Ex Cathedra’s ChoirMaker programme has been created by our award-winning Education and Participation team with the aim of enabling and inspiring you and your students to establish and develop a thriving school choir.

We are delighted to have been named Outstanding Music Education Resource at the Music and Drama Education Awards 2024.

‘The judges appreciated the focus, rigour and innovation of this resource, which was designed in response to a clear gap in the provision of singing at Key Stage 2 and 3. They felt that the musical selections and range made this an ideal standalone yet supportive resource.’

ChoirMaker was possible thanks to the generous support of the Clive Richards Foundation, the Genesis Foundation, and our partners at Birmingham Music Education Partnership. We are very grateful to them.

The programme is designed to support and enable secondary school teachers who want to build a culture of singing together in their schools but are unsure of how to go about it. With the click of a button you will have our team of vocal tutors, instrumentalists and conductors in your classroom.

Designed for Year 7, ChoirMaker takes teachers and students through a carefully designed set of 10 online chapters, with each chapter being based on one song. Alongside the music notation there is a range of audio-visual resources to support you and your students. Some resources are for teachers, to aid you as the choir leader. Most are aimed at your students and include demo-performances, demonstrations of voice parts, warm-ups, and a range of interactive activities such as exploring call and response or showing your students how to add percussion. There are extension activities and further performances to view which we hope will inspire you all. You know your pupils best so you can choose to progress through the chapters at a speed of your choosing.

I've Got to Sing!
‘Friendship’- Ex Cathedra Singing Day at Kings High School, Warwick (Photo by KHS)
Gemma and Suzie
Gemma King, Suzzie Vango (Photo by Simon Peter King)

“The work of your team was crucial for moulding our community”

Ben Keeling, Head Master, Shrewsbury International School, Hong Kong

Dan Singing Choir music
Dan Ludford-Thomas (Photo by Simon Peter King)
Rob and Ruari at the piano
Rob Challinor, Ruairi Edwards
ChoirMaker Simone
Simone Rebello (Photo by Simon Peter King)
ChoirMaker in action
‘Shalawala’ led by Dan Ludford-Thomas at Shrewsbury International School Bangkok

“The finest choral educators you can find anywhere”

John Moore, Former Director of Music at Shrewsbury School

All our songs and activities have been developed through working in hundreds of primary and secondary schools over many years. We hope this programme will lead pupils from any Singing Playgrounds or SingMaker activities they may have taken part in in their primary schools to continuing to love singing at secondary school.

Harp Performance for Choir
Kadialy Kouyate (Photos by Simon Peter King)
Choir Song Composing
Matt Terry
Luis singing with microphone
Luis Prendi

In addition to the online programme, we also offer CPD sessions for teachers, workshops for students and school visits. Please contact us via education@excathedra.co.uk to find out more

Vada ChoirMaker
Zoha Sohail, Gabriella Liandu, Rob Challinor
SingMaker singing school
‘You Are Everything’ led by Rebecca Ledgard at Kings High School, Warwick (Photo by KHS)

Sign up for our ChoirMaker programme here

The Team

The ChoirMaker Year 7 programme team is made up of teachers, conductors, vocal tutors, singers, composers, pianists, percussionist, guitarist, kora player, students and school pupils.

Project Director: Rebecca Ledgard
Digital Resource Producer and Teacher Advisor: Sarah Batten
Choral Advisor and Teacher Advisor: Dan Ludford-Thomas
Project Manager and Teacher Advisor: Gemma King
Videography: Simon Peter King
Performers and presenters: Maia Ayling (singer), Marianne Ayling (composer and singer), Sarah Budd (composer, singer, conductor), Rob Challinor (piano, arranger, composer and notation) Ruairi Edwards (composer), Ex Cathedra Academy of Vocal Music Upper Voices (singing), Claire Hollocks (singer), Gemma King (singer, vocal tutor), Simon Peter King (guitars), Kadialy Kouyate (kora, singer), Annabel Ledgard (singer), Rebecca Ledgard, (vocal tutor, singer), Gabriella Liandu (singer), Dan Ludford-Thomas (composer, arranger, conductor, singer, vocal tutor), Luis Prendi (singer), Helena Raeburn (singer), Simone Rebello (percussion), Zoha Sohail (singer), Sally Spencer (singer), Pippa Wright (singer), Suzzie Vango (singer, composer, conductor)

Recorded at Vada Recording Studios by Matt Terry

With thanks to Ex Cathedra Choir and Jeffrey Skidmore OBE for the performance videos.

ChoirMaker was possible thanks to the generous support of the Clive Richards Foundation, the Genesis Foundation, and our partners at Birmingham Music Education Partnership. We are very grateful to them.

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