A Children and Parents Choir in a Francophone Minority Setting: Singing and Belonging


This presentation highlights the sociocultural impact of a children and parents choir in a French language elementary school in Eastern Ontario. Members of the francophone community in Ontario are regularly exposed to the majority Anglophone culture through the media and various social activities and they have less opportunity to relate to the French culture. The French language school then becomes an essential institution for the preservation of its language and culture. Also, the role of the community is fundamental in promoting the French culture and ensuring its ethnolinguistic vitality. As such, cultural activities play an important role in the identity development and sense of belonging of French speaking Ontarians. More specifically, studies have put forward the impact of the arts on childrens personal growth as well as on the development of their sense of belonging to the francophone community (Chagnon-Lampron & Haentjens, 2004). In this perspective, the children and parents choir brings together members of the francophone community in which children and parents alike can develop their musical abilities while gaining an awareness of the music of their culture and other cultures. As children are invited to participate in this activity with their parents, they are given the opportunity to experience choral singing, which they might not do in other circumstances. The children and parents choir in the francophone minority setting not only benefits a time for family and social gathering, it also incites the development of a sense of self through singing and musical activities.

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