir members and parents / guardians attending concerts in general.
Number of local and regional concerts.
Number of planning meetings with parents, representatives and assistants. 
2. Strengthen integrally choir conducters and their assistants to improve the transmission of choral techniques, civic values​​, development of intellectual, emotional, locomotor and social corals. 2.A. Planning and Training of the principals conductors and their assistants, teaching choral techniques for the transmission of musical knowledge and civic behavior. Number of workshops held each year.
Number of attendees.
Number of Concerts result of workshops.
Results of surveys and tests to attendees. 

Sustainability "Construir Cantando" Program

The FSCV works hard to keep the "Construir Cantando" program operating. Our operations rely heavily on the support of parents and affiliated members. "Construir Cantando" could not operate without partial contributions of the ODS partner companies, private foundations, (including contributions via LOCTI), government agencies and various embassies. Between 2009 and 2010 the program received 91% of its operating budget from private contributions - a statistic that is telling of the concern Venezuela's private sector has towards sustainable social development of its youth. However, these resources make up only 34% of the program's annual or biennial recurrent inputs. All other donations come in single contribution basis. Because there is currently a defecit in repetative donations, "Construir Cantando" resorts to seeking out new institutions that are willing contribute to the existing network of other project supporters.

Chronology of major events since 2004

Chronology see by clicking here