Spotlight on Yorkshire

Windswept moors. Cathedral cities. Charming residents.
Yorkshire is famous for its rich cultural heritage, outstanding natural beauty and lasting impact on British political history (War of the Roses, Guy Fawkes, 1984 Miner’s Strike).
But are you as familiar with its musical legacy?
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Music Makes Yorkshire Sing

From the world-renown Ryedale Music Festival and outstanding composing talents such as John Barry, Trevor Wishart and Francis Jackson to operatic legends such as Janet Baker, Josephine Barstow and Lesley Garrett, Yorkshire has produced more than its fair share of musical icons.
And when it comes to popular music, the county is no slouch either. Let’s not forget native sons and modern balladeers Ed Sheeran, Zayn Malik and Joe Cocker who all call Yorkshire home, as well as Sheffield’s prolific late 20th-century rock scene which birthed household band names such as Def Leppard, Human League and The Arctic Monkeys. Classic or modern, experimental, industrial, punk, new wave and beyond, Yorkshire’s musical legacy is incontrovertible.
But what about its future?
A group of focused schoolchildren in red uniforms are seated on the floor, holding yellow mallets, ready to play the colorful xylophones in front of them, fostering a sense of anticipation and musical collaboration in the classroom.

The Heart of the School Is Missing

Over the course of the previous two years and at the height of the Covid pandemic, music education in UK schools was “devastated” with the Guardian reporting that “more than two-thirds (68%) of primary school teachers and more than a third (39%) of secondary school teachers reported a reduction in music provision.”
Presenting the findings from an Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) national survey, the media outlet went on to confirm that “music education in schools is facing an ‘unprecedented crisis’ as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with singing, instrumental lessons, extracurricular activities and end-of-term concerts all badly hit.”
In fact, when the results were tallied “almost one in 10 primary and secondary schools [were] not teaching music as part of the curriculum at all. Some lessons ‘contained no practical music-making’. [S]inging ha[d] ended in more than a third (38%) of primary schools, and instrumental lessons ha[d] ceased in almost a quarter (23%).”
That’s a lot of ground to make up.

Yorkshire Youth and Music

That’s why Sing Education have partnered with the Richard Shephard Music Foundation (RSMF) to bring world-class primary music education to Yorkshire. We want to ensure the next generation of Yorkshire children have access to the very best vocal, instrumental, composition and music theory training possible – starting in nursery and continuing straight through Key Stage 2.
Founded in 2014, Sing Education is a more exciting and rewarding way to do primary music. As we teach to the National Curriculum for Music, we know that our pupils are having fun finding out why they love music, growing in their technical capacity, improving their self-confidence and wellbeing and most importantly building a musical foundation that will last them a lifetime.
Currently changing the lives of over 10.000 school children each week through the transformative power of music, Sing Education have dedicated local offices in York – we’re based at the historic Minster alongside our charity partners at RSMF. And as in all our UK locations, we draw our high calibre music teachers from local conservatoires, music schools and graduate education centres, as well as from professional settings such as musical theatre, arts venues and the music/recording industry.
In line with the mission and vision of RSMF which is to create “a world where all children and young people have the opportunity to experience and enjoy music and to develop their musical talent,” Sing Education currently deliver weekly curricular and extracurricular provision in primary schools across the county, in rural, urban and coastal town settings. From Ryedale to Middlesbrough and Scarborough, Sing Education is helping RSMF shape young lives for the better.
The photo captures a moment during a classical music rehearsal, focusing on a man in a red checkered shirt who appears to be a conductor or musician, intently observing a score or performance. In the foreground, out-of-focus double basses with their curved scrolls add a sense of depth and context to the scene, suggesting an orchestral setting. The warm lighting and the concentration on the man's face convey a serious dedication to the craft of music-making.

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