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Posted on 15th May 2018
A new primary school choir is transforming lives in its first few days of creation.
Cooks Spinney Primary Academy is part of the Burnt Mill Academy Trust (BMAT) which makes musical education a priority for its young people.
As a result of the musical opportunities being brought to the school, Cooks Spinney has been inspired to launch a choir, called Voices of the Future.
Not only was the choir filled within one day of launch, but it has already had a dramatic impact on pupils.
After just one rehearsal, every member of the choir – made up of 17 Year 2 to 5 pupils - chose to take part in their very first performance in front of an audience of parents in assembly.
Year 4 teacher Tracy Pope, who is co-ordinating the choir, said: “One little girl who struggles emotionally in certain scenarios and is very shy was so excited to join the choir; she was happy to be there. Despite having low confidence, she turned up and performed out of choice; that’s a big thing to do in front of parents. It gave me goosebumps and is so exciting. It’s about finding that one thing that will get a pupil’s attention and spark some passion for school and for learning and the choir has provided that for some.
“We have made a brilliant start to the choir which we hope to expand in future. We have already got them their own tshirts as we know they are going places. This choir is here to stay and will just grow and grow, as will the confidence of our performers as they get more experience under their belts.
“It’s about being a part of something. To be in a choir is to feel a sense of belonging to the school.”
The choir – which has picked This Is Me as its first song - has signed up to be a part of Student Voices to perform at the O2. It is also hoped the choir will collaborate with musicians at Burnt Mill Academy in joint future performances.
They will also perform at various school events, including the summer fete, and sing outside supermarkets to raise money for charity.
Reception teacher Zoe Dempster has experience of running choirs at previous schools and has lots of ideas for the new Cooks Spinney group.
She said: “I have always had a passion for music and used to play in an orchestra as a child so I’m very musical. So, I was very keen to get involved in helping to set up the Cooks Spinney choir club.
“I am keen to play around with the arrangement of the song, to look at getting pupils singing solos and experimenting with singing.”
Cristin Casey, BMAT director of performing arts, said: “Singing has a wealth of benefits, from wellbeing, development of confidence to increased engagement in the classroom. There are powerful links between
learning music and the development of literacy skills, but the bottom line is that singing is fun! Singing brings people together to develop a sense of belonging and community while lowering stress levels. Anyone can sing!”