Start with Singing

Start with Singing is a pilot project that took place between January and June 2018 at Minerva Primary Academy in Bristol for children in Key Stage 1.

The aims of this innovative singing programme are:

  • To encourage an understanding and appreciation of the elements of music through singing
  • To encourage confidence and enjoyment in performing in small groups and in front of an audience
  • To prepare Year 2 learners for whole class ensemble tuition in Key Stage 2

Bristol Plays Music worked in collaboration with class teachers from Minerva Primary Academy to develop a scheme of work using techniques and resources developed by Sing Up, The Voices Foundation and the British Kodaly Academy covering the elements of music; Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Timbre, Form, Texture and Dynamics.

These were put into practice in the classroom by Minerva Academy’s teachers for 30 minutes every week over the course of the pilot.

Watch the short Start with Singing promo below

The results have been amazing!   The children not only really enjoyed the weekly sessions with clear improvements in singing ability, but the most important findings have shown an increase in overall attainment expectations across core subjects at Key Stage 1.

The table below shows the changes in % of Minerva pupils reaching the end of KS1 (Y2) expectations

2017 2018
Reading 55% 81%
Writing 48% 74%
Mathematics 64% 81%

We are already seeing last year’s SwS pupils, now in Yr3 have progressed much further with the concepts of pitch, tempo, rhythm etc (compared to last year without SWS). They have developed this essential musical language and they see their place within music. Listening skills are much sharper and understanding of how this is at the core of musicianship and an essential skills – Rich Lawton, Music Coordinator at Minerva Primary Academy

Download the full findings below

Start with Singing pilot v1

We are delighted with the very positive introduction to music learning Start with Singing is providing for our year 2 learners.  Not only is it giving pupils taking part a high-quality and extremely enjoyable introduction to the joy of music, it is also strongly supporting our work in helping all pupils become creative, resilient and confident individuals in all aspects of school life – Pete Hallam, Principal of Minerva Primary Academy