Posts in Music in Schools
Celebrate World Music Day with a brand new song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank

Released last week, ‘World Music Day’ (by Jo Downs), is a new free song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank to help celebrate World Music day on Thursday 21 June. Singers of all ages can have fun learning this exciting new song!

Also in the song bank is last months song and podcast themed around endangered species, with lots of great ideas for animal themed ways to warm up your voice.

Over 800 young singers to take part in a super-sized African singing event
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On Thursday 28 June, thanks to support from the Southampton Schools Music Association (SSMA), Southampton Music Hub is bringing nearly 800 young singers together at Central Hall for a super-sized African music celebration. Led by by professional workshop leader Rosie Bergonzi, this singing celebration will be the culmination of months of free workshops and rehearsals at schools across the city.

The project is supported by a brand new resource pack — including vocal and percussion arrangements of nine traditional African songs — which is freely available as part of the resources available from the Southampton Music Hub website.

Nia Collins, Interim Manager at Southampton Music Hub, says
“Southampton Music Hub is delighted to be working with the SSMA on this project. Both the hub and SSMA have a fantastic track record for excellence in vocal work with schools in Southampton and we are excited to work together to showcase this in a celebration event for the Big African Sing. The hub team have worked hard to develop a brilliant and flexible set of new resources which are suitable for all ages and abilities; for use both in and out of the classroom.”

Celebrate St George's Day with a new song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank
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Another brand new, free song has been added to the Everybody Sing Song Bank this month.

‘St George’s Day Blues’, written by Jo Downs, celebrates St George’s Day and will let children of all ages have fun learning about the story of St George through a catchy call and response blues song. Alongside the song, there is another podcast episode with ideas for dragon themed vocal warm ups.

African music comes to Banister this Spring
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Pupils at Banister Primary school have been experiencing African music first hand through performance and listening. 

Thanks to music teachers from Southampton Music Hub, pupils have used a full set of African djembe drums, and have learnt the different drumming techniques needed to play simple African rhythms. They have also learnt to sing traditional African songs and have used the drums to play and sing together.

All classes are working towards a final performance at the end of term.

A member of school staff says:
“We're really impressed — the rhythms sound very complicated and they all sound so good — pupils are loving it.”

Enjoy a ukulele performance on BBC Radio Solent from one of Southampton Music Hub's families

On Monday 5 March, Jo Downs — one of Southampton Music Hub's brilliant teachers — and her family appeared on Juilian Clegg's show on BBC Radio Solent to perform live on their ukuleles.

Billed as "the south's real Von Trapp family", Jo, husband Tim, and their children Alice and Emily, won the opportunity to perform after a competition at The Kings Theatre, looking for the most musical family they could find.  

Matt Brombley, Interim Manager at Southampton Music Hub, says:
"We have an incredible team of musical teachers and families here at Southampton Music Hub, and Jo is an amazing example of someone who shares their love of music with everyone they meet — not just at home, but in schools and across the community too. Whether it's teaching brass, writing catchy (and sometimes a little silly) songs for the Everybody Sing Song Bank, or performing with her family on the radio, Jo has an infectious love of music, so it's no surprise to see that the whole family also join in."

Listen to the Show:

Nearly 700 children join in a Bear Hunt: a chant-aloud, musical storytelling experience

On Tuesday 20 February 2018, nearly 700 children, aged 5–7, from schools across Southampton, came to Central Hall for a performance of "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" as part of Southampton Music Hub's Stadium Tour

Based on Michael Rosen’s book of the same name, "We’re Going on a Bear Hunt", took pupils on a thrilling, chant-aloud, musical storytelling experience. The audience followed and joined in as the family in the story wade through grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud, in search of a bear.

This captivating and world-famous story is brought to life by an exciting orchestral score, performed by staff and students from Southampton Music Services and other local musicians.

The orchestra also performed other pieces, including a selection from the movies Frozen and Pirates of the Caribbean as well as Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King”.
Zoe Hunting, Manager for Southampton Music Services, said:
“The performance was a great opportunity to bring live music to Southampton’s young children and inspire future generations of musicians as well as showcasing the amazing talent of our students and staff and local amateur musicians.”

Celebrate the magical world of reading with a new song for World Book Day
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The free song in this month's Everybody Sing Song Bank is a celebration of the magical worlds that can be explored through reading. With shoutouts to some of the world's great children's authors, and lyrics that encourage getting lost in a good book, everyone can join in with this exciting new song written by Jo Downs.

National success for two of Southampton's gifted young musicians

Two Southampton Music Hub Award Holder students, tuba player Morro Barry and bassoon player Lucy Gowans, are celebrating after national recognition for their musical talents. 

Morro Barry, tuba player

Morro Barry, tuba player

It was after taking part in a project with the Chineke! Orchestra in November that Morro, aged 13, was invited to audition for the Chineke! Junior Orchestra: an orchestra run by the Chineke! Foundation, which supports young Black and Minority Ethnic classical musicians across Europe. After a successful Skype interview with Chinke! founder, Chi Chi Okinawa, Morro has been invited to join the Chineke! Junior Orchestra this Spring.

Lucy Gowan, bassoon player

Lucy Gowan, bassoon player

After auditioning from the National Children's Orchestra at the end of last year, Lucy, aged 11, has been offered places in both the under 12s national orchestra and the regional orchestra. Both orchestras are run by the highly acclaimed National Children's Orchestra, which provides a world class foundation in orchestra performance and musicianship to musically talented children in the UK aged 7-14.

Zoe Hunting, Ensembles Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
"I'm delighted that two Award Holder students from our city's youth orchestras and bands are also being recognised at a national level: the whole team offer their congratulations to the students on all the hard work that has led to their success. Southampton Music Hub is dedicated to supporting all young musicians to reach their fullest potential, and thanks to the support of music teachers and the Award Holder scheme, it is wonderful to see two young players reach such great heights of musical development."

Both Morro and Lucy will be appearing as soloists in the Southampton Concert Wind Band performance on Sunday 29 April at All Saint's Church in Botley."

Join Art Asia for an evening of Indian Classical and fusion music
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On Friday 2 March 2018, ss part of the Indian Classical Music Club, Art Asia and Southampton Music Hub present an evening of Indian classical and fusion music. Taking place from 7-9pm at St Anne's Catholic School, the evening will include presentations that provide a deeper understanding of the history, instruments and structures of Indian classical and fusion music, whilst inspiring performances from world renowned musicians will excite audiences with a contemporary view of the ragas (scales) and talas (rhythms) that make up these vibrant musical styles.

This month, presentations and performances will come from Sanju Sahai (Tabla), Giuliano Modarelli (Guitar) and Pooja Angra (Vocal) — three world-class performers across Indian classical and fusion music styles.

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
"From its origins in South Asia, Indian classical music has a rich and deep history that stretches back hundreds of years and reaches across the world. Through the annual Mela festival, and countless community events, Art Asia have vast experience of making Indian Classical Music accessible and enjoyable to anybody, whatever their background."

Tickets cost £7 for adults and £5 for under 16's. To book, please contact Art Asia on 023 8022 6212 or 07484097641

Celebrate pancake day with a new, free song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank
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This month's free song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank celebrates pancake day with a "Flip It!" rap. A new podcast episode also gives tips and tricks on how to get the most out of the song, and includes a warm up of the week and a simple, silly starter to help get the best out of young voices. The song also includes getting vocalists doing beatboxing, with the podcast giving an easy to follow guide on how to get started with this exciting vocal technique.

Musical Theatre Workshops with Perform For Life

Southampton Music Hub is now offering Musical Theatre singing workshops in partnership with Perform For Life, a performing arts education organisation based in the South / South West. In group workshops participants will sing popular Musical Theatre songs, learning singing technique, harmony singing and other elements of Musical Theatre, including movement and acting through song.

Katrina Simon, founder of Perform for Life, says:
"Perform For Life creates opportunities for children and young people in the city to take part in Musical Theatre tuition in a group setting, making it an affordable way for participants to learn new songs, pick up new skills and meet like-minded friends. Musical Theatre is a hugely popular genre and Perform For Life uses the storytelling nature of the genre to give children and young people performance skills they can use both on and off the stage." 

Workshops will be at Regents Park Community College, every other Tuesday after school. 

Get creative with a free new song from the Everybody Sing Song Bank
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This month's new song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank, written by Jo Downs, celebrates creativity in music, art, science and more. With a fun and catchy tune for everybody to enjoy, singing this song is a great way to help young singers focus on pronouncing some tricky words clearly. This weeks podcast includes a bonus episode to help you get creative with some percussion ideas.

2017 in review
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A message from Matt, Nia and Zoe, Southampton Music Hub Managers:

The start of the new school year in 2017 has seen some incredible musical moments in Southampton:

  • 1,500 new pupils took their first music steps in First Access
  • 5,000 children learning music every week
  • over 6,600 children taking part in an inspiring musical experience

As we share some of our highlights from the start of this year, we also look forward to 2018, working with schools, partners and families to bring life-changing music to every child in our city.

Celebrating Christmas choral excellence

This Christmas, Southampton Music Hub has worked closely with two choirs — University of Southampton Voices and Southampton Choral Society — to put together two concerts celebrating choral excellence in Southampton.


The Bells of Paradise:

The first concert, The Bells of Paradise, took place at Swaythling Methodist Church on Friday 15th December. 

University of Southampton Voices — a 50 strong community choir based at the University of Southampton — were lead by their charismatic director, Harvey Brough, who also composed and arranged the music performed. Choirs from Swaythling Primary School and Cantell School worked with vocal workshop leaders from Southampton Music Hub in the run up to the event.

Harvey Brough, University of Southampton Voices Director, says:
“The young singers sang really well, I felt they really learned something about performing throughout the process and in the concert itself. I could feel the collective will to make it as good as possible and that’s such a valuable thing to tap into.”

Gemma Dyne, Head of Music at Cantell School, says:
“We had a really good time and it was very beneficial for all of the students taking part.”

Singers from St Annes rehearsing for their performance at Central Hall

Singers from St Annes rehearsing for their performance at Central Hall

Singers from Springhil school rehearsing for their performance at Central Hall

Singers from Springhil school rehearsing for their performance at Central Hall

Ceremony of Carols

The second concert, at Central Hall on Saturday 16th December, featured Southampton Choral Society, alongside choirs from Springhill and St Anne’s Catholic Schools, in a magical performance of Britten’s Ceremony of Carols.

Workshop leaders from Southampton Music Hub worked with the schools to learn and rehearse the material which was brought together with harp accompaniment on the day, by conductor Graham Kidd. The demanding but beautiful music of Britten made a dramatic entrance processing in and out of the auditorium for the opening and closing plain chant. 

Diana Barnes, General Secretary of Southampton Choral Society, says:
“It was lovely to hear their young voices singing with enthusiasm and commitment, and we thoroughly enjoyed having them sing with us. We hope that we can have the opportunity again some time!”

Jenni McWilliams, Music Teacher at Springhill, says:
“This was an amazing opportunity for our pupils, we would definitely welcome working together again... they absolutely loved the whole experience.”

Gemma Nicholls, St Anne’s
“This was a wonderful event and a brilliant chance for the students to sing alongside singers from Springhill and Southampton Choral Society. The students all really enjoyed it.”

Nia Collins, Interim Hub Manager at Southampton Music Hub, says:
“Both of these choral concerts were extremely ambitious in their repertoire and as always the children and young people of Southampton schools were able to rise to the challenge admirably with some astonishing results! We have enjoyed working closely with schools, the university and community choirs who have all been extremely supportive in helping to bring these exciting celebration events together.”

New song book to help young children explore the world around them

This Spring, Southampton Music Hub presents a brand new set of songs that will help the youngest children in school to explore the world around them through singing. The fun and simple songs explore themes from brushing you teeth and washing your hands, through to family and holidays. 

The free song book will be sent to every Reception class in the city, and will be supported with free singing workshops from Southampton Music Hub's experienced early years singing tutors. 

Nia Collins, Southampton Music Hub Manager and Vocal Strategy Leader, says:
"We are delighted to be able to offer a set of songs written for the EYFS framework that help children in Reception classes use music to explore their relationship to the home environment. These free songs will be accompanied by free workshops in schools which will help children enjoy singing from the very beginning of their schools lives. The songs are simple and catchy, and we hope that children will take these songs home so that parents can singalong too."

Hear Christmas songs from around the world at The Bells of Paradise

On Friday 15 December 2017, University of Southampton Voices and Southampton Music Hub will present The Bells of Paradise: a delightful collection of carols and Christmas songs from around the world, and through the ages, arranged by Harvey Brough, Turner Sims Professor of Music.

Southampton University Voices — a 60 strong choir made up from staff members and students from the University of Southampton — will come together with children’s choirs from Swaythling Primary and Cantell School, international vocalist Clara Sanabras and James Murray on piano.

The performance takes place at Swaything Methodist Hall, starting at 7.30pm.

Southampton Music Hub Manager and Vocal Strategy Lead, Nia Collins, says:
"This has been a great opportunity to showcase some of Harvey's fantastically festive arrangements and for the children involved to sing some really interesting and different repertoire. It has also been a great way for the hub to deliver some transition work between primary and secondary schools and the university, helping to strengthen those links in our community via music"

Good news for the future of Southampton Music Hub

In Southampton Music Hub's annual feedback letter this week, Arts Council England (ACE) has identified many key strengths for both Southampton and IOW Music Hubs. Both hub's have been recognised for a diverse music offer, from a strong network of partners, resulting in an inclusive approach to music for children across the region.

In recognition of ACE's confidence in the hubs’ leadership, both hubs have been assigned the lowest risk rating. This is the first time the IOW has achieved this rating since Southampton became accountable for the hub in 2016, and represents an incredible achievement for Kath, Zoe, Nia and the IOW team which they have led.

Based on this annual letter, and the business plans moving forward, Arts Council England will offer the hubs a two year funding agreement, securing the future of Southampton and IOW Music Hubs in to 2020.

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub says:
"As a team, we always knew that building strong partnerships would be key to delivering life-changing music for children across Southampton and the IOW. It’s great to see our approach to partnership work recognised for helping to achieve the high ambitions we have set together. A huge thank you for all that our schools, teachers and partners do in supporting the work of Southampton and IOW Music Hubs — we cannot wait to see what we can achieve over the coming years, working together to delivering life-changing music for every child in our region."

Young musicians, performing with the Chineke! orchestra at Central Hall in November 2017, as part of a partnership project with Turner Sims, Southampton.

Young musicians, performing with the Chineke! orchestra at Central Hall in November 2017, as part of a partnership project with Turner Sims, Southampton.

Wishing for joy this Christmas with a new, festive song to sing
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This month's new song in the Everybody Sing Song Bank is a special festive edition written by Jo Downs. With lyrics which play on the idea of a Christmas list jam packed with presents, this song encourages young singers to think about those less fortunate than themselves at a time of year when it can be so easy to only think about their own wishes. There are three fun, optional harmonies to accompany the main tune, with different levels for all abilities.

Southampton Music Hub longlisted in the MEC Music Education Awards 2017

Southampton Music Hub has been longlisted, alongside five other music hubs, for the MEC Music Education Awards 2017, recognising the hub's imaginative, creative, ambitious and inspirational approach to music education. The shortlist will be announced in December, and the final awards will be given in February 2018.

Matt Brombley, Interim Hub Manager for Southampton Music Hub, says:
"The whole team are delighted to have been longlisted for this award, as recognition of the excellence we achieve together. It is an honour to help lead an incredible partnership of teachers, schools, families and music organisations from across the region, as we work towards our shared purpose of bringing life-changing music to every child in our city."

SYCS to be joined by city singers for a Christmas concert not to be missed
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On Saturday 9 December 2017, Southampton Youth Concert Sinfonia (SYCS) will be joined by the Splash of Red ladies choir and singers from Southampton Music Service for a Christmas concert not to be missed. 

Anna Robinson, Director of SYCS, says:
"After a hugely successful tour concert with Splash of Red ladies choir, SYCS are delighted to, once again, be joined by the choir on a return visit this Christmas. The concert is going to feature a wide range of festive favourites including an exciting rendition of O come Emmanuel also featuring Southampton Music Service singing students."