Morecambe classrooms are alive with the sound of music

More Music in Morecambe.
More Music in Morecambe.

Schoolchildren across Lancashire will experience the joy of singing and improve their learning through music during October 2017, the British Council has announced.

The UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities will run its music education initiative, World Voice, in more than 50 schools in northern England.

The programme, which uses a blend of teacher training, online resources and performance to help children explore identity and culture through music, is based on the success of the first World Voice Residency in Greater Manchester in 2015, and is supported by Arts Council England.

More than 55 schools and over 3,100 pupils across the north of England are taking part – with schools in Morecambe, Heysham, Lancaster, Burnley and Preston set to benefit from the scheme.

During October, up to 20 World Voice “Master Trainers” from around the world will travel to the UK to collaborate with local teachers, music educators and UK-based World Voice trainers. The international visitors will run workshops in schools and communities, sharing musical knowledge and experience of music education with children and teachers.

The British Council is working with local organisations in each location to deliver the project: More Music in Morecambe, Carlisle’s Cumbria Music Hub, the Greater Manchester Music Hub, Hull Music Service, Opera North in Leeds, SoundLincs in Lincolnshire and The Sage Gateshead.

World Voice has enhanced children’s learning in over 16 countries, including Nepal, Brazil, Jordan and Palestine by getting them singing to develop musicality and improve academic outcomes in languages, sciences or maths. It is inspired by the National Singing Programme, using a blend of teacher training, online resources and performances.

Cathy Graham, British Council Director Music, said: “World Voice continues to amaze me with its ability to transform the atmosphere of a classroom, for teachers and children, wherever it goes around the world. I’m sure everyone that takes part in this latest residency will enjoy experiencing first hand those same transformative effects and will take away not only some new musical ideas but also an experience of another culture through singing.”

The World Voice Programme began in Senegal and India in 2013 following research and development led by Artistic Director Richard Frostick and the consultancy of Bridget Whyte.

The network has grown to include: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, Palestine, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Zimbabwe and the UK. Anyone in the world can reach the growing bank of online resources, including a World Songbook with songs from all the countries that have taken part.

The British Council aims to support all young people in the UK to have international and intercultural experiences.

The World Voice programme is a key programme in this effort to contribute to an internationally inspired and globally connected UK and a more secure, inclusive and prosperous world.