Cultural heritage becomes stories and music

Thanks to the support of Signatur Foundation Sweden, Dream Orchestra (DO) was able to launch the project “Storytelling in Dream Orchestra” in January 2022. The project involves and motivates the orchestra’s young members to express and communicate their thoughts and dreams through storytelling. The narratives become a means to safeguard their cultural heritage and to build a community together with high quality music making in the orchestra.

STORYTELLING – a multicultural repertoire

By establishing a creative action space (music creation, communal music, community), Dream Orchestra has reached out to young people from many different cultural backgrounds. They have taken an interest in each other and through peer learning have become young leaders who celebrate their cultures together and devise arrangements of their music for the orchestra.

By motivating and involving the students in the creation of narratives, “Storytelling” produces a uniques artistic repertoire. The repertoire builds ontraditional music from Sweden and other cultures around the world and the students all become protagonists in celebrating their traditions together through music and word.

The project is supported by Dream Orchestra’s main stakeholders, Betlehemskyrkan, the University of Gothenburg and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, with guidance by musicians from Sweden, Afghanistan, Middle East, South America and Africa. Gifted storytellers, experts in various forms of performance and acting, and specialists in cultural heritage help students and teachers create a cultural repertoire that will be written down, performed at multiple venues and recorded.

The aim is to preserve, protect and develop the musical heritage of local and world music. By allowing the next generation to learn and strengthen their musical heritage, this material will be accessible for other music education programmes in Sweden to share with their students. It is a question of inclusion, equity and democracy: to give people with roots in various cultures access to their history and heritage that might otherwise be lost.

Safe place for children and young people

Dream Orchestra offers a safe place for children and young people with a refugee or migrant background. Here they have the opportunity to meet and learn to play a musical instrument together in the symphony orchestra. By providing high-quality music education that is democratic, open and creative, Dream Orchestra has created an essential framework to increase social cohesion between migrants from all continents and Swedish society.

Since 2016, using the power of music Dream Orchestra has shown how cultural life and music education can be made more inclusive, working with young Swedes, refugees and migrants from 18 different countries in equal measure. Today, Dream Orchestra stands for a community that represents many ethnic groups in Swedish society. Young people interested in sharing their cultural heritage participate in orchestral and section rehearsals as well as instrumental lessons in small groups. They learn about world music and celebrate their traditions together several times a week. Dream Orchestra proposes a community model where the intensive learning of musical skills and the pursuit of musical excellence are accompanied by explicit learning of social and emotional skills. This leads to the development of aural and intellectual understanding and spiritual enjoyment of musical language.

Read more on Dream Orchestra’s website:

Film from Dream Orchestra - The dream of a Dream Orchestra.