Friday Afternoons

Founded in 2013 and inspired by Benjamin Britten, Friday Afternoons is an international initiative encouraging young people to sing.

The Friday Afternoons initiative began as part of the celebrations for Benjamin Britten’s centenary. What was initially just a Suffolk project became regional, then national, then global, and on Friday, 22 November 2013, there were close to 70,000 young people from around the world singing one or more of Britten’s songs.

Friday Afternoons now commissions new repertoire every year for children’s voices, with a whole host of resources available for free on the website, including teaching and accessibility resources to help as many people as possible engage with the songs.

The project’s ever-growing Song Bank contains new music and support material to help teachers develop their students’ skills – as performers, listeners and composers.

For 2017, Luke Styles worked alongside librettist Alan McKendrick on 12 new songs for the Friday Afternoons Song Bank. Eight of the songs were written by the composer and librettist, with four additional songs being created in collaboration with groups of young people across the country. These groups are: Elgol Primary School and Bun-sgoil Shlèite, Isle of Skye; Thomas Wolsey School, Ipswich; Netley Primary School, London; and students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

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  • To encourage young people to sing;
  • To build a Song Bank and support material to help teachers develop their students’ skills as performers, listeners and composers.

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  • Arts Council England
  • The Bernarr Rainbow Trust
  • The Boltini Trust
  • The Garfield Weston Foundation
  • The Sackler Trust
  • The Doric Charitable Trust

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Founded in 2013 and inspired by Benjamin Britten, Friday Afternoons is an international initiative encouraging young people to sing.

The Friday Afternoons initiative began as part of the celebrations for Benjamin Britten’s centenary. What was initially just a Suffolk project became regional, then national, then global, and on Friday, 22 November 2013, there were close to 70,000 young people from around the world singing one or more of Britten’s songs.

Friday Afternoons now commissions new repertoire every year for children’s voices, with a whole host of resources available for free on the website, including teaching and accessibility resources to help as many people as possible engage with the songs.

The project’s ever-growing Song Bank contains new music and support material to help teachers develop their students’ skills – as performers, listeners and composers.

For 2017, Luke Styles worked alongside librettist Alan McKendrick on 12 new songs for the Friday Afternoons Song Bank. Eight of the songs were written by the composer and librettist, with four additional songs being created in collaboration with groups of young people across the country. These groups are: Elgol Primary School and Bun-sgoil Shlèite, Isle of Skye; Thomas Wolsey School, Ipswich; Netley Primary School, London; and students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

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Posted In  Performance and  Training/CPD

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Dumfries House partnership © Martin Shields

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Dumfries House partnership

Dumfries House, Cumnock, Ayrshire KA18 2NJ, Scotland

Scotland

Founded in 2013 and inspired by Benjamin Britten, Friday Afternoons is an international initiative encouraging young people to sing.

The Friday Afternoons initiative began as part of the celebrations for Benjamin Britten’s centenary. What was initially just a Suffolk project became regional, then national, then global, and on Friday, 22 November 2013, there were close to 70,000 young people from around the world singing one or more of Britten’s songs.

Friday Afternoons now commissions new repertoire every year for children’s voices, with a whole host of resources available for free on the website, including teaching and accessibility resources to help as many people as possible engage with the songs.

The project’s ever-growing Song Bank contains new music and support material to help teachers develop their students’ skills – as performers, listeners and composers.

For 2017, Luke Styles worked alongside librettist Alan McKendrick on 12 new songs for the Friday Afternoons Song Bank. Eight of the songs were written by the composer and librettist, with four additional songs being created in collaboration with groups of young people across the country. These groups are: Elgol Primary School and Bun-sgoil Shlèite, Isle of Skye; Thomas Wolsey School, Ipswich; Netley Primary School, London; and students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

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NYMAZ Connect Resound clarinettist

Connect: Resound

North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Connect:Resound Project Report

  • ''70.1% of the children enjoyed the lesson ‘very much’, 16.4% ‘quite a lot’, and 13.4% only ‘a bit’.'
  • '57.1% of parents/carers said their child enjoyed the lessons ‘very much’, 24.5% stated ‘quite a lot’, 14.3% suggested ‘a bit’ and 4.1% ‘not much.'
  • 'The vast majority of pupils (92.5%) reported practising between lessons. Parents were slightly less positive about the amounts of practice when this figure dropped to 83.7%.''
  • 'Parents gave positive feedback about children’s progress, with 24.5% stating it was ‘very good’, 46.9% that it was ‘good’, and 28.6% that progress was ‘satisfactory’.'
  • 'Most of the children (74.1%) and many parents (68.2%) wanted them to continue to learn their instruments ‘quite a lot’ or ‘very much’. This is notable considering that 79.5% of parents/carers would not have tried to find instrumental lessons for their children had this opportunity not been available.'

Connect: Resound Project Report

'I would very much recommend Connect: Resound as an avenue to access music lessons.' - Headteacher

'The children were engrossed in what they were doing…we are all very impressed with the concept… As a governor I feel there are huge opportunities offered through the internet for
geographically remote schools, small schools with very limited budgets (like ours) and also for specialised teaching, not just of music but of foreign languages… In short – brilliant project well executed.' - Kevin Tasker, School Governor, Hawes CP School

'Really good, actually […] especially the individuals got further than they would in a normal lesson. I think it was because of the kids, I think they really liked doing it over the internet.' - Andy, guitar teacher

'Well, the organisation of it, if the schools on board, it's so much easier […] North Yorkshire being massive and travelling and not getting there, so actually having lessons […] rather than running from school to school […] that was great, in the office, I couldn't
get stuck in traffic.' - Daniel, woodwind teacher

'And I think that has real potential there [for online], in an ideal world […] a combination of both, [an] initial [face-to-face] meeting with the teacher […] then maybe four or five lessons over the internet, and then you have another [face-to-face] meeting, […] I think it's got real potential for […] providing opportunity for those kids that can't, or are not sure about whether they want to do an instrument, to actually make a start.' - Ian Bangay, head, North Yorkshire County

  • To identify a cost-efficient, high quality method of enhancing the music education opportunities on offer to isolated areas.

Yorkshire and Humberside

Founded in 2013 and inspired by Benjamin Britten, Friday Afternoons is an international initiative encouraging young people to sing.

The Friday Afternoons initiative began as part of the celebrations for Benjamin Britten’s centenary. What was initially just a Suffolk project became regional, then national, then global, and on Friday, 22 November 2013, there were close to 70,000 young people from around the world singing one or more of Britten’s songs.

Friday Afternoons now commissions new repertoire every year for children’s voices, with a whole host of resources available for free on the website, including teaching and accessibility resources to help as many people as possible engage with the songs.

The project’s ever-growing Song Bank contains new music and support material to help teachers develop their students’ skills – as performers, listeners and composers.

For 2017, Luke Styles worked alongside librettist Alan McKendrick on 12 new songs for the Friday Afternoons Song Bank. Eight of the songs were written by the composer and librettist, with four additional songs being created in collaboration with groups of young people across the country. These groups are: Elgol Primary School and Bun-sgoil Shlèite, Isle of Skye; Thomas Wolsey School, Ipswich; Netley Primary School, London; and students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

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