International schools get their voices heard on Listen To Us song
July 3, 2015
Over 33,000 students from schools around the globe have this year shared in one common learning experience – to master one of the vocal parts for a new song called Listen To Us.
Listen To Us is uniting young people around the world as part of the Voices Around The World project. This is the third year of the project which has involved over 1,400 national, independent and international schools, and culminated in the release of the Listen To Us CD in July. The CD features the voices of over 5,000 students from recordings that were made by schools in 48 different countries including Cambodia, Israel, Iceland, Brazil and Turkey.
All proceeds from the sales of the CD plus a DVD will this year go to support schools in Tanzania that are in need of basic learning resources.
The Voices Around The World project, which is in its third year, is spearheaded by former music teacher and international school principal, Laurie Lewin, in collaboration with singer/songwriter Howard Jones. Laurie has travelled to many schools to support them with their rehearsals and recordings of Listen To Us, and to encourage students to think about the words they are singing. “Young people really want to make a difference,” he said. “They want to work together for change. Many who we’ve spoken to, from all around the world, show they’re absolutely passionate about the meaning behind the words of the song. You can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices while they’re singing. Whatever their age, participating in such a project has a huge impact on them.”
Laurie was inspired to find a school in Syria to participate in this year’s project thanks to the suggestion of a student who took part in 2014. “During last year’s project, I visited an international school in Dubai to help the students with their recording,” explained Laurie. “I spoke to a young girl there who’d been practising the song with me. She said ‘I’d like to be singing this with my friends back in Syria.’ She was a Syrian refugee. Thanks to her wish, this year we are thrilled to have children from Al-Shams (The Sun) School, Sweida city, Syria joining us on the recording.”
Over 300 international schools have taken part in Voices Around The World this year including St Andrews International School in Bangkok, Baleares International College in Mallorca, Campion School in Athens, Panaga School in Brunei, Jakarta International School in Indonesia, and the international schools of Genoa, Cambodia and Iceland to name a few.
One of the students at St Christopher’s School, a British school in Bahrain said: “I loved singing Listen To Us. It made me think about people singing Listen To Us everywhere around the world. My favourite line from the song is ‘All the leaders round the world – listen to us!’ I think they should!”
Sponsors that have helped to raise awareness of the project this year have included Coins Foundation, Monjasa, Bandzoogle, the International Primary Curriculum, and the Charter for Compassion.
Listen To Us is available to download from iTunes and from the Voices Around The World website where you will also be able to find out how to participate in the 2016 project. You can also see feedback from some of this year’s participating schools on the Voices Around The World Facebook page.