Child-led singing-play programme for primary schools

Now Booking In-Person Visits for 2024

Bring our award-winning team into your school, MAT, or Music Hub to kickstart your Singing Playgrounds project alongside our digital programme.

“Transformative”

Jackie Gazeley, Head Teacher, Birmingham

Singing Playgrounds is a whole-school primary school programme with child-led singing-play at its heart. Children are enabled to share, lead, adapt and create their singing-play – together. At the click of a button, you can have our expert team in your classroom to inspire and enable you and your children to implement and run your own Singing Playgrounds project in your school. You’ll find 100 videos, downloadable manual, session plans, and other resources: everything you need to make Singing Playgrounds your own.

“Being a Song Leader helps me inspire other children to join in and not feel lonely”

Song Leader, Brent

Singing Play

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

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

Singing Playgrounds
Background

In 2004 Rebecca Ledgard, from Ex Cathedra and Ula Weber , a teacher in a large primary school in Sandwell worked together to put singing at the heart of the school community. This was the beginning of Singing Playgrounds. Since then our team has expanded to include others who are passionate about our child-led project, bringing together their vast range of skills and experience in the education, performance and community music worlds.

We have implemented the project in over 1000 primary schools across the UK, and travelled to Singapore, Uganda, Thailand, New Zealand, Belgium and China. We have led many training events and conference presentations, as well as Singing Playgrounds celebration-performances. Highlights include 2000 children in a park in Derby, a performance at the Royal Albert Hall, and the global inaugural One Young Voice summit on stage with Desmond Tutu. Singing Playgrounds was the first flagship project for Sing Up and was awarded Best Musical Initiative by Music and Education Drama Awards 2014. Since 2020 we have expanded the resources for schools to include audio-visual materials available online. This supports schools in continuing the programme after our visits, and allows schools unable to afford to bring us in to benefit from the programme digitally.

20 years in, every new school visit continues to be exciting for us.. We have maintained the true essence of the project: children smiling, singing and playing together.

Why Singing Playgrounds?

Golden Moments

Singing Playgrounds

In one school a little girl fled from the classroom on a daily basis. During the class introductory session she stayed in the classroom and participated fully in the activities.

A head teacher telephoned the office with excitement. Her primary school was in an inner city area of Birmingham where people came from all over the world and many languages are spoken. We had been told that playground behavior was a challenge and that dinner supervisors struggled ‘to keep order’. We were told that on arriving in the playground to call the children for afternoon school they had found 90 children happily standing in a circle playing a singing game.

“…truly nothing short of miraculous.”

Teacher

At the end of a recent Song Leader training day a teacher, with tears in her eyes told us of one little boy she had brought to the day. Upon arrival in the morning he was crying, angry, fearful and sad. He found it hard to make friends at school and was saying, ‘What’s the point? No one is going to play with me anyway.’ At the end of the day he put his hand up and told the room of 120 children he had made a new friend.

In one school one child wore ear defenders all day every day. He didn’t like noise or interacting with others. He watched the Singing Playgrounds class session and was invited to join in. He participated fully and took his ear defenders off.

We walked into a playground and found children had successfully got 250 children playing a jumping, dancing, singing game, and we watched it continue happily for 20 minutes.

“Dear Mr Brown, Singing Playgrounds has changed my life.”

Year 4 boy writing to Gordon Brown,
Prime Minister, 2007 – 2010

Through our comprehensive programme children develop personal and social skills, vocal skills, and musicianship. Children learn games that we have collected, they share their own games, they adapt games to suit their own needs, and they create their own.

The play structure of our games give opportunity to bring children together, and make new friends. Children are encouraged to reflect upon how they can be good role models and how they can encourage and enable everyone. The play is positive, happy, inclusive activity.

 

Bring children together through singing-play

Enable children to benefit from the wellbeing qualities of singing-play

Train children to lead and enable others, developing their personal and social skills – as leaders and participants

Inspire an everyday child-led culture of singing in the primary school community

Raise the quality of singing, through developing the vocal skills and musicianship of all participants

“At the end of lunchtime I feel sad that I have to stop singing but energised for my next lesson”

Song Leader, Roe Green

Get Singing

Singing Playgrounds™ Start your Journey
Invest in your school’s future and start your Singing Playgrounds journey today. Subscribe to our annual programme or book an in-person visit and bring wellbeing to your school community.

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