Primary Robins

Primary Robins

Every week of the school year, Pimlico Opera gives 2,000 primary school children a half-hour singing class.

The project began with 380 Robins in Hampshire. Today there are 2,000 Robins spread over Durham, Newcastle, Nottingham, Hampshire and Surrey.


The Primary Robins project continues to thrive thanks to the generosity of individuals and trusts.

We receive no public funding and are reliant wholly upon donations.

A full year of singing lessons costs £40 per child. They participate at no cost to the school or their parents.

Supporters of Primary Robins are welcome to arrange a school visit with us to hear the Robins singing.


Primary Robin Belinda Coles had a role in our 2019 production of Porgy & Bess


Primary Robins was founded in September 2013. The project enriches the the lives and expands the outlook of school children who have little exposure to music.

Forty years ago, every primary school would have had children sitting around a piano learning songs. This essential part of growing up has been a casualty of today’s curriculum.




How it works

The project is startling in its simplicity and effectiveness.

The Robins sit around the piano together and learn traditional songs every week.

Every term the Robins have a new specially prepared Song Book of around ten traditional songs, one of which is in a foreign language.

The Song Book includes musical notation. It is not intended to teach the children to read music, but some see the pattern of how they sing and what the dots do.


The project began with 380 Robins in Hampshire. Today there are 2,000 Robins across 20 schools.

This equates to an impressive 40,000 hours of teaching per academic year.

All of the schools have Key Stage 2 level 4 results below the national average, with higher than average numbers of children receiving free school meals.

Primary Robins are disadvantaged children within disadvantaged communities.

Last summer two Primary Robins appeared in the production of Porgy & Bess.

Find out what the Robins have been up to in our latest blog post: