Find Our Voice

May 09, 2017

Let’s Find Our Voice is a joint wellbeing project between the students of FCJ College Benalla and Cooinda Village, an aged-care facility.

The arts and social justice project takes the form of a combined choir between the Year 7 students and Cooinda residents.

They have been practising songs on a weekly basis at the Cooinda residence.

This project lifts moods, improves confidence and promotes inclusion.

It allows two different groups, people who would not ordinarily meet, to come together and make strong connections.

Group singing can transport a person. It transcends individual ability. It promotes empathy and understanding and brings physical and psychological benefits.

It fosters strong connections in the community and adopts the principles of positive education because it encourages positive relationships.

A natural consequence of these new formed relationships are the positive emotions that follow.

A key element of the project is the writing of memoirs.

Six Cooinda residents visit FCJ College to tell their stories to Year 10 English students.

These stories are written down by our students. They learn listening skills and their writing skills are honed as they draft the memoirs, checking for accuracy and then presenting them at the final concert.

During the visit to FCJ College by the Cooinda Village residents, photographic portraits of a professional standard are taken by Year 10 student Bailey Maher, and will be presented with the memoirs spoken by the students who wrote them.

The project culminates in a concert, which is held at the local performing arts centre.

The songs are performed, the memoirs are presented and the portrait photographs are displayed as the memoirs are read.

The whole experience is completed by other students catering for an afternoon tea.

The event takes place at BPACC on May 12.

— FCJ College’s director of wellbeing and choir conductor Catherine Burton

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