Children from 13 primary schools celebrate Earthsong

1,300 pupils from 13 primary schools in Bristol will be coming together for a musical celebration on 10th and 11th June.

In spite of COVID restrictions and schools having to teach children remotely for many months, 11 music tutors have managed to deliver the Earthsong Programme – a joint initiative between Bristol Beacon and the Earthsong Foundation – to provide whole class singing and instrumental lessons to Primary school children in years 2 and 3, aged between six and eight years. Now, they are celebrating the end of the year by bringing all of the pupils together for a special online music-making event.

On Thursday 10th June, year 3 pupils will join together in a ‘Start with Playing’ class, which will see the music tutors leading a mixture of songs, games and musical activities. They will have the chance to practice a range of instruments they’ve been learning – percussion instruments such as agogas, shaky eggs, claves, drums, djembes, boomwhackers, pitched bells and glockenspiels.

On Friday 11th June,  year 2 pupils from the 13 schools will enjoy a ‘Start with Singing’ workshop. The music tutors will lead singing, rhythm games and other musical activities. These include favourites such as ‘Chatter with the Angels’, ‘Who Stole my Chickens’ and the Penguin Song.

Laurie Stewart, vocal and instrumental strategy manager, Bristol Beacon, said:

“In spite of the restrictions, our music tutors have worked really hard with the schools to be able to bring a programme of music learning and experience for these children, which we hope as well as providing some much-needed relief and a boost to their wellbeing over the last year, is the start of a lifelong love of music.

“Originally, we planned a real-life concert to celebrate the end of the year’s programme, but with the ability to do that still some way off, we wanted to find a way to bring all the children together. Having 13 schools and 21 different classes all online on the same Zoom will be a brilliant opportunity for them to see each other for the first time, and celebrate their achievements together.”

Suze Pole, co-founder of Earthsong Foundation, said:

“We want all children to have the opportunity to experience the fun and creativity of making music and the enjoyment that comes from taking part in a collective activity. We’re so impressed at how the music education team at Bristol Beacon have been able to deliver the Earthsong programme digitally, ensuring the children reap the benefits from it during this incredibly tough past year and it’s fantastic to see them now all coming together in this wonderful celebratory event.”

The Earthsong Programme was made possible thanks to an extraordinary philanthropic donation by the Earthsong Foundation. Following a pilot programme in 2019 at Minerva Primary Academy school, it was rolled out last year to 13 schools across the city, to provide whole class singing and instrumental lessons. With lockdown restrictions, the music education staff worked hard to adjust the lessons so that they could be done either as 30-minute live lessons online or recorded content that can be split into daily five-minute sessions. The programme employs 11 tutors to deliver the lessons.

The Earthsong Programme is the only one of its kind in the UK, but the team’s aspiration is that its results will change the national understanding of the impact of music education. Find out more about Earthsong here.

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We’re changing

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon, and this means we’re changing too.

Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, the charity that also runs the venue formerly known as Colston Hall. These two organisations will soon unite under one name: Bristol Beacon.

Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

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