Center for Choral Pedagogical Research and Practice

Roter Schriftzug "Zechof" auf grauem Hintergrund

The Center for Choral Pedagogical Research and Practice (ZECHOF) at the University Mozarteum, Department of Music Education Innsbruck, deals with the large subject area of choral pedagogy in a variety of ways. Projects and events are intended to provide both theoretical and practical insights into this work.

Center for Choral Pedagogical Research and Practice

Heike Henning

Universitätsstraße 1 (Raum 04.03)
6020 Innsbruck

Department for Music Education Innsbruck


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Singen is inser Freid - Workshop Volksmusik

Singing is our joy... Singing folk songs with children and young people

The workshop with Sarah Loukota gives ideas on how alpine folk songs can be used in everyday school life or in children's and youth choirs. The aim is to find out in practice how to yodel with children, which paths to polyphony are possible, how and which folk songs are particularly fun and at the same time vocally healthy for the respective age. Tips, tricks, a collection of songs and matching dances/movements should give impulses to be able to authentically integrate the alpine folk song in lessons and in choral singing with children.

Research & Practice

The first focus of the center is choral pedagogical research. Together with her assistant Julia Vigl, Heike Henning has conducted three extensive studies among choral singers and conductors in recent years. The results of this research have been published in various publications. In the series Innsbrucker Perspektiven zur Musikpädagogik (Innsbruck Perspectives on Music Education), the proceedings of the symposium Lebenslanges Musizieren (Lifelong Music Making) were published in the fall of 2020.

In addition to theory-based research, the second major focus of ZECHOF is on choral pedagogical practice. In the most diverse event formats, students and interested laypersons are to be addressed in addition to professional choral educators and teachers. With this intention, several formats, such as the online living room choir (Openchoir), were launched in winter 2020. In addition to these smaller workshops or lectures, ZECHOF also organizes large symposia that bring together a large number of people for a weekend under a specific aspect and focus. These symposia take place both online and directly at Haus der Musik in Innsbruck.

Open Choir

Open Choir is a community singing project initiated by ZECHOF in the tradition of community music. It is an inclusive, intercultural and intergenerational singing offer of ZECHOF, which is open to all and can be participated in without obligation of regularity.

In addition to a low-threshold singing offer, Open Choir also aims to get to know, hand down, maintain and expand song material. In the selection of songs and the creation of the respective song booklet, care is taken to mix traditional and familiar songs with foreign-language, new and unfamiliar songs. 

At previous Open Choir events (with the exception of the first Open Choir on December 7, 2020 (as part of a three-part workshop series on The Intelligent Choir), Peter Schindler has provided musical accompaniment on the piano. The song selection and the moderation is done by Heike Henning, who also compiles and intersperses information about the songs and their contents.

So far, up to 100 participants have taken part in each event, mainly from all over the German-speaking world. In the future, the Open Choir is to be offered → live on site, → virtually as before → and/or hybrid (with people on site as well as online). Musical encounters are to be made possible in different spaces.


The Grenzklang project is a unique project in the whole of the German-speaking region of Tyrol, which on the one hand offers children of Persian origin an opportunity to promote singing and music-making, while at the same time enabling a connection to their culture and being open to children of all nationalities as well as music of pluralistic cultures. On the other hand, Grenzklang is a practical training program for future music teachers.

This common intercultural learning envisaged in the project ideally leads to an attitude of all participants, which is the basis for social progress and enables teaching and learning in diversity, equality and democracy. It thus functions as a model for further (music-)pedagogical and intercultural offers. Synergy is an essential characteristic and Grenzklang contributes to the strengthening of the cultural identity of all participants.

More about the project (Opens in new tab)