Voices Foundation has been working since 1993 to help schools, academies, Music Education Hubs and other partners across the UK to establish sustainable and effective music education in their settings. Everyone has a voice, and singing is a powerful way for children to become proficient musicians.
We transform music in schools by developing teachers' knowledge, skills and confidence in how to teach music effectively. Our model of teacher development supports schools to embed daily singing into school life - both through the curriculum and through extra-curricular choral enrichment. It aims to transform whole schools, teachers and children and is focussed on sustainable and integrated music education for all.
Our easy-to-use teacher handbooks help schools to make singing a central and regular part of the educational experience for every child. Our workforce of highly skilled Musicianship and Choral Practitioners allows us to support schools and organisations across the country.
Each year we work with over 80 nurseries, primary and secondary schools, 2,000 teachers and 25,000 children.
WHAT WE DO
Voices Foundation provides bespoke singing programmes for nursery, primary and secondary schools, academies and Music Education Hubs. We provide a unique approach to improving musical learning through the side-by-side development of teachers. We improve children's musicianship and singing voices through a clear and progressive method and a diverse range of choral repertoire.
Programmes are tailored to the specific needs of schools and individual teachers. Each programme focusses on teaching singing through two complimentary strands:
Musical Foundations – developing musicianship skills through singing
Supporting all classroom and specialist staff from EYFS to KS2 to develop the foundational skills and understanding of music (pulse, rhythm, pitch) to enable them to provide a progressive and high quality music education in the classroom.
Choral Excellence – accelerating musicianship and vocal development through ensemble singing
Working with lead music staff in the school to support children's vocal and musical development through a broad repertoire of songs. Every class becomes a choir, and an 'aspirational' choir is established for children who wishto take their learning further. This strand provides in-depth CPD for music leads to develop the skills and confidence to deliver regular school singing (choirs and assemblies).
In addition to our work in the classroom, Voices Foundation partners with schools and Music Education Hubs to develop inspirational projects led by expert music leaders who can provide increased musical challenge and progression for children and young people.
Voices Foundation is delighted to be a partner of The Tri-borough Early Years Music Consortium (TBEYMC). This workforce development project funded by Youth Music is taking place from 2016-2018. It aims to improve the delivery of music for birth to 5 year olds through a host of CPD sessions for EY practitioners, teachers and Music Leaders.
FLAGSHIP SINGING SCHOOL:
Kings Heath PRIMARY Academy
Our immersive 'Singing School' programme uses the power and discipline of choral singing to release children's musical, intellectual and personal potential. Kings Heath Academy in Northampton is our flagship Singing School involving nearly 400 children and all staff. The programme is designed to strengthen the whole school and use singing to improve aspirations for children, teachers and local parents.
CET SECONDARY ACADEMIES
In September 2016, Voices Foundation embarked on a large-scale collaborative project across seven secondary academies which are part of Creative Education Trust (multi academy trust). The project involves extensive teacher development strands focussed around a singing-based module for Year 7 music and school-wide choirs as well as specialist vocal support for senior solo singers.
25,000 children sing regularly in school
2,000 teachers participate in training and mentoring
200 partner schools collaborate to improve singing
90% of Heads report children's improved musical skill
80% of Heads report improved language & communication
92% of teachers report children's improved concentration
92% of pupils report increased enjoyment of singing
Voices Foundation was founded in 1993 by Susan Digby OBE, following the award of a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship which enabled her to visit Finland, Hungary, Canada and the USA to study methods of music education and choral training.
The main inspiration for Voices Foundation was Susan Digby’s observation of the work of the renowned music educationalist Zoltan Kodāly in Hungary. Voices Foundation then engaged Michael Stocks as Director of Curriculum and Training with the primary responsibility of creating the methodology that we use to this day. In this role, Michael led the development of the methodology as well as devising and leading many of our training courses. He also trained many of our Music Consultants and oversaw the quality assurance of our work.
Since 1993 we have worked in hundreds of primary schools all over the country supporting teachers and providing direct benefits to thousands of children through our unique Musical Foundations programme which trains every teacher in the school to teach music with the same skills, confidence, and resource material that they have for all Foundation Subjects.
"Voices are about bringing music back and putting it to the forefront of the curriculum."
Adelle Kirk, Curriculum Lead, Rockingham Primary