Primary Robins: start of term report

In this extraordinary landscape, Primary Robins is evolving and adapting to ensure that we continue to have a presence in as many schools as possible.

At schools where the hall can be made available, our teachers go in and teach as normal. Groups cannot be larger than fifteen children and we have to leave every songbook for at least 72 hours before another child uses it. However, to hear children’s voices singing together and filling the halls at Winnall and Nightingale Primary Schools in Hampshire is truly wonderful.

The Headteacher at Winnall came over to tell me how excited they were to have David back in school. It was clear to see the joy it brought the children to be singing again.

At some schools, children are able to sing in their class bubble to an on-line Primary Robins lesson. This week they warmed up with the help of a ‘Magic Fly’ – buzzing is a great way to make the voice resonate.

One song that featured this week was The Quartermaster’s Stores, with rats as big as alley cats, mice eating all the rice and snakes as big as garden rakes.

The rhyming certainly makes it easier to learn the words and one teacher reported that the children enjoyed making up their own verses. My favourite being . . . hens using fountain pens.

For some schools singing is just not possible at the moment and so, each week, the children learn about a great opera with one of our series of music appreciation videos. This week it was La Bohéme. The children learnt about Puccini, listened to famous arias from the opera and then looked at The Children’s chorus from Act 2. Instead of singing it they spoke the words (in Italian) and used body percussion to play out the rhythm. Claps, snaps, stamps and jumps along to Puccini’s music make for a class of happy children and it really helps them learn about rhythm and note values.

Despite all the many restrictions this year I am delighted to say that we have been able to introduce the project in Manchester.

The younger children sang London’s Burning which was a perfect song choice as they are learning about The Great Fire of London.

Yesterday was brilliant – the children and staff in Y5 and Y2 really enjoyed the lessonsLizzie Taylor, Class Teacher at Old Hall Drive Primary School

Singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, reduce anxiety and it is a brilliant way to lift the spirits. I believe that keeping music alive in primary schools is more important now than ever.

Annabel Larard – Project Leader