Voices: An Inclusive Choir in Dortmund, Germany – Irmgard Merkt

Τεύχος 4 (2) 2012 – Article

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Voices: An Inclusive Choir in Dortmund, Germany

Irmgard Merkt

(pp. 93-100)


The article describes the concept and work with an inclusive choir, in which students of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences at TU Dortmund University sing together with adult mentally challenged people. The choir ‘Voices’ was founded in 2010, as a part of the project Dortmunder Modell: Musik (DOMO: Musik). The choir and project are committed to realising the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly in developing models of cultural participation, relevant both for people with and without disabilities. After describing the DOMO: Musik project and its principles, newly developed ideas for inclusive choir work are presented, together with imminent difficulties and positive results. Special attention is drawn to the selection of the pieces under the aspect of artistic variety.  Five pieces of the artistic interdisciplinary repertoire are presented. Finally, the student choir members reflect on their experiences in the inclusive choir and make clear the importance of joint activities leading to an inclusive society.


music, culture, inclusion, people with disabilities, inclusive choir, repertoire, methods


Born and educated in Munich, Irmgard Merkt studied classical singing and musical education at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich, and educational sciences at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU Munich). In 1981  she was appointed Associate Professor at the Teacher Training College Pädagogische Hochschule Ruhr, Department Special Education. Since 1991 Irmgard has held the role of Chair of “Musical Education and Music Therapy” at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, TU Dortmund University. Founder of the further education system “InTakt” and the inclusive further education system “Europa InTakt – Music and persons with special needs” she is also head of the current project Dortmunder Modell: Musik and Dean of the Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences.

Email: irmgard.merkt@tu-dortmund.de