In July, the British Council brought the world to primary schools in Greater Manchester with a completely new episode in the World Voice programme. Between 28 June and 4 July, 10 overseas singing leaders met for the first time and worked alongside the UK vocal team to conduct workshops in local primary schools. They visited 43 schools during the week, and saw over 2,000 local school children. The teachers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Senegal, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Palestine and Jordan taught a variety of traditional songs to children in Greater Manchester and introduced them to different countries and cultures.
Through a partnership with the Greater Manchester Music Hub, the international guests enjoyed a thorough exposure to UK music education in primary and secondary schools and were able to tap into a vast community of teachers and singing professionals with whom they could share their ideas on different pedagogies.
This week of hard work (and a lot of laughter) culminated in a day of celebration concerts involving primary schools from all nine Greater Manchester boroughs. Each school performed their “world song” before joining together in a mass choir to sing 'Starlight’, a song specially commissioned for the World Voice programme from Lin Marsh, one of the UK’s foremost composers of children’s songs.
St Matthew's Pupils with Richard Frostick, Paulo Bazulle and Sharon Emmott (l-r)