Posts in Music in Schools
Celebrating a year of life-changing music for Southampton Music Hub
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On the last day of term, Southampton Music Hub is celebrating the end of an incredible year of life-changing music for the city’s young musicians in 2018-19.

The year was defined by one incredible story: a journey which started with 200+ of the city’s young musicians performing at the Royal Albert Hall in November; which saw that momentous event inspire over 40,000 hours of music-making with over 2,000 young musicians right across the city; and which ended with a huge celebration at Southampton Guildhall, with over 750 young musicians from over 45 schools performing in one day.

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Of course, there have been countless other amazing stories this year. Here are a few highlights:

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“Southampton Music Hub has gone from strength to strength this year, and we have been overwhelmed by the support from schools and partners that make that happen. Together, we continue to combine the exceptional and the everyday: with inspirational events, like the Royal ALbert Hall and Guildhall this year, driving new ambitions; through to delivering the music lessons and regular music groups which help turn new aspirations in to meaningful, life-changing skills and connections.”

iPad group from Kanes Hill School bring the excitement of electronic music to city education conference
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As part of Southampton Music Hub’s Youth Music funded Synthesis Project, a group of 12 young electronic musicians from year six at Kanes Hill school have spent the past ten weeks in an iPad club: working together to create their own, new pieces of music, and developing their team work skills along the way.

On Wednesday 26 June, they shared a debut performance of their exciting and unique musical creation with the education teams at Southampton City Council. Performing at Solent University’s Palmerston Theatre, the group amazed and delighted the audience with their brand new piece of music, all created and performed using iPads.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“The young musicians did an incredible job, showing all the teams at the education conference that music is a powerful tool for helping us overcome the challenges we face in life. At the start their ten weeks together, there was a huge unknown for everyone — participants and music leaders alike — but by working together towards a shared goal, inspired by creating great music, they faced up to many challenges, and in doing so, both created an incredible performance and learnt important life skills for the future.”

Southampton Music Hub celebrates the end of a year of inspirational music for the city

350 Young Musicians Perform Symphony 125 at Southampton Guildhall

On Tuesday 2 July 2019, Southampton Music Hub celebrated a momentous end to an unforgettable year of music for the city with an exciting day of music-making and performances at Southampton’s O2 Guildhall.

Following an unforgettable performance at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2018 — an event which saw over 200 of the city’s young musicians perform alongside members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO)  as part of a 600 strong ensemble at the Music for Youth Proms — Southampton Music Hub have spent the past six months sharing the music and inspirational experiences of this once-in-a-lifetime event with schools and communities across the whole city. 

Young ukulele players taking part in a massed playing event alongside 400 others.

In the afternoon, over 400 young musicians and singers — many of whom had only been learning their instrument of only a year — came together for a massed playing event, performing a special version of ‘Symphony 125’; the piece of music performed at the Royal Albert Hall.

In the evening, over 350 young musicians from across 45 city schools — over two thirds of the city’s schools — and thirteen music hub groups and bands performed an exciting programme of music to a packed out audience, including their own epic arrangement of ‘Symphony 125’, conducted by BSO CEO Dougie Scarfe and led by the song’s composer James Redwood.

Throughout July there will also be over 25 school concerts, involving nearly 1,500 young musicians. In total, over 2,000 young musicians will be involved in celebration events to mark the culmination of over 250 hours of workshops and lessons inspired by the Royal Albert Hall event.

Kath Page, Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“Our celebrations this week have been an incredible way to mark the end of an inspirational year of music for the city. Huge moments like the ones we’ve enjoyed this year — from the Royal Albert Hall to Southampton Guildhall — are a great way to inspire our young musicians with huge new ambitions. And, thanks to the incredible work of our schools, music leaders, instrumental teachers and workshop leaders, Southampton Music hub is helping make those dreams a reality by helping every child in the city make life-changing music every week.”

On Twitter, Councillor Darren Paffey said:
“Such a privilege to be there to hear Southampton’s young musicians perform with such passion, sensitivity and commitment. The Guildhall was absolutely bursting with talent tonight! Well done to everyone involved”

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Mental Health Awareness training helping music teachers and hub partners to better support young musicians in Southampton

On Friday 24 May — the final day of last half term — Southampton Music Services Staff and Southampton Music Hub partners came together for a Mental Health Awareness Training morning led by experienced mental health nurse and trainer Sonia Piper. The training gave music teachers and hub partners an introduction to the mental health challenges that young musicians in the city may be facing — including anxiety, depression and self harm — and began to explore ways that music-making can be used to help improve wellbeing for all.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
”This training was a brilliant next step in achieving the hub’s core mission of using music to improve the health and wellbeing of the children, young people and communities of Southampton. It was great to be joined by hub partners — including Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Chinese Arts, Southampton City Council, SSMA, Sound Pop Academy and SoCo — who are all working together to bring the life-changing power of music to every child in the city.”

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Learn to be mindful with a new song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank
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Today Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs bring another brand new song to the Everybody Sing Song Bank. ‘Take a Walk Outside’ focusses on mindfulness and encourages singers to treat themselves with kindness. The song takes singers on a journey from negativity, frustration and anxiety through to finding a calm and peaceful mindset.

The song is accompanied by another new podcast episode, helping teachers and music leaders to teach the song to young singers with vocal warm ups , games and other ideas to bring the song to life.

Bring the whole family to Messy and Noisy: an exciting new paint drumming experience this half term
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On Saturday 23 February, Southampton Music Hub is bringing an exciting new paint drumming experience to the Ashby Sure Start Centre. Messy + Noisy is a chance for families of all shapes and sizes to come together, to make a whole lot of mess and noise — sorry — music and art.

From the young to the young at heart, the Southampton Music Hub team will help everyone learn new drumming skills — turning hits in to huge pieces of shared art.

All paint and drumming equipment is provided, but participants are asked to wear clothes they’re happy to get (lots) or paint on.

Explore emotions and resilience with two new songs in the Everybody Sing Song Bank

In a bumper edition of the Everybody Sing Song Bank, Southampton Music Hub brings you two new health and well being themed songs this month.

The two songs — ‘Resilience’ and ‘Tell Me What Emotions Are’ — were written by Jo Downs: ‘Resilience’ encourages young singers to keep on trying at whatever they do; and ‘Tell Me What Emotions Are’ helps singers to use their voice in different ways, to express different emotions.

Both songs are accompanied by a short podcast episode for teachers and music leaders: each one including a new vocal warm up (the Warm Up of the Week) and a singing game or round (Simple Silly Starters) alongside hints and tips on how to get the best from each song.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra delight audience of school children with anniversary celebration show
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On Thursday 24 January pulls from across Southampton, Portsmouth, Isle of Wight and Hampshire came together at Portsmouth Guildhall for the annual school’s concert from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO).

The audience were entertained by music about celebration: commemorating the recent 125th anniversary for the BSO. The audience then became the performers and joined the BSO to sing the songs ‘Musical Fireworks’, written by James Redwood, and ‘Ode to Joy’, composed by Beethoven.

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs, says:
“This afternoon's concert was a wonderful opportunity for children to see and appreciate a full sized symphony orchestra and understand that music comes to life when you see it live. The interactive concert from BSO gave children the opportunity to really use their imagination and see instruments that they had never seen before.”

Helen Mead, Music Teacher at Shirley Warren School, says:
“The concert was a fantastic opportunity for over 60 pupils from our school to experience live orchestral music. They were engaged and excited throughout. The year 3 pupils are walking round school singing the Ode to Joy afterward.”

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The BSO School’s Concert is one of many inspiring and inclusive live music experiences available to Southampton Schools on the Stadium Tour.

Get hands on with the Bassoon as part of the Beyond Ambition programme
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Southampton Music Services, lead partner for Southampton Music Hub, is offering future young musicians the opportunity to get hands on with the Bassoon in a free taster session on Saturday 2 February, from 1.30-3pm, at Woodlands Community College.

The free workshop is part of the Beyond Ambition programme: with workshops and masterclasses designed to get children and young people playing ‘endangered’ instruments.

This hands on Bassoon workshop is ideal for young musicians at the start of their musical journey — those currently learning an instrument with their whole class in First Access projects In2Music or SoundBites — and is also open to any future young musicians who might be interested in getting started on this exciting, and lesser known, member of the woodwind family of instruments. No experience is required.

Also part of the Beyond Ambition programme are two masterclasses for more experienced players:

Richard Taunton Sixth Form College Choir launch Southampton's Mayflower 400 Celebrations
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On Monday 21 January, the Mayflower 400 project was officially launched in Southampton, and as part of the prestigious and very well attended event in Central Library, Richard Taunton Sixth Form College (RTSFC) Choir was invited to perform by Southampton Music Hub. The choir performed two pieces: Blow the Wind Southerly and I am Sailing. 

The Mayflower 400 commemorations seek to unite the Southampton community and surrounding areas, inspire creativity, drive economic growth, enhance the visitor experience and promote understanding and education of this pivotal moment in history. Driving this is the need to engage with young people and help them to understand Southampton’s relationship with the sea. 

Kath Page, Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“The Mayflower project is about a journey and what better start to our present Mayflower journey than to engage with the wider community through listening to young people singing about the sea. The choir performed beautifully and they should be extremely proud.”

Miriam Kenny, Head of Music and choir leader for RTSFC, says:
“We are delighted to have been asked to perform. I asked the pupils to research songs about the sea and these were two of the songs that they found through their research. One of our singers, Rosie Mellett, wrote and taught the arrangement of We Are Sailing. When asked why she had chosen this particular piece, Rosie said she loved the lyrics, and felt it represented how the Mayflower story is ongoing in Southampton and how culture will keep on going. It was fun to teach and everyone helped out.”

From the Youth Music Blog: a Synthesis project update

In a blog post titled “Developing self-efficacy and collaboration in iPad Bands: a reflection on the first twelve weeks of the Synthesis Project“ on the Youth Music Network, Matt Brombley, Synthesis Project Manager, writes:

In September 2018, Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs launched the Synthesis Project: a Youth Music funded project to help young electronic musicians overcome the challenges they face in life by making music together in iPad clubs, bands and orchestras. In the first twelve weeks of the project, 20 participants have taken part in over 50 hours of electronic music-making.

The band sessions have seen a number of emerging themes — many of which have challenged the whole team to reconsider their preconceptions of what a music-making session can be —  but there are two key pairings of musical and personal development which have had a profound effect on both participants, and session leaders:


1. Self-expression and self-efficacy

2. Composition and collaboration


Bitterne Park School bring Festive Feelings to Southampton High Street
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From 5.30–6pm this evening — Wednesday 19 December — singers from Bitterne Park School filled Southampton High Street with the sounds of Christmas music, sharing festive feelings with shoppers and families visiting the city centre in the final week before Christmas.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“Bitterne Park School did themselves proud this evening: sharing their musical talents with the city in a show of festive goodwill. It has been a pleasure to work with Go Southampton and Southampton Music Trust to make this series of performances happen this year — long may the partnership continue!”

St Johns School bring festive feelings to Southampton City Centre
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For half an hour this evening — Monday 10 December — St Johns School choir filled Southampton City centre with the beautiful sounds of singing, bringing festive feelings to a busy crowd of parents, shoppers and onlookers. The street concert is the first of five organised in collaboration with Go Southampton and Southampton Music Trust, and will see four city centre spaces play host to music from schools and other young musicians in the lead up to Christmas.

From 5.30-6pm, 30 young singers performed a delightful mix of festive classics, carols and family favourites.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“It is a pleasure to work with Go Southampton on this project. Music is such a magical part of the Christmas season, and this is a great way for young musicians to share their talents with the city.”

Southampton school's take part in Shrek themed musical theatre days with Mayflower Theatre

Thursday 6 December was the first event in the year long collaboration programme between the Mayflower Theatre and Southampton Music Hub. Pupils and teachers from across Southampton took part in music and drama workshops, getting to know the characters and themes of the show before watching the matinee performance.

Kath Page, Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“The musical theatre days are one of the highlights of our hub calendar. Being able to bring children into the theatre to both perform and be performed to is magical and they really feel involved having learnt a song from the show. The Mayflower support in making the theatre accessible to these young people is invaluable.”

Shrek will be at the Mayflower until 8th December.

NST brings David Walliams' Billionaire Boy story to life as a hilarious new, family-friendly musical
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Last night, on Tuesday 201 November, Billionaire Boy — a brand new, hilarious, family-friendly, musical — opened at Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST).

The show, produced by NST in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, is based on David Walliams’ best-selling book of the same name, and has been adapted by Jon Brittain, and features music by Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler: the team responsible for huge hits for Girls Aloud, the Sugababes and Kylie.

The busy crowd for opening night included teachers and staff from across Southampton school — giving them a chance to see the show ahead of bringing their pupils to see the show later this term — and members of Southampton Music Hub’s vocal team, who will be working in partnership with NST to teach the schools how to sing one of the new songs from this exciting new musical production.

Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
“NST are continuing to build a phenomenal reputation for developing exciting new theatre programming. They bring incredible expertise to the Southampton Music Hub partnership, along with a strong determination to share their inspiring and engaging theatre experiences with the whole city. It is a pleasure to work with them on bringing the hilarious — and just a little bit naughty — Billionaire Boy story to schools in the city. And, it’s not every day you get to be involved in a project that includes purple bottoms…”

Catch Billionaire Boy at NST City, running until Sunday 6 January.

Standing Ovation at the Royal Albert Hall when 600 musicians perform at Music for Youth Proms
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At 7.45pm on Monday 5 November 2018, 600 musicians from Southampton, Isle of Wight, Poole and Bournemouth, alongside Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (BSO), made their way on to a darkened Royal Albert Hall stage whilst the Azaad Dhol Group performed. Following an introduction from host Remel London, and a brief introduction from composer James Redwood, at 7.51pm, under direction from conductor Frank Zielhorst, the 600 strong massed ensemble hit their first powerful and purposeful note… followed by two more… followed by a further five. Symphony 125 had officially begun.

When the last note rung out at just past 8pm, the hall rose to their feet in a show of awe and appreciation. The months of hard work had paid off, and these young musicians had hit heights of achievement that left the audience delighted and amazed.

Since September 2018, all involved had been hard at work: young musicians from Southampton Music Hub, Isle of Wight Music Hub and Soundstorm Music Education Agency, coached by their teachers, musical directors and members of the BSO. For all involved, this was the event of a lifetime, and it has only been made possible thanks to a huge community effort: Associated British Ports kindly donated a free rehearsal space; Red Funnel and Solent & Wightline Cruises provided discounted transport; Teachers, musicians, parents and friends all gave countless hours of time and energy to support this momentous event.

Watched by friends, families and local supports, many took to social media to praise their performance:

Dress rehearsal underway for Music for Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall
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After a morning coach journey to London, all 600 performers from Southampton, Isle of Wight, Poole and Bournemouth have arrived at the Royal Albert Hall this afternoon, ready for their momentous performance of Symphony 125 with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at the Music for Youth Proms this evening.

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For all involved, this is the event of a lifetime, and it has only been made possible thanks to a huge community effort: Associated British Ports have kindly donated a free rehearsal space for all 600 musicians, providing the opportunity to practise together ahead of the big night; Red Funnel and Solent & Wightline Cruises have provided discounted transport, enabling all 200 young musicians (and their friends and family) from the Isle of Wight to make the journey across the Solent; Teachers, musicians, parents and friends have all given countless hours of time and energy to provide rehearsals and lessons ahead of the big night.

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Matt Brombley, Projects and Partnerships Manager for Southampton and Isle of Wight Music Hubs, says:
“There is an incredible buzz in the air this afternoon. From the moment we arrived to gasps of amazement on the coaches, through to setting up and rehearsing in our places for this evening: this awe inspiring venue has encouraged each and every young musician to raise the level of their own performance to match their world-class surroundings. We’re so excited to be part of tonight’s stellar lineup, and to share Symphony 125 with the world.”




Six hundred performers take part in an unforgettable rehearsal in preparation for Symphony 125
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Yesterday (Saturday 3 November) 600 performers gathered at Mayflower Cruise Terminal for an unforgettable rehearsal ahead of their momentous massed ensemble performance at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 5 November.

Brought together by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, young musicians from Southampton Music Hub, IOW Music Hub and Soundstorm Music Education Agency rehearsed a brand new piece of music — Symphony 125 — written to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the BSO.

The ensemble represents a huge diversity of sounds: a wide range of instruments — from iPads to violins to trombones and more; a huge range of ages and abilities — from young singers to high-flying young musicians to members of the BSO; and a broad range of backgrounds — players from schools across the region, including those with special educational and physical needs.

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The rehearsal venue for the day — Mayflower Cruise Terminal — has been generously donated by Associated British Ports, enabling all 600 musicians to rehearse together for the day. Red Funnel and Solent & Wightline Cruises have provided discounted transport for the rehearsal and Monday event, enabling all 200 young musicians (and their friends and family) from the Isle of Wight to make the journey across the Solent.

Momentous massed rehearsal gets started at Mayflower Cruise Terminal
Percussionists warming up, ready for rehearsal

Percussionists warming up, ready for rehearsal

At 10am this morning (Saturday 3 November 2018), Mayflower Cruise Terminal plays host to a massive massed rehearsal for 600 musicians from across Southampton, Isle of Wight, Poole and Bournemouth.

Brought together by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, in celebration of their 125th anniversary, they are rehearsing a brand new piece of music — Symphony 125 — which they will perform at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday 5th November.

Views over the Solent provide the backdrop to a momentous rehearsal at Mayflower Cruise Terminal.

Views over the Solent provide the backdrop to a momentous rehearsal at Mayflower Cruise Terminal.

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

The Mayflower Cruise Terminal has been kindly donated by Associated British Ports (ABP). On a normal working day, the huge departures lounge would be a gateway to the world for cruise travellers. Today, it is the gateway to a once-in-a-life time performance at a world-renowned venue for the performers from across the region.

Members of the Family Orchestra rehearse their parts ahead of the massed rehearsal.

Members of the Family Orchestra rehearse their parts ahead of the massed rehearsal.

Lottie and Jess, members of the Southampton Family Orchestra, says:
“We’re very excited to be here. It’s so much fun, and we can’t wait for our performance in London. You can really feel the excitement in the room!”

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

ABP Staff have been helping at the rehearsal, generously donating the venue and their time to help 600 musicians rehearse for the performance of a lifetime.

Byron, percussionist in Southampton Youth Orchestra, says:
“Thank you so much to ABP for giving us the opportunity to rehearse in such an amazing space — we hope we have entertained the staff who have looked after us so brilliantly today!”

Tuning up take teamwork…

Tuning up take teamwork…

Two guitarists helping get ready to play their part (in tune) ahead of the massed rehearsal

Two guitarists helping get ready to play their part (in tune) ahead of the massed rehearsal

There are all kinds of instruments being played. This is a photo of an eye-gazer musician practicing his part in a massed ensemble of instruments and voices.

There are all kinds of instruments being played. This is a photo of an eye-gazer musician practicing his part in a massed ensemble of instruments and voices.

Photo Gallery: Getting ready for a momentous rehearsal at Mayflower Cruise Terminal

Symphony 125 is a joint project from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Southampton Music Hub, IOW Music Hub, and Soundstorm Music Education Agency.

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Schools and families to complete a 600 strong line-up at the Royal Albert Hall
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School children from across the city, and members of Southampton’s Family Orchestra will complete a diverse and exciting line up of performers when 200 performers from Southampton join a 600 strong Massed Ensemble at the Music For Youth Proms.

Taking place on Monday 5 November at the Royal Albert Hall, this will be the performance of a life time for all involved, including pupils from Upper Shirley High, Shirley Junior, Wordsworth Primary, Hollybrook Junior, Highfield CE Primary, Banister Primary, St Denys Primary, and Shirley Warren Primary Schools.

Since September 2018, all involved have been hard at work — coached by their teachers, musical directors and members of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra — learning the exciting new piece of music which they will all perform together at the Royal Albert Hall. A massed rehearsal on Saturday 3 November will be the first, and only, chance the performers will have to play the piece all together ahead of its high profile public debut.

And whilst the buses will return in the early hours of Tuesday 6 November, the fun is far from over. Inspired by the Royal Albert Hall performance, Southampton Music Hub will share the incredible new music from this magical event with all schools in the city. Workshops, performances and event on The Stadium Tour will allow the teachers, musicians and young musicians to share the music, and their incredible experiences, from the Royal Albert Hall throughout the year, leading to celebration events in July 2019.