BECOME A MEMBER! Sign up for TIE services now and start your international school career


Children’s Voices Heard Globally

By Anne Keeling
Children’s Voices Heard Globally

Over 33,000 students from schools around the globe this year shared in one common learning experience: to master one of the vocal parts for a new song called “Listen To Us!”
“Listen To Us!” united young people around the world as part of the Voices Around The World project. This was the third year of the project and involved over 1,400 national, independent, and international schools, and culminated in the release of the “Listen To Us!” CD in July. The CD features the voices of over 5,000 students from recordings that were made by schools—including many international schools—in 48 different countries including Cambodia, Israel, Iceland, Brazil, and Turkey.
All proceeds from the sales of the CD plus a DVD are this year going to support schools in Tanzania that are in need of basic learning resources.
The Voices Around The World project, which is in its third year, was spearheaded by former music teacher and international school principal Laurie Lewin, in collaboration with singer/songwriter Howard Jones. Laurie travelled to many schools to support them with their rehearsals and recordings of “Listen To Us!”, and to encourage students to think about the words they were singing.
“Young people really want to make a difference,” he said. “They want to work together for change. Many who we’ve spoken to, from all around the world, show they’re absolutely passionate about the meaning behind the words of the song. You can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices while they’re singing. Whatever their age, participating in such a project has a huge impact on them.”
Laurie was inspired to find a school in Syria to participate in the project thanks to the suggestion of a student who took part in 2014.
“During last year’s project, I visited an international school in Dubai to help the students with their recording,” explained Laurie. “I spoke to a young girl there who’d been practicing the song with me. She said ‘I’d like to be singing this with my friends back in Syria.’ She was a Syrian refugee. Thanks to her wish, this year we are thrilled to have children from Al-Shams (The Sun) School, Sweida city, Syria joining us on the recording.”
National, independent, and international schools took part in Voices Around The World this year. Kristina Bourner, who is the music teacher at St Christopher’s School, an international school in Bahrain who taught “Listen To Us!” to some of her students, said, “For students around the world, sharing in the recording of a song with a common goal is an incredibly powerful experience. It is uniting children of so many cultures with one important message—that working together, you can make a difference.”
Sponsors this year have included Coins Foundation, Monjasa, Bandzoogle, the International Primary Curriculum, and the Charter for Compassion.
“Listen To Us!” is available to download from iTunes and can be heard, along with a video, on the Voices Around The World website, where schools can also find out how to participate in the 2016 project. Feedback from some of this year’s participating schools can be found on the Voices Around The World Facebook page.

Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:


There are currently no comments posted. Please post one via the form above.



Elevate Student Voice & Choice in Diverse Learning Settings
By Lindsay Kuhl, Jane Russell Valezy, & Esther Bettney
May 2021

Increasing Student Autonomy Through Time and Place
By Tim Johnson & Tony Winch
May 2021