Som da Rua, a community choir
Som da Rua is a vocal and instrumental group of homeless and institutionalized adults, established in October 2009 by the director of the Educational Service of the concert hall Casa da Música, who is also its conductor. It has been characterized since its creation by a growing commitment of all the engaged members both at the level of a nuclear group of participants with a significant time of permanence in the project, including the choir conductor and mentor, and through a remarkable public visibility. Revisiting the social and the psychological functions of music, the study reflects upon a relatively recent perspective of music as a means of social intervention in socially disadvantaged contexts. It also reflects about different concepts of community musical practice with socially deprived populations and the use of music to build up a capacity of resilience in individuals and in groups.
Through a qualitative methodology, based on participant observation and in interviews with the social workers that support this population, with the participants, the conductor and other involved musicians, this research aims to understand the interactions and possible self-esteem promoting conditions developed among the members of the choir, and between members and the conductor/mentor.
Considering the theoretical model of the ‘elitist performance’ several bridges can be outlined to the positive aspects of amateur musical performances, namely those related with therapeutic aspects, group processes, reciprocity with audiences, and emotional and mental stimulation.
CIPEM/Casa da Música
April 2011 to December 2014
Community choir, emotional and cognitive stimulation, elitist performance, social inclusion