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ISM Trust launches new resource to help teachers share the joy of singing

The Independent Society of Musicians Trust (ISM Trust) has launched a new, free resource, aimed at giving teachers the confidence to bring singing into classrooms.

The 'Primary Singing Toolkit’ has been designed, developed and produced by the ISM Trust, in partnership with the Voices Foundation, and supported by the Schools Music Association (SMA).

The toolkit will support non-specialist and specialist primary teachers to find their voice and share the joy of singing. The resource is available to all and completely free of charge.

The online resource, which can be found on the ISM Trust website, supports teachers to explore:

  • call and response
  • pitch and composition
  • notation
  • healthy singing practices
  • leading a choir
  • part singing and leading a round
  • refining a song

The toolkit will be of interest to primary school teachers across the UK, supporting the refreshed National Plan for Music Education in England, the National Plan for Music Education in Wales, the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland and the Arts Area of Learning in the Northern Ireland Curriculum.

The resource will be officially unveiled at this year’s Music & Drama Education Expo. Attendees should attend the ISM stand B16 on Thursday 23 February at 14:15 where the ISM Trust and Voices Foundation will introduce the resource and do a live interactive demonstration.

The toolkit is made up of 14 videos (almost 2 hours of video content), plus accompanying downloadable lesson plans, which encompass 7 full music lessons.

The singing strategies are led by Voices Foundation Choral Director Charles MacDougall and Musicianship Director Jenny Trattles. The videos were filmed with teachers and students from Winterton Junior School in Winterton, North Lincolnshire.

ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts said:

‘For many years, the ISM has advocated for singing to be at the heart of the school and called for a focus on singing to be included in the refreshed National Plan for Music Education for England. We were therefore pleased when the plan called singing the 'golden thread' throughout the primary years.

The Primary Singing Toolkit will help teachers build their confidence to sing with their pupils, support schools deliver the National Plan in England and be of much use to teachers in all nations of the UK.

We understand the wide range of benefits singing can bring including improving self-esteem and behaviour, sharing emotions and developing musicianship.

As a subject association for music, we pride ourselves on delivering resources that help bring music into classrooms.’

Voices Foundation Chief Executive Manvinder Rattan said:

‘I'm delighted to have brought this valuable project to fruition in partnership with the ISM Trust, who have placed considerable confidence in us to produce such high-quality, accessible and relevant learning resources. These will help more teachers effectively lead singing in their schools. And this can only be a good thing; our impact measurements indicate that children who sing are happier, and if happier, are likely to have a more fulfilling time at school, in the broadest sense.

I very much hope that the Primary Singing Toolkit may have a positive impact on children’s singing in this country.’

About the ISM Trust

The ISM Trust is the sister charity of the Independent Society of Musicians (ISM).

Through events, training and award-winning resources, the Trust equips music professionals with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed in their career.

We cover key topics from legal and business, copyright and royalties, and finance and tax, to music teaching, diversity and inclusion, and musicians’ health. Our projects are regularly delivered in partnership with leading experts, charities and organisations.

The Trust has produced several other resources for music educators, including the award-winning Primary Music Toolkit, which includes guidance on teaching singing and vocal work, plus frameworks for delivering the National Curriculum for Music at primary and key stage 3.

About Voices Foundation

Voices Foundation is on a mission to transform music education to ensure every child has a voice. They have various resources and training available for teachers and pupils.

Musical activity and education offer children the opportunity to participate in a uniquely multi-sensory experience, which benefits them in several different ways, including supporting their wellbeing, improving their confidence and self-esteem, and increasing their learning and attainment. Through their award-winning CPD programmes, Voices Foundation help schools become Singing Schools that provide children with access to enriching and inspiring music education.