philippe rixhon associates  
  Sing Up  Robin Bell
Sing Up
© Robin Bell

A global initiative

The Aarya Foundation recognises that singing is good for you and singing together is good for the world. Science is collecting evidence on singing’s benefits for the quality of life of those who are touched by it. Educators are interested in singing as an advantage in all areas of learning. At the foundation’s core are the ideals of health, education, sharing, hope, positive energy, and joy.

Science confirms the positive effects of singing on physical, intellectual, emotional, and social skills. Songs – lyrics and music – trigger, develop, and connect both sides of our brains – the rational side and the intuitive side. The world is in desperate need of this connection, of insight, imagination, and creativity.

Claudia Castro and Philippe Rixhon formulated a straightforward vision. In 30 years, within the span of a generation, hundreds of millions of people will have trained their voices and will be singing together. To realise this vision, Philippe Rixhon Associates consulted with experts in music, science, and education, and ultimately founded The Aarya Foundation.

With great commitment, thousands of people worldwide have been working on singing initiatives. The Aarya Foundation has asked their advice in making its vision a reality. Their recommendation is to bring the effective learning of singing into the curriculum of all kindergarten, primary, and secondary schools as a right for every young person. And in order to do so, they advise that the Foundation present scientific evidence of the benefits of singing.


Science-based advocacy

The Aarya Foundation focuses on the advancement of singing science and the advocacy of music education through singing. The Foundation fosters the study of singing – an art form – through medicine, neuroscience, physics, and social sciences; it takes into account that education and knowledge are culturally and socially located.

The Aarya Foundation fosters a better understanding of –

  • anatomy, physiology, and neurology of the singing voice
  • acoustics of singing, both solo and in a group
  • development of singing across the lifespan
  • singing and well-being
  • music perception and production

On one side, scientific understanding will identify the benefits of singing for the individual which, once they have been analysed by cultural economists, will define the benefits of singing for the community. 

On the other side, this understanding will be brought together with the generic principles of education, effective learning, and effective teaching, to define the principles of learning and teaching singing effectively.

Zing voor je leven! (Dutch, PDF, 2 MB)

Sing for your life! (English, PDF, 113 KB)


Singing Cities


Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realisation, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organisation and resources of each state, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. Everyone has a singing voice.


Music education through singing and performance shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all neighbourhoods, ethnic or religious groups.


Everyone has the right freely to participate in the singing life of the city and to enjoy singing.


Each city shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in singing life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for singing activity.


Aarya supports and promotes city initiatives which offer continuous singing activities to all citizens, and organise a yearly voice festival. These yearly voice festivals –

  • promote local music education through singing creation and performance
  • are inclusive and ensure singing together across –
    • generations
    • gender
    • diverse ethnicities and cultural communities
    • faith and non-faith groups
    • affluent and deprived neighbourhoods
    • different abilities and disabilities
    • professionals and amateurs
  • respect the moral and material interests of authors, songwriters and composers


Our collaboration with Rundfunkchor Berlin, the initiator of Broadening the Scope of Choral Music, initiated Singing Cities through the Fest der Kulturen on 30 January 2011. At the second edition of Fest der Kulturen which took place on 30 June 2012, The Aarya Foundation has been the proud presenter of the Sevenoaks Gospel Choir.

The Aarya Foundation launched Singing Cities with Berlin, Brussels, Namsos and Newcastle Gateshead, and the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.


Gospel Choir tour to Berlin (PDF, 554 KB)


The Aarya Foundation


The Aarya Foundation is an English charitable trust registered on 9 February 2009 under the number 1127953.

The Aarya Foundation is a member of the International Music Council, an NGO official partner of UNESCO (associate status).





  • Royce Bell
  • Claudia Castro
  • Baz Chapman
  • Paul Cutts
  • Philippe Rixhon


Scientific committee

  • Stephen Clift, Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Stefan Koelsch, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Gunter Kreutz, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
  • Griet Laureyns, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Marc Pirlot, Université de Mons
  • Johan Sundberg, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm
  • Ruth Towse, Bournemouth University
  • Graham Welch, University College London, Institute of Education
  • Katherine Zeserson, Sing Up
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