18th September, 2020: Music is Central: an Interview with Hayley Guthrie
Hayley Guthrie is a Year 5 teacher and Music Lead at Central Primary School in Watford. Central Primary is a longstanding Voices Foundation partner school where music and the arts have become a 'central' part of school life. We caught up with Hayley to learn a bit more about the history of our partnership, how Central handled school lockdown, and how music will remain a vital part of welcoming pupils back this year.
28th August, 2020: STATEMENT ON THE EDUCATION POLICY INSTITUTE’S ‘EDUCATION IN ENGLAND: ANNUAL REPORT 2020’
Today we release our statement on the Education Policy Institute's Education In England: Annual Report 2020.
"If we do not act now, successive generations of children will be failed by an education system that does not serve to ‘level up’ but instead entrenches inequality."
5th August, 2020: My First 100 Days
After 100 days in post, Voices Foundation's Interim CEO, Jennifer Coleman-Peers shares her experience on leadership during a crisis and four key takeaways.
"Before joining the Voices Foundation, I had not fully understood how something as seemingly simple as singing can be such a remarkable agent of change"
15th July, 2020: The Power of Singing
Singing has a remarkable and life changing power. It increases creative potential, cognitive development and function, self-esteem, social interaction, emotional wellbeing and aspirations – all vital qualities to thrive in the 21st century. Voices Foundation is committed to ensuring that every child is able to find their voice through the power of singing, more important now than ever as we look ahead to the return to school in September.
On Monday 13th July, we hosted an online panel discussion on the topic of singing for wellbeing and being well while singing. Our latest blog post dives deeper into this important and exciting discussion.
7th July, 2020: Singing for wellbeing / being well while singing: An online panel discussion
On Monday 13th July (4:30 PM), Voices Foundation is hosting an online panel discussion on the topic of singing for wellbeing/being well.
Join us as we make the case for singing and music making as a priority and provide some guidance, ideas and inspiration for how it can be done safely in schools this Autumn.
Confirmed Panellists include:
Deborah Annetts: CEO at Incorporated Society of Musicians
John Cameron OBE: Independent Safeguarding Consultant,former Head of ChildLine
Martin Ashley: Independent Consultant on Choral Education for Boys
3rd July, 2020: NEW PROGRAMMES FOR 2020/21!
Voices Foundation provides bespoke, flexible, whole-staff CPD training programmes for nurseries, primary and secondary schools nationwide. We can design a programme for your school that helps you to embed singing and develop your school music in the best way for you. But we understand that, as we all face a crisis like none we have ever experienced before, it helps to keep things simple. So, we are excited to announce two new programmes for the 2020/21 academic year that are ready to go:
- Wellbeing Programme: Supporting wellbeing and community connection as schools return to full-time
- Digital Programme: Providing support digitally so we can be with you no matter what happens
30th June, 2020: Behind the Sings: An Interview with Charlotte Brosnan
Voices Foundation’s programmes for children and teachers are led by our team of highly skilled practitioners. We wouldn’t be able to deliver our award-winning music education methodology without them. So, who better to provide an insight into the work we do than one of choral leaders? For our latest blog post, we caught up with our wonderful VF Choral practitioner, Charlotte Brosnan.
"To go from...not being able to answer a question in front of a teacher to being able to sing a solo in front of the whole school was remarkable. Just seeing how our work changes children and the teachers is amazing."
29th MAy, 2020: Going Digital: OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE
Although the world has changed significantly over the past few months, our commitment to ensuring children benefit from high-quality music education remains unchanged. Whilst we’re currently unable to physically visit schools, our connection with children and teachers continues.
Voices Foundation has successfully adapted to ensure that we can still deliver our award-winning approach to music education in a socially distanced world and make our work even more accessible for the long term too. We’re excited to share our first two digital projects with you: Voices Connect and our Virtual Singing Assemblies!
27th MArch, 2020
Introducing the Voices Foundation Virtual Singing Assembly: a LIVE daily 10-15 minute sing for children, parents and teachers!
Join us every weekday at 1:00 PM (BST) from wherever you are for some fun, uplifting singing led by our VF practitioners.
Music brings us all together, so please share #VFVirtualSing with friends and family and let's get everybody singing! Subscribe to our YouTube channel to ensure you don't miss out on this daily content:
19th February 2020
Voices Foundation is delighted to announce that Jennifer Coleman-Peers has been appointed to join the management team as Interim CEO in April 2020. This will coincide with the current CEO, Rebecca Le Brocq taking maternity leave from April 2020. The organisation is thrilled that Jennifer, who has extensive experience across fundraising, communications and strategic development, will be leading Voices Foundation during this time.
With more than 15 years’ in the charity sector, Jennifer has dedicated her career to enabling children and young people to thrive, no matter what their background or ability.
Voices Foundation is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Michael Stocks. Michael’s in-depth understanding of how children learn music is key to the Voices Foundation methodology. Michael was our original Director of Curriculum and Training. In this role, Michael led in developing the methodology as well as devising and leading many of our training courses. Michael also trained many of our practitioners and oversaw the quality assurance of our work. His musical intellect impacted thousands of children and teachers over a quarter of a century. We are indebted to his genius.
“Michael's integrity, warmth and the way he valued others, both professionally and personally, always shone through. His stories, anecdotes and sense of humour were ever present and much appreciated. He was a man of principle and I respected him enormously. Most people I come across who met Michael comment on how he changed the way they taught and thought about music. His influence in music education in this country is enormous - and goes beyond these shores”
-Ro Jones, Voices Foundation Practitioner
26th November 2019
This year we will be taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK’s biggest online match-funding campaign. It’s a great opportunity for you to support our work with young people and help us reach our fundraising target by making a donation and having it doubled - at no extra cost to you!
This year, we are raising for Singing Schools, Nationwide. Our Singing School programme brings the gift of musical learning to children in schools and has a transformative impact on school communities. Across the UK, many children miss out on this as they do not have access to any form of music education.
The campaign launches on #GivingTuesday on 3 December and runs until 10 December. Just visit this page between those dates, make a donation of any amount and your donation will be doubled - it's as simple as that.
25th November, 2019
Voices Foundation is recruiting an Interim Chief Executive (Maternity cover, full time, fixed-term 12-month contract) to start on or around 6th April 2020. Voices Foundation’s Board of Trustees is seeking an outstanding and talented individual with strong business acumen and a passion for music education to fulfil the role of Interim Chief Executive (maternity cover). We are looking for a confident leader who will inspire, motivate and support staff, practitioners, donors and stakeholders. We need a dynamic Interim Chief Executive to play an important part in helping us to continue the organisation’s development through the implementation of our strategy. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate particular strengths in supporting the team by providing consistent focus and clarity on priorities. They will also have the experience required to drive a continued improvement in fundraising and school recruitment as this is a key priority for the organisation.
18th November 2019
We're thrilled to announce that Songs of Home, our 25th Anniversary song pack and teaching resource, has been shortlisted for the Music & Drama Education Awards 2020 in the 'Outstanding Music Education Resource' category.
With a specific focus on simplicity and accessibility, this resource provides a high quality teaching tool that has made a significant impact in the UK and beyond. To date, Songs of Home has been accessed by nearly 700 teachers and leaders across 32 countries worldwide. We’re delighted to share this good news and will be looking forward to the awards in March of 2020!
Many thanks to all who brought this resource to life and continue to share this in their work.
18th June 2019
1,500 pupils from schools across the UK will perform Carmen at London’s Olympic Park
The performance of Bizet’s Carmen is the culmination of a year-long project inspired by the Royal Opera House’s Create and Sing programme in partnership with United Learning, English Pocket Opera Company and The Voices Foundation.
4th June 2019
The Voices Foundation is delighted to announce that Cathy Phillips Brady has been appointed to join the management team as General Manager in June 2019.
Cathy has over a decade of professional experience in arts management, specialising in Learning and Participation. Career highlights include working for Royal Opera House, Wigmore Hall Learning, Gabrieli Consort & Players, Britten Sinfonia, British Council Music and London Youth Choir. As a freelancer she has led programmes for London Borough of Culture, Music for Youth, Music Education Council, Welsh National Opera and Harrow Arts Centre. She is also a choral singer and practitioner holding a PGCE in Secondary Music with experience in secondary and primary music teaching: classroom and peripatetic. Cathy has enjoyed sitting on the boards of the European Music Council, European Choral Association and CentrE17. She is thrilled to be joining The Voices Foundation in their 25th anniversary year!
15 February 2019
The Voices Foundation is seeking a General Manager who will be responsible for providing senior operational management for the charity. This is an opportunity for an energetic, bright, rigorous and fastidious manager to gain senior management experience in a cultural education charity, impacting on children and young people around the country.
The General Manager role is central to the effective senior leadership of The Voices Foundation (VF) and will sit at the heart of the organisation’s small and dedicated team. Supporting the CEO, Rebecca Le Brocq, the role will have a considerable impact on the smooth running of the programmes and activity and operational aspects of the organisation.
Read more about the role in by visiting our Work For Us page.
7 December 2018
In December of 2018, The Voices Foundation Participated in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, the UK’s largest match funding campaign. For 7 days, all donations received through this challenge were generously doubled by John Lewis Partnerships and The Reed Foundation. Thanks to our incredible supporters, we sucessfully reached our target and raised £36,756. This funding will help the Voices Foundation impact more children and young people who are disadvantaged and less likely to engage in the life-changing experience we offer in 2019.
23 November 2018
The Voices Foundation is very excited to announce that we have been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018, the UK’s largest match funding campaign. For 7 days from 12pm on Tuesday 27 November to 12pm on Tuesday 4 December, all donations received through this challenge will be doubled by John Lewis Partnerships and The Reed Foundation. Read the full Press Realease below!
22 October 2018
The Voices Foundation is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary by bringing together children from across the UK to sing at a birthday concert at St. John’s, Smith Square. The charity has commissioned internationally-acclaimed composer David Bruce to write a piece on the theme of ‘homecoming’ for the anniversary concert. The piece, entitled Song of Until, is being taught to children in fifteen schools across the UK by The Voices Foundation’s network of skilled singing teachers. Over 150 children will take part in the premiere of the piece at the concert on 28th November.
For further information, Please read the full press release below:
10 October 2018
The Voices Foundation, in partnership with the David Ross Education Trust, is seeking tenders from qualified consultants/organisations in the area of evaluating the impact and outcomes of teacher CPDL on pupil outcomes.
The Voices Foundation and the David Ross Education Trust have been awarded a significant two-year Teacher Development grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF). The Teacher Development Fund (TDF) is a new initiative that supports the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and explores how schools embed learning through the arts in the curriculum.
To find out more, please visit the link below:
3 October 2018
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kathleen Alder, founder and director of WildKat PR, to our Board of Trustees. Kathleen is joining The Voices Foundation at an exciting time and we are incredibly fortunate to have secured her appointment. Click below to read the official press release.
19 September 2018
In November 2018 The Voices Foundation will be celebrating its 25th anniversary and as a commitment to supporting change though music, we are seeking to release an online learning centre for teachers to
support our offline training.
Teachers have told us that they need digital resources to support their ongoing learning and head teachers tell us about the pressures and time limitations on teachers for planning music lessons. Schools want us to
provide resources which are more prescriptive so that teachers are empowered to get on with using ready-made resources. The resource will be simple, accessible and immediately useful for teachers.
The project centres phased approach and the delivery of a Minimum Viable Product which we would like to showcase (could be XD designs or prototypes if not full site) to potential sponsors and contributors the
importance of the tool. We are seeking to create an award winning online destination that meets the needs of teachers but will grow and develop in the next 12-18 months. We are seeking a developer to
support the MVP and the larger project scope.
We will be seeking to hear proposals the week commencing October 8.
Please contact us for a brief. email@example.com
21 june 2018
The Teacher Development Fund is a new initiative that supports the delivery of effective arts-based teaching and learning opportunities in the primary classroom, and embeds learning through the arts in the curriculum. It aims to support teachers and school leaders to develop the necessary skills, knowledge, confidence and experience to teach non-arts subjects using arts based approaches, supporting children and young people experiencing disadvantage.
The Voices Foundation and the David Ross Education Trust share a passionate belief that music acts as a significant agent for school improvement and that it should be central to school life. Their programme aims to improve outcomes in literacy, language and communication, cognitive development and behaviour, by developing a whole-school singing culture through CPDL.
2 May 2018
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Jadis Tillery, strategist at ikwe and a marketing professional with 18 years of global experience, and Felix Meston, Account Director at freud communications, to The Voices Foundation’s Board of Trustees. We are privileged to have secured these appointments at this exciting time in the charity’s development, as we work hard to widen our reach and deepen our impact. Click below to read more about Jadis and Felix.
1 may 2018
We’re delighted to be leading a session at the Music & Drama Education Expo Manchester on 11 October 2018 entitled ‘Singing Schools: Creating a culture of singing in your school’. Join us at 12:55 in the Workshop Theatre to find out more about this award-winning initiative which focuses on social and musical change for primary schools. The project uses the joy, power, discipline and accelerated learning opportunities afforded by singing to secure better musical, educational and personal outcomes. Delivered by Voices Foundation and the David Ross Education Trust.
23 February 2018
Our pioneering Singing Schools programme devised in collaboration with the David Ross Education Trust has won the ‘Excellence in Primary/Early Years Music’ Award at the 2018 Music Teachers Awards for Excellence, held at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel in Mayfair.
Dubbed ‘the Oscars of the arts education sector’, the prestigious national awards have been created by the Music and Drama Education Expo to recognise and celebrate excellence in Music and Performing Arts Education. The judges commended Voices Foundation's Singing School programme “for establishing a culture and creating something sustainable, which could be replicated in schools everywhere. Despite choosing a cost-effective medium, the scheme recognises that skills development is extremely important, and places an emphasis on expertise and sharing knowledge.”
For further information, please see the press release here:
9 February 2018
The Voices Foundation is delighted to announce that Ed Milner has been appointed to join the management team as Interim CEO in April 2018. This will coincide with the current CEO, Rebecca Le Brocq taking maternity leave from April 2018. The organisation is thrilled that Ed, who has extensive experience of arts education leadership and national singing programmes, will be leading the organisation during this time.
Ed has worked in singing education throughout his career as a singing leader, choral director and senior manager. Most recently Head of Music Education at Sage Gateshead, Ed was previously Director of Workforce Development for Sing Up. With a strong belief that all children and young people can and should sing, Ed is delighted to join Voices Foundation.
The board, team and practitioners at Voices Foundation look forward to working with Ed over the coming year. During this time, the organisation will continue its important strategic development initiatives, celebrate its 25th Anniversary, develop an Online Teacher Learning Centre and build on its recent successes with the ‘Singing School’ programme which it launched in 2016. Our partnerships with individual schools, multi academy trusts and Music Education Hubs will be central to how we increase our reach and impact over this time.
4 December 2017
Voices Foundation is currently recruiting at both senior leadership and governance level.
Voices Foundation is seeking an outstanding and talented individual with strong business acumen and a passion for music education to fulfil the role of Interim Chief Executive (maternity cover). We are looking for a confident leader who will inspire, motivate and support staff, practitioners, donors and stakeholders. The 10-month period covered by this role (April 2018–February 2019) also falls within Voices Foundation’s 25th anniversary year, and therefore involves some special projects and opportunities for the charity.
Additionally, Voices Foundation is seeking two new non-executive Board members who are passionate about improving children’s lives through music to join its Board of Directors in a voluntary position. The areas of skills and expertise sought are as follows:
• Digital/Online Learning
For further information on all the above opportunities, including details on how to apply, please click here:
13 November 2017
A Singing Schools programme devised by the Voices Foundation in collaboration with the David Ross Education Trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious music award.
Dubbed ‘the Oscars of the arts education sector’, the 2018 Music Teachers Awards have been created by the Music and Drama Education Expo to recognise and celebrate excellence in Music and Performing Arts Education. The Singing Schools programme has been nominated in the Excellence in Primary/Early Years Award category.
The Singing Schools programme has been nothing short of transformational: Kings Heath Primary Academy in Northampton, the only school to take part in the project in the programme’s first year, has seen an increase in Year 6 SATs results from 31% combined (reading, writing and Maths), to 64% combined.
Following this initial success, and thanks to the vision and ambition of the David Ross Education Trust together with the Voices Foundation, the programme has expanded with a further four David Ross Education Trust primary academies now taking part in the Singing Schools programme.
For further information, please see the press release here:
6 November 2017
Click on the image below to read the Autumn 2017 edition of our newsletter.
Articles in this edition include How a year of singing has changed everything by Kim Duff, Headteacher of Kings Heath Primary Academy (a Voices Foundation Singing School), and Musical by Design by Prof. Adam Ockleford.
24 October 2017
This academic year we are working in close partnership with Harris Primary Free School Peckham, marking the first London-based Voices Foundation Singing School programme. Devised in collaboration with the school, the programme aims to develop pupils’ skills and confidence using the power and discipline of singing-based learning, as well as supporting pupils to gain the educational and social advantages provided by a rigorous music education. Harris Primary Free School Peckham is a school that emphasises a strong pride and joy for learning, where parents and families in the community are actively engaged:
“I’m looking forward to putting Harris Primary Free School Peckham on the map!”
Laura McPhee, Headteacher
As a testament to the school’s musical ambition, pupils from Harris Primary Free School Peckham have already been selected to perform in A Concert for Winter at Shakespeare’s Globe on 7th December. Complete with song, dance, poetry and performance the event will celebrate the borough of Southwark’s rich and diverse talents, and we are delighted that pupils from Harris Primary Free School Peckham will have the opportunity to perform at such an historic and prestigious venue.
26 September 2017
The Voices Foundation is one of 15 organisations receiving support from Friday Afternoons for the delivery of 'exceptional activity with young people'. This generous support will allow us to encourage children and young people to sing, and inspire and train primary and secondary teachers through key partnerships with DRET Primary Schools, CET Secondary Schools and Sunderland Music Hub. We would like to extend our gratitute to Friday Afternoons for their support.
25 September 2017
The Voices Foundation will be exhibiting at the Music & Drama Education Expo in Manchester on Wednesday 4th October. Following five successful years in London, the Expo will now open its doors to 500 visitors in Manchester, and we are delighted to have our own Voices Foundation pod there, giving us the opportunity to meet teachers & music education professionals. The day will feature over 20 workshops, lectures, debates and Q&As from award-winning pedagogues, leading practitioners and some of the biggest organisations and institutions in the industry, not to mention ample networking opportunities. We will be at Pod P12 so if you'd like more information about The Voices Foundation, or would like to make the most of special Expo discounts on our courses and books, do come and say hello!
12 JUNE 2017
We are proud to announce that the Early Years book in our Inside Music range (new edition by Katie Neilson) has WON the Early Years Excellence 2017 award for Music from Teach Early Years. In a fiercely competitive field, we took the top prize, becoming the only recipient of the 5-star award in the Music category. A judge commented:
“During my time trialling all the products it was clear that I kept coming back to this book. It is a brilliantly comprehensive collection of simple tunes with equally simple guidelines to support their use. The reference CD is clearly recorded with a solo voice. There are 92 tracks, covering song, rhyme, movement, instrument use, musical elements, circle games and a range of topical learning. The 11 ‘listening’ tracks incorporate more sophisticated music, such as African and Classical. All in all, an invaluable resource for the age group.”
To purchase your copy of this award-winning book or to book your place on our 1-day Early Years course with Katie Neilson in March 2018, please visit our shop.
And to hear more about how The Voices Foundation could support your school or Early Years setting, email our Learning Manager, Victoria Taylor.
13 APRIL 2017
We are delighted to announce that we are a finalist in the 2017 Early Years Excellence Awards. Our Inside Music handbook for teachers in the Early Years is being considered for an award as part of the Early Years Music Category.
To purchase our Inside Music handbooks, please visit our shop.
10 APRIL 2017
Priors Court School is this month's Artsmark spotlight school and is being celebrated for this achievement in an article on the Artswork website. The article provides a case study focussed on the school's journey towards achieving their Artsmark award and highlights the Voices Foundation's role in supporting this goal.
4 APRIL 2017
We are delighted to announce that we are a finalist in the 2017 Early Years Excellence Awards. Our Inside Music handbook for teachers in the Early Years is being considered for an award as part of the Early Years Music Category. More information will follow shortly.
To purchase our Inside Music handbooks, please visit our shop.
20 MARCH 2017
The Voices Foundation is delighted to be working in partnership with the Tri-borough Music Hub and a group of consortium partners which has been awarded £100,000 over two years by Youth Music Charity to support music in the Early Years.
Thanks to funding from the national charity Youth Music, a trailblazing project is coming to the nursery schools and children’s centres across Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. Over the next two years (2016-2018) the project aims to improve the delivery of music for children aged 0-5. It will target work with the teachers in Early Years settings and to help provide more co-ordinated music delivery for children.
9 FEBRUARY 2017
The Voices Foundation was proud to be shortlisted for the Excellence in Primary/Early Years Award at the 2017 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.
With over 13 categories, the Music Teacher Awards are the Oscars of the music education world. At the event over 280 industry guests, including teachers, hub leaders and musicians will celebrate the best and brightest of performing arts education.
For more information about the award and our shortlisting click the button below. Huge congratulations go to all category winners!
15 December 2016
Central Primary School, Watford, was invited to make a presentation about music in the school at an international music conference in Sweden in December 2016
The Voices Foundation has been working in partnership with Central Primary School since 2013. Over this time all staff have taken part in a tailored CPD programme in and out of the classroom, developing their musicianship skills and musical ear. As a result, all teachers deliver regular music and singing in the class room as well as weekly singing assemblies. The school has also developed a choir which regularly performs in the local area.
For further information, please see the press release here: