The Government has announced a £40 million initiative to put singing at the heart of every primary school. The investment is part of a wider commitment to provide £332m to support music-making in schools over the next three years.
‘Sing Up’ is the Music Manifesto’s National Singing Programme, and aims to ensure that every primary-school aged child has the opportunity to experience high quality singing as part of their everyday lives in the school, the home and the wider community.
The national campaign was launched on 21st November by Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, and is being spearheaded by Singing Ambassador Howard Goodall and backed by singer Jamelia.
‘Sing Up’ is being run by a consortium led by Youth Music in partnership with Faber Music, The Sage Gateshead and advertising agency Abbott Mead Vickers. It comprises a national singing resource or ‘songbook’ (led by Faber Music), a media and schools campaign highlighting the benefits of singing (led by Abbott Mead Vickers) and a workforce development programme to build the confidence and expertise of primary school teachers, musicians and parents in leading and supporting children’s singing activities (led by The Sage Gateshead).
Faber Music is producing the ‘Sing Up’ resource. www.singup.org, a web-based songbook or ‘Song Bank’, is a flexible, diverse singing resource containing a wealth of new and traditional songs with supporting materials designed for those working with primary children, whether or not they are music specialists. The website will be supported by a termly magazine and CD materials, available to all primary schools. Combined, they will give teachers guidance on how to incorporate singing into the school day no matter what their own singing ability. In addition to lesson plans, teachers will be able to download song sheets and audio tracks from the website for use in the classroom.
The first magazine was published in November, and included music on licence from various publishers (including OUP, Boosey & Hawkes, Sing for Pleasure, A&C Black and Faber Music), with full publication details for each song being provided.
The consortium was appointed, following a tendering process which attracted more than 80 enquiries. Talking about Faber Music’s involvement Publishing Director Kathryn Knight said “We are absolutely thrilled to be involved with an initiative that is at the heart of music education and which promises not just to re-invigorate singing in schools but potentially transform the lives of so many children”. It’s a great testament to Faber Music’s publishing expertise to be chosen as the resource provider. In fact this is not the first time Faber has entered into joint venture publishing partnerships. In 2005 Faber Music was the publishing partner for Youth Music’s highly successful 'Singbook', which has sold over 4,000 copies.
Talking about the initiative Singing Ambassador and composer, Howard Goodall, said: "Research has shown that young people who are lucky enough to learn music and sing from an early age develop better social skills, memory, ability to listen and have more confidence. Singing also builds a child’s self-esteem, promotes team work irrespective of age, gender, and background, celebrates diversity, facilitates self-expressions – and is just plain fun”
Singer Jamelia said “I'm so excited to be involved with the Sing Up campaign and can’t wait to get kids singing again. Singing in a class is something I got a great deal from as a child – it really helped to build up my confidence and taught me how to express myself better.“
Further information www.singup.org