‘Lullaby Choir’ brings communities together through the power of song


An innovative new project is bringing the diverse communities of Melbourne’s north together, one song at a time.
The Lullaby Choir, a joint initiative of The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions at The University of Melbourne and Coburg’s VICSEG New Futures, aims to promote cultural connection and conciliation through the lullabies that soothe babies the world over.

After a one-year trial involving the multicultural staff at VICSEG, the Lullaby Choir, Project is now throwing open its doors to the public so this transformative cultural exchange can weave its musical magic far and wide.
Project leader and University of Melbourne researcher Dr Samantha Dieckmann said that by learning the lullabies that their colleagues grew up with – and teaching their own songs to others – participants were sharing an important piece of their cultural makeup.

“Research supports the positive influence cross-cultural musical contact and exchange can have on people’s individual attitudes as well as on community harmony,” Dr Dieckmann said.

“Lullabies are a particularly potent form of song-making, as they go right back to a person’s early developmental stage and are one of the key ways parents soothe, educate and connect with their child.”

The Lullaby Choir performing at the VICSEG New Futures Annual General Meeting - December 2016

The general manager of VICSEG New Futures, Maree Raftis, said the Lullaby choir had been so successful the organisation was now inviting members of the public to join in the fun at its recently opened creative studio space on Sydney Rd, New Futures Creative.

“The choir has totally transformed our workplace, it’s been so significant as people are sharing something central to their identity and personal development,” Ms Raftis said.

“After rehearsals everyone is singing and humming at their desks and it has provided powerful insights into our colleagues as fellow human beings.” 

The Lullaby choir is part of a larger Music, Emotion and Conciliation research project by Dr Dieckmann and Professor Jane Davidson that involves designing and implementing interfaith and intercultural community music programs that foster emotional empathy.

VICSEG New Futures is a not for profit, community organisation that provides support and training to newly arrived and recently settled migrant communities, Asylum seekers and refugees.
The Lullaby Choir meets fortnightly on Fridays for a 90-minute cultural exchange and singing session supported by music professionals.

For dates and more details, please contact Caspar Zika at 9354 2193
Email: [email protected]