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Tag : schools

Sing Every Day












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

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Online Training Courses for Primary, Secondary & Instrumental Music Teachers







Music Education Solutions has recently expanded its range of online courses for primary, secondary, and instrumental music teachers. Whether you’re looking for planning inspiration, help with the national curriculum, behaviour management tips, or want to develop your understanding around the theory of musical learning, there is something for everyone!

Each course costs £99, is valid for 6 months, and comes with a certificate on completion.

To find out more, visit the Music Education Solutions website. 

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LSO On Track: Music in the Classroom Programme

LSO On Track 10th Anniversary 05072018
Photo Copyright: Doug Peters
Photographer – Doug Peters
m.07778 358182















LSO On Track brings you – Music in the Classroom is a year-long hands-on programme for Primary teachers and pupils in East London, regardless of musical or teaching experience. Primary school teachers and their pupils will have the opportunity to explore classical music in engaging new ways, develop musical skills, learn hands-on games and warm-ups, work collaboratively, and create and perform group compositions.

Music in the Classroom is open to Primary schools in East London (in the boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Greenwich, Hackney, Havering, Lewisham, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest) and is targeted at Key Stage 2 teachers and students. We are unable to offer places to independent schools.

Led by Rachel Leach, LSO Animateur, Julie Sharpe, Teacher trainer, London Symphony Orchestra musicians

For more information please contact Beth Kershaw, LSO On Track Projects Manager, on or 020 7382 2538 or visit the LSO website here.

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Opera in Schools – Laika the Space Dog

Laika The Space Dog – English Touring Opera
Music: Russell Hepplewhite
Design: Jude Munden
Cast includes Abigail Kelly, Emma Watkinson, David de Wynter and Maciek O’Shea















The English Touring Opera (ETO) – Autumn Opera in Schools – Laika the Space Dog

ETO is reviving its award-winning opera for children Laika the Space Dog, which tells the story of the Russian dog that was sent to space as part of the Soviet space programme.

 The opera’s thrilling story is told in many diverse ways by nine professional performers – and also includes archive film, filmed animation (created with children) and puppetry. The characters include the idealistic young student Mikhael, the great scientist Korolev, the dog-hating Valentina, and of course the little dog herself. The piece features also a specially made theremin (the original electronic instrument), along with percussion, clarinet, cello and bassoon.

The action takes us from an apartment in Moscow to Gorky Park, to the Kremlin (where we meet President Khrushchev), and finally to the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, brought to life with stunning design, and from where we launch the famous Sputnik rockets. The piece is highly interactive and includes songs for everyone. A comprehensive teachers’ pack and CD support the project

Location: Each performance will take place in the school who books the show

Cost per production: Cost 290+VAT

Dates: Bookings date depending on the school and ETO availability.

For more information and to book please email:

For more information about ETO visit:

Photo Credit: Robert Workman 

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Hackney Schools Music and Dance Festival – 20th Anniversary!

It is hard to believe that the schools singing festival has been running since 1997, but it has! It was established to support primary teachers (specialists and non-specialists alike) in delivering curriculum music through the use of accessible and inclusive resources in the form of a song bank, and a platform to participate in the joy of massed singing alongside other Hackney schools. Over the last 20 years, the festival has grown from three schools participating in one singing event, to a whopping 69 schools taking part in a fortnight of singing, instrumental, dance and partnership day events. So there is much to celebrate!

To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Schools Music and Dance Festival, in addition to the songs performed on the day, at this year’s festival, we are providing a songbook with further bonus tracks for use across your school; in all there will be 20 songs celebrating 20 years, many of which have been suggested and put forward by our primary teachers as school favourites!

In addition to the established events, in consultation with the Early Years team, we are introducing a new EYFS singing festival, which will be led by, music lead and nursery teacher at Kingsmead School, Ben De Sausmarez. Ben has been a conductor of the Infant Festival supporting Yvonne Packer for some years and we are delighted that he has agreed to lead this new EYFS event. This completes the suite of singing events from nursery through to secondary school singing.

As this is the 20th Anniversary, we will also take this opportunity to celebrate our various partnerships with local and regional partners with a festival launch event at the Barbican Centre on 26th June – further details and how to obtain tickets for this event will follow shortly. The main festival will follow at the wonderful Round Chapel in Lower Clapton from 29th June to 7th July 2017.

This will be a special year of festival events with invited guest conductors and performers. For Hackney Schools who would like to participate, you can email who will provide you with instructions on how to take part, and a festival registration form.

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Hackney pupil wins Outstanding Brass Scholar award at the London Music Awards!


Louis Lodder Award


Mayor’s Music Fund scholar Louis Lodder (Simon Marks Primary School) was nominated for the award by Hackney Music Service, and was chosen from brass scholars across London to win the outstanding brass award – a tremendous achievement, we are all extremely proud of him! The award ceremony took place at the Roundhouse on Thursday 11th June.

This is the second year in a row a Hackney pupil has been selected for an awarded as last year Kingsmead’s Daniel Aidoo was awarded the outstanding percussion scholar prize. To top it all off, Louis performed the first movement of Mozart’s 1st Horn Concerto with the Hackney Training Orchestra for their end of term concert. He will be performing the piece again at the HMS Project Partnership Performance day on Friday 3rd July 2015.


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