We Are The World, We Are The Children

Singing assemblies are a chance to unite the whole school community through singing. The impact is manifold. Across our 25 schools and the 9,000 children we teach each week, singing assemblies have the power to boost pupil social connection, staff wellbeing and happiness and drive positive school morale.

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Singing Develops Voices AND Hearts

When part of a cohesive music program, singing assemblies and classroom music complement one another perfectly. 

Singing assemblies are an opportunity for the hard work in the classroom to shine through. By developing deep knowledge and skill around the use of the voice, pitching and general musical expression in the music classroom, we are able to put these skills to practice in a singing assembly. It is often a chance to tackle more challenging repertoire that will stretch a child’s musical landscape and imagination. Assemblies also help children develop confidence in singing, as they’re supported by a large number of their peers all singing together.

Frequently our singing assembly material focuses on a timely current events theme such as the environment or racism. For example, we might choose a song from our repertoire about being kind to one another. This really boosts the morale of the children. It also reinforces messages that classroom teaching staff are seeking to implement across the full school curriculum. In these cases, we make sure our assembly choices tie in with the school’s vision and values. And yes, it can be quite an emotional experience for both our music teachers and the school staff to see the children perform in these assemblies; to see them embrace a wider learning objective like “being kind to others.”

A group of schoolchildren in green uniforms sits attentively on the floor of a spacious room, their focus directed towards a woman standing in front of a large screen displaying the words "Singing Assembly St Clement & St James." The woman, dressed in a red blazer and patterned dress, appears to be leading the assembly, with a sense of calm engagement shared between her and the students. The setting suggests an interactive and educational environment, likely filled with music and learning.

Inside a Singing Assembly

Singing assemblies are a fundamental way to bring music out of the classroom. They are an opportunity to help children understand musical learning is broad and spreads across the entirety of the school curriculum and the whole of school life. They demonstrate in very practical ways that the lessons which music teaches aren’t just restricted to their 45-minute class lesson each week. Plus, developing this understanding – that music is threaded throughout school life – is a really important part of children understanding how their overall learning is constructed.

Sing Education singing assemblies tend to follow a standard format. After an introduction, the music teacher takes the opportunity to highlight some positives observed during lessons that week, perhaps recognizing a star musician or congratulating the choir on a great rehearsal. They then start with a simple physical activity to get the body warmed up – this can be seated or standing. Next the teacher will introduce  some call and response warm-ups for the mind and the voice. To finish this section of the lesson, the teacher chooses a simple song – often sung in the round – to give the children a chance to sing a familiar melody that also stretches their ensemble skills and gets them really listening to one another. 

The heart of the assembly begins when the teacher and students turn to look at a new song. We teach new material line by line – the music teacher first introduces the breathing, tune, tempo and words and then the children repeat. Building throughout the session on what they’ve learned earlier. To provide additional support, this teaching is accompanied instrumentally by a backing track, piano or guitar. We may include a brain break in the middle to refocus the children before finishing the assembly off with a song that the children know well. We are always looking to create a Wow! moment in singing assemblies where everyone is singing their hearts out and everyone in the room gets a sense that this is a special moment together.

There’s A Wow! in Every One

With half an hour of corporate music making, the benefits are numerous. Yes, singing assemblies are a great opportunity for children to experience singing with piano backing, or to sing with a backing track. They also get to experience music of different styles and genres outside of their curricular music programme. But there are also wider outcomes as well. 

Children develop a sense of belonging within a broader community. There are boosts to pupils’ emotional development, staff wellbeing and happiness, as well as improvements to general school morale. Singing assemblies are also a great opportunity for music teachers to become more widely known and embedded into the school community, as communal singing very often is a focal point of school life.

Lastly, Sing Education receives so much great feedback from singing assemblies because they are often the point where class teachers and the senior leadership team really get to see the results of our high-quality music provision. When the school staff get to enjoy firsthand the fruits of what the children have learned, they say to us”Wow, they’re singing together. They’re enjoying it, they love it.” or “Wow, they’re all in tune. They’re really just singing their hearts out.” This is the result of having strong curricular music, but it gets demonstrated so much more clearly through singing assemblies. Assemblies are vital to school music and school life because they enable the children to share the joy of music with one another and to sing about themes and values which are really important.

A group of schoolchildren, dressed in green uniforms, are captured in a moment of collective focus, their expressions reflecting engagement and enthusiasm. They appear to be singing or participating in a vocal activity, with some children gesturing as if emphasizing the rhythm or melody of a song they are learning together. The atmosphere suggests a lively and harmonious learning experience.

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