Superar Choir of Caritas Alba Iulia

Who are we?
A diverse team of children and adults, communicating through music

Superar Choir of Caritas Alba Iulia is a musical-social intervention program created in 2018 through a cooperation between Caritas Alba Iulia and Superar, Verein zur Förderung der Musik from Austria. Approximately 220 children from 8 villages, led by 10 pedagogues, rehearse and perform in local and combined choirs. The majority of the children come from economically and socially disadvantaged Roma communities, which face severe discrimination and often segregation.

Where are we?
Rural communities who are ready for change 

The choir program runs in 6 Caritas daycenters in the geographical area called Transylvania: Cotuș and Sângeorgiu de Mureș  in Mures county; Atid, Odorheiu Secuiesc, Miercurea Ciuc and Zetea in Harghita county; Ojdula and Sfantu Gheorghe in Covasna county. The children, aged 6-13, attend the choir rehearsals in their villages several times a week and combine with other locations regularly.

What do we do?
Provide musical passports to explore the world

We meet the children in their own environment, gain their trust, show and explore new things with them and sing together. The music acts as their passport, allowing us to take them out of their villages, on to the stage and into the world. The children are proud to have something to share with the world and the audience values what they are sharing. When both the children and the audience are wearing the same smiles, we know the musical passport has been stamped.

How do we do it?
By coming together, singing together and succeeding together 

Children in all of our locations develop a common repertoire of multicultural music. Choir time is fun, interactive and involves lots of movement and laughter. Communication is dynamic, rhythmic, musical and very often non-verbal. There is a positive atmosphere where learning takes place without it feeling like work. Songs and musical games are often incorporated in other moments throughout the daycenter’s timetable, creating many opportunities for organic learning. Pedagogues, with a love of music are immersed in the Superar method, focusing on creative ways of facilitating success and positive communication with their children.

Success is not only measured by the many performance opportunities that the choir has, but each rehearsal is designed to celebrate the successes within it: mastering more foreign song lyrics than the day before, grabbing a child’s attention for longer than usual, a child feeling confident enough to share a skill with the group, smiling children who don’t want to leave the rehearsal.

We are one choir in eight locations, and music creates the language that allows for an understanding between everyone. With the pretext of rehearsing common repertoire our children and teachers visit each other throughout the year, creating an atmosphere where lasting friendships are formed. Individual choir locations also perform in their communities on a regular basis, giving opportunities for their successes to be validated by those closest to them and to feel accepted in their community. These performances are often passports to institutions where our children and their families have rarely been engaged, and therefore provide opportunities for relations to be formed in a positive atmosphere.

When our children leave their villages with their musical passports and come together on stage for performances, they integrate their individual successes in the pursuit of a common goal.  By singing and performing together, they show audiences the positive atmosphere that is possible when everyone is valued.

Because there will always be boundaries in life, but the more we cross them, the more successful we are together

The demands of our current society leave very little free time for imagination, for being creative and for making connections with those around us, yet these are exactly the skills that will be most valuable for the next generation to be successful in the ever changing world around them.

Superar Choir of Caritas Alba Iulia provides a regular, creative outlet for both our children and teachers.  Music is something that everyone has within them, and is a way of caring for our emotional health.  By singing and making music together we practice what it feels like to be part of a positive community, where each member is valued and empowered.  The children of Superar Choir of Caritas Alba Iulia, and also their families, develop skills that prepare them to be useful members of their communities in the unpredictable future.

The word “superar” means to overcome boundaries, both internal and external, and that’s exactly what we practice on a daily basis – moving forward, finding creative solutions, changing stereotypes and always growing.  If our children are adept at these things from a young age, then they will always be successful.