By Jo Buckler on 13 Mar 2019
The Singarounds, Irish Music Festival, the Big Sing and Early Years Music Celebration events will see over 5, 000 children across Manchester come together to sing in unison over the next few months.
The health benefits of music and singing have been well documented. When we sing we release endorphins, the feel-good brain chemical that makes you feel uplifted and happy. Singing improves mental alertness, concentration and memory and by improving blood circulation it allows more oxygen to reach the brain. The Alzheimer’s Society has even established a “singing for the brain” service to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s maintain their memories.
Fundamentally, singing is good for you and if singing is good for you, then singing as a group is even better. Singing brings us together, whether it be a part of a community choir, singing in church or singing football chants on a Saturday afternoon when watching our favourite team.
As humans, music and songs evoke strong emotions and memories, from the first album you ever bought, to the first gig you ever went to, to the first dance at your wedding.
Why is it that from blues to jazz, songs of every genre and from every time in history have touched the human heart?
...And why is it that when we hear that ‘certain song’ we are transported back to a place and time and all those feelings and emotions come flooding back?
....Or that we can recall lyrics to our favourite songs but only if we sing them, i.e. attach the words to the melody and rhythm?
It is this philosophy that supports the idea behind our annual Singarounds. Taking the principal that singing as a large group is uplifting and emotionally rewarding, the first Singaround was created under the direction of Maurice Walsh. The idea was that schools would be provided with songs to support their learning, they would sing in their classes on a daily basis and then come together to perform with other children.
The Singarounds are now in their 15th year and over these years thousands of primary school children have had the opportunity to sing in culturally important venues across Manchester.
This year the Singarounds took place on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th March at the iconic Royal Exchange Theatre. Over 1000 children from Year 1 to Year 4 sang a range of songs which they have been learning over the term accompanied by a team of professional musicians from One Education Music.
Early Years Music Celebration 2019
Not wanting to leave out our youngest children, Nursery and Reception classes are invited to attend the Early Years Music Celebration held at the RNCM on Thursday June 20th. Not only will the children be able to sing, but we also encourage classes to dress up and bring along their own percussion instruments in order to play along with our musicians.
The Big Sing 2019
The ‘Big Sing’ is another annual large scale vocal event for schools and is being held on Friday 28th June at the Bridgewater Hall. We invite Years 5 and 6 and any KS2 or KS3 choirs to come and sing accompanied by a live band. Each year we have a different theme. In the past we’ve had a Gospel theme, Musicals, Abba and this year we’ll be singing pop songs old and new. To enhance the singing we will be encouraging all children and their teachers to dress in their lycra and leg warmers or similar 80s fashion!
If you’d like more details of any of our singing and music events or if you’d like support in kick starting singing in your school, whether it be starting a school choir or repertoire for singing assemblies then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.oneeducation.co.uk
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo Buckler is an Early Years and Primary School music specialist who has experience of teaching music in schools across Greater Manchester and the North West. Beginning her primary teacher career in a large, diverse, Manchester school, she led music and enrichment across the school, becoming an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2004.