INCLUSIVE EDUCATION THROUGHOUT LIFE THROUGH CHORAL SINGING
Comenius regarded learning as the most basic human instinct, as people identify ourselves by our constant intellectual curiosity and the need to understand and learn from the natural and social in order to improve our quality of life. Going through school and academic institutions give us the basic tools to access to knowledge and culture, while developing of our own intellectual and social abilities is achieved through training or systematic participation in cultural activities.
In this sense the music, besides being characterized as an excellent cultural activity, is considered one of the activities that more brain areas stimulates, producing beneficial effects in people who practice it. Singing is a good exercise to feel good, not only by the amount of endorphins and oxytocin that produces in the organism, but also because it promotes interpersonal cohesion developing a sense of inclusion among its members as it does not require prerequisite, neither physical or intellectual. If we transfer all these features to a choral group, as that promoted by the National Organization of the Blind in Spain (ONCE) in order to share free time, space and musical experiences, the benefits are multiplied to emphasize their emotional and educational aspect.
This paper describes the characteristics and activities of the Coral Allegro ONCE that redound in constant learning of all its members. Founded in 1982 in a special school for partially sighted children, this coral was later considered a key group into the music development programs for members with visual disability of the ONCE, and represents this organization in several national and international events. The Coral Allegro has acted in different auditoriums, highlighting its collaboration with the “Three Tenors” at the Camp Nou in Barcelona. It has also entertained the presentation of the official mascot in the Paralympic Sport galas. It collaborates in Hearts in Harmony, event sponsored by Europa-Cantat, and has produced five recordings that testify its musical evolution. Data contributed here are taken from the reports made during the action-research process based on the educational work of this artistic group. So much the researching process as the management and development of this coral are financed, on the one hand, with funds raised through those projects approved by this organization in its annual call within the program for development of art, music and theater groups, and, on the other hand, with the contributions obtained from other public and private institutions.