Photo credit – Andrew Wilkinson Photography
In 2019 Hackney Music Service Network Partner the VOCES8 Foundation led a special project with year 1 children and their teachers at Shoreditch Park Primary and Thomas Fairchild Community School. Called Sing Every Day, the project involved teacher training for the classroom teachers and singing workshops for the children led by members of the a cappella group Apollo5. Below, Ann Wright, Director of Education, VOCES8 Foundation reflects upon the project.
The children and teachers learned a variety of warm-ups for their bodies, brains and voices that included creating a magic potion, Peanut the cat on a trampoline and singing I’m alive, alert, awake enthusiastic. They also learned rhythms and melodies from the VOCES8 Method and explored body and vocal percussion through this Method.
Both schools learned a wide variety of songs to use as part of lessons (Mr Double Trouble for Maths was a favourite at Shoreditch Park); to perform in assemblies including One in a million by Emily Barden which celebrates the power of working together to achieve our dreams; and to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing including Apollo5’s arrangement of When you Wish Upon a Star which the children performed at the VOCES8 Centre in concert with Apollo5.
The project was evaluated by Professor Graham Welch and a team of researchers from UCL. Their findings point to the wonderful way in which the classroom teachers embraced the project learning to lead singing confidently and use it every day. The children’s singing improved significantly and at the end of the project scored well above a national database of singing evaluations conducted in UK schools. Additional wider benefits of the project include a positive correlation between the children’s singing development and aspects of executive function, particularly their phonological working memory.
You can see and hear the children and their teachers in this short film about the project:
For more information, about VOCES8 Foundation please visit their website here.