"Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind and flight to the imagination"
- Plato -
Free as a Songbird
We are thrilled to announce our project in the schoolyear 2023/2024 will be available through the whole Netherlands!
With Free as a Songbird children in Dutch newcomers schools receive music lessons from professional music teachers who are especially trained in working with refugee children. It gives refugee and newcomers children the opportunity to speak the Dutch language, while learning this through music.
The ability to communicate is the first step to freedom in society. Language therefore is a means, not an end. Communication has more forms than just language; expression of emotions is one of the ways.
Music is a universal language!
Our method consists of songs composed by us that are in line with the language methods used by the newcomer schools. The songs are based on the Basiswoordenlijst Amsterdamse Kleuters (BAK lijst).
In addition, we developed singing exercises with which the Dutch sounds are practiced in a playful way. This is a first step in language development that is often skipped. Singing is a great way to do that!
Part of each lesson consists of songwriting, so that the children can also get creative with sounds, rhythm and words and express themselves with this. They use Chrome Music Lab for this, and also start composing independently at home!
The repetition of the music assignments stimulates active listening and articulation. With songwriting, the children tell their story in their own way. When they have done this in class and during the concerts, the children experience growth and success, all of which lead to inner freedom.
Most of our music teachers have given music lessons to children in refugee camps worldwide and with newcomers in an AZC or newcomer schools in the Netherlands. In addition, they receive training from our experts in working with children who may have experienced trauma. As a result, the teachers are well trained to provide a safe learning environment in which the children can develop nicely.
In the lessons we focus on learning the Dutch language by singing. The kids even write their own songs and raps! Every half year the children give a concert where they perform with a professional singer from Ukraine or Syria. They are a role model for the children through what they have achieved in their lives and careers. Our program is based on the input of music teachers, language experts and music therapists.
Free as a songbird is supported by many partners.
Read the full brochure here.
Read our Terms and Conditions