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Primary Robins

Read the project diary below. 
You can contribute (download a support form) and send a cheque made payable to Pimlico Opera call 01962 73 73 60 (weekday office hours). We will send you the beautiful song book that each child has been given. There is a new songbook each term.
It is probably something that happened in every primary school 40 years ago: the class sitting around the piano . . . learning songs. 
380 primary school children who normally have little exposure to songs and music will be given a half hour singing class every week.
An academic partner is assessing the impact on other areas of attainment
Annabel Larard who has set up the project is writing a diary
"
It has been a truly wonderful first week.
 
 On Tuesday morning we began at Mengham Junior School on Hayling Island. There, we had two classes with age 8/9 (20 children in each class) and then two classes of age 10/11 (26 children in each).
 
They were all very enthusiastic and, surprisingly, it was the two most rowdy boys that contributed most to the class - from clapping out the rhythm of their heat beats, to breathing in a way that they called 'back to front'.  The girls had fun trying to out sing the boys and vice versa.
 
At Sharps Copse, Portsmouth, we had 3 classes of 25, age 7-9. They were thrilled by the songbook, that has been so cleverly designed by Rebecca Thomas. They seemed astonished that they could keep the book!.  By the end of the 30 minute session they were singing Edelweiss from memory.
 
On Thursday morning we visited Redbridge School, Southampton. Each of the four classes had 30 children. The first group was Orange Class year 5 (aged 9 ) and it was here that we first encountered a little boy who was determined not to sing. He was so set on non-participation that he did not even want to hold his songbook and it will be wonderful to see if, as the weeks go by, he begins to take part and join in with his classmates.
 
In Yellow Class, when asked what the children thought Opera might be, a young boy said “it involves lots of trumpets”!
 
At Tanners Brook School, Southampton we were singing with three classes of 30 age 9/10.  
In one of the classes, there were four deaf children so David and I had to wear special devices in order that they could hear us.
In  another class, the children asked lots of interesting questions ,including; “How does an opera singer break a glass”? and “What happens to you voice box when you lose your voice”?
 
In another, there were again some children who were determinedly not interested and refused to sing.
 
At the end of each session it was very moving to hear the class singing out, standing tall and enjoying themselves and thrilling to hear the odd "that was cool" or "I had fun". I did too and I can't wait to go back next week!
• Even if you can’t read, you can learn a song
• Singing builds confidence
• Musical learning enhances learning in other areas
• Working towards a larger common good is uplifting
• Hard work and discipline bring great rewards.
• It feels good to achieve
• Singing is an opportunity to unlock talent, expand ambition and think differently about yourself and your future.
• Families are proud

PRIMARY ROBINS is a new three year initiative using music and theatre to expand the outlook and enrich the lives of schoolchildren who have little exposure to songs and music. Pimlico Opera aims to use music and drama to advance personal development, particularly with younger people. Artistic excellence is an essential part of achieving this aim. The company receives no government or public subsidy and has relied on project funding from trusts and foundations. Pimlico Opera has worked in prisons for 22 years and this will continue. It is probably something that happened in every primary school 40 years ago: the class sitting around the piano . . . learning songs. You can read our annual report here.


SUPPORT US
You can download a support form and send a cheque made payable to Pimlico Opera or call 01962 73 73 60 (weekday office hours). We will send you the beautiful song book that each child has been given. There is a new songbook each term. An academic partner is assessing the impact on other areas of attainment. Read more

 

• Even if you can’t read, you can learn a song

• Singing builds confidence

• Musical learning enhances learning in other areas

• Working towards a larger common good is uplifting

• Hard work and discipline bring great rewards.

• It feels good to achieve

• Singing is an opportunity to unlock talent, expand ambition and think differently about yourself and your future.

• Families are proud

With regard to music education, Saint-Saens had three beliefs:   

  • Music is an emblem of not only civilization but also the level that a culture has achieved  
  • Everyone can learn music, not just those with specialized talent. It should not be associated with the privileges of class                                
  • Knowledge of music can increase one's intelligence

(from Saint-Saens, Advocacy of Music in Elementary Schools by Jann Pasler)