Voices 4 Schools
We are excited to announce our very unique and brand new singing & music workshops! Here at “The Education Programme” Our ethos and aim within each session is to teach, include and encourage both boys and girls to work individually and together as a group using their voices. With this in mind, we are proud to announce that we have appointed as Head of Our Music, Professional vocal coach and Leeds College of Music graduate Miss Jessica Kershaw. Jessica has worked with children featured on The Voice Kids and has been the Head of Music in a number of leading Performing Arts Academies for many years working with children aged 5 upwards.
In Jessica’s experience, learning to sing and perform not only helps gain musical knowledge but also builds confidence, self-esteem, listening, working within a team framework whilst also encouraging independent learning and growth. It is our belief that this promotes valuable qualities which helps in educational development. Global research proves that children respond more to learning when having fun! Another one of our goals is to inform children about the correct use of vocal technique but to teach it in an interesting and engaging way. We also belief that the skills children would learn from our cross curricular workshops would also help them to excel in other areas of their education. For example, in music there is a great deal of timing and counting involved which would help enrich their mathematical skills, also children would be made more aware of the importance of turn taking. Our workshops are not restricted to space, therefore they can be taught in anywhere within the school.
Lesson Plan Flexibility
The duration of each lesson would last between 45 and 60 minutes, although we are flexible in our approach and would fit in with each individual request of the school regarding the time frame. Each lesson would begin with a fun and energetic vocal warmup followed by the students learning popular songs to sing together as a group or choir but in a musically challenging and educational way.
For example, we may get the group to begin singing the main melody altogether (unison singing) but then we would split them into groups and get certain ones to sing the harmony (the melody above or below the main tune) whilst the others remain on the melody we started with. We would also switch it around to give all students the opportunity to sing the harmony. We believe that inclusion of all students in the activities we provide is paramount in our core ethos.
Other examples could be adding in a cannon where one group would start the musical phrase as normal but then another group would start it half way through and they would both have to keep singing at the same time. The purpose of these exercises is to encourage the children to use their listening and concentration skills heavily in order to remain on the vocal part they are taught.
The Overview & Show
As well as melodies, rhythm is also a very important part to music and in our experience, children respond very well to it. At the end of each lesson, we would introduce some rhythm games, incorporating ‘call and response’ technique. For example one child gets chosen to go in the middle of the circle to clap or tap out a rhythm of their choice and then the group repeats. Then the same child chooses another rhythm and the rest of the children have to work as a team to remember the first rhythm, the second, third, fourth and fifth. We call this game five rhythms. The game can also work with singing out a melody of choice and building it into a five phrase song. Games like this are not only fun but they also help with timing and can be great for team building.
The aim of our 10 week programme is to gradually improve the techniques and abilities of each child’s voice and to get them to learn more repertoires to add to their graduation performance that will be presented to their parents. The musical show will be directed and co-ordinated by Jessica and the team at The Education Programme. It is our suggestion that the school invite parents to donate a nominal charge to come and watch the production. Parents will see their children’s development and understanding of Melody, Rhythm and their Performing Arts abilities increased and indeed encouraged whilst recognising their child’s confidence levels enhanced and improved. Our main goal is this area is to get them to achieve a beautiful blended sound and become a vocal group just like the ‘Barden Bellas’ in Pitch Perfect! Those interested in solo singing would also be given the opportunity to gain a solo within the group’s performance. Overall it would be fantastic to watch their interest and ability grow into something spectacular and watch them excel in music.