Profile: Wren Music

Wren Music is Devon’s foremost folk music and education charity. We have a 30-year track record of providing performances, composing and excellence in delivery and training for all ages and abilities.

A mainstay of Wren’s work is with young people across Devon and the South-West, using music to empower, educate and give a sense of identity. Wren staff are all professional musicians and artists in their own right as well as possessing the qualities needed to be excellent educators.

First Access

Wren Music has been central in delivering the First Access programme in Bournemouth and Poole on behalf of the music hub, Soundstorm. Working in schools across Bournemouth, we have enabled young people to gain an initial taste for instruments, develop proficiency and then come together to take part in large sharing shows to display what they’ve learnt.

‘Wren Music delivered one of the most successful First Access programmes we have had.’ Soundstorm, Bournemouth Music Hub


Wren has developed programmes of singing, both large and small, including huge projects in Exeter, Torbay and Plymouth. In these projects, up to 20 schools address transition issues by working across KS2 and KS3. The young people collaborate in writing new songs and staging a ‘life memorable’ finale. The young Secondary students become singing leaders and there’s a CPD strand for teachers too. In Torbay, the fourth iteration of their project, Sing Around The Bay, runs from Autumn 2016 to Summer 2017.

We also work with small choirs and singing groups across the county, including a transitions group on behalf of the Devon Music Education Hub, Wren’s own singing group, Roots A Capella, and many local and regional groups, to develop singing for fun, to gain technique, to learn songwriting and much more.

‘I think that Sing Around the Bay is a wonderful project that gives children the chance to experience performing as part of an ensemble. It develops their teamwork, communication and listening skills and gives them a chance to build confidence to perform as part of a group. I felt that they were well prepared with the different rehearsals and knew exactly what they were doing.’ Kathy Harrison, St Margaret’s Academy

Special Needs and challenging circumstances

Wren Music has a long track record of working with young people with a range of Special Needs – from young people in challenging circumstances to those with profound and multiple disabilities – and has completed a two-year project over six sites in Devon under the broad title, Music $ Life. Notable examples include work with Woodlands School in Plymouth and with Pathfield School in Barnstaple as part of the English Folk Dance and Song Society‘s prestigious Full English project. Wren’s programme with children in challenging circumstances has seen successful projects from Primary schools in areas of high deprivation to regular sessions in SEBD schools (for children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties), often culminating in large shows, including at the Exeter Northcott Theatre.

‘The best bit was seeing our boys turn into teachers!’ Staff member, SEBD school

Training and CPD

Wren provides training and CPD across the country in many areas of music and education – from workshops for play leaders in Worcestershire to drumming workshops for the THRIVE Network. A consistently successful strand has been to deliver vocal coaching and vocal repertoire development for teachers.

Wren Music is also proud to announce the first intake for its brand new Certificate for Music Educators (CME) course, developed in partnership with the Musicians’ Union and supported by local music hubs in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. The course is validated and moderated by Trinity College London.

‘Getting Wren Music into the City has been one of the best investments we ever made.’ Head Of Plymouth Music Hub

Header photo: Music 4 Life Group

Related Articles