A few weeks ago, Julian and I visited Sevenoaks School to work with their Lower School Choir on a new arrangement, that we’re due to premier in a few hours’ time.
This ensemble is a good example of a school deciding that singing and music ought to be part of every pupil’s education, and we in the KS wish that all schools could follow their example. We realise it’s not that easy! Anyhow, at Sevenoaks each pupil HAS to sing in the Lower School Choir for the first term of their life at school – some 160 11-12 year old children, many of whom don’t think they want to be there.
The start of our masterclass session was heavy-going but, by introducing a bit of humour and some games into the session, Jules and I started to win them over. By the end, everyone was making a lot of noise and there was happy chatter and smiling faces by the end.
The point of writing this is that this evening, all those pupils will be sharing the stage with us and performing live – something many of them probably thought they’d never do. Perhaps one or two will be inspired to sing more, and will continue with choir. Another of the school’s ensembles, their elite acappella group, contains a young man who plays international rugby, can’t read music that fluently, and had never sung until a year ago. Tonight he sings a solo in front of a packed house.
So, if we can inspire even a few young people to sing when we visit schools, our job is complete.
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