Learning & Engagement

Summer is in full swing, and the Learning & Engagement team here at the National Youth Choir has been bustling with excitement! We’ve had a whirlwind of activities that have filled our days with music and joy, and now we’re thrilled to share more about them with you.  

Greater Manchester Workshops: Supporting Singing in Trafford and Wigan! 

Matt Roughley, workshop leader, and Fellows Antonio Oliveira and Emily Varney visited Greater Manchester, where they led energetic and engaging workshops in both Trafford and Wigan. Working in partnership with local Music Services, we visited 5 primary schools in Trafford and 4 in Wigan to provide them with first access workshops to support them in their singing provision. Over the course of 4 days at the end of the summer term, we were delighted to sing with over 360 pupils in KS2 from Trafford and 220 pupils in Wigan.  

Not only did we want to engage their students with high-quality singing practice, but we wanted to ensure that teachers were also able to takeaway a thing or two from the sessions – be it techniques and strategies, songs and games to use, or just to boost their confidence in singing. Schools were really appreciative of our visits and some of the comments from staff are below: 

 Teachers from Wigan and Trafford 

Excellent delivery! Really inclusive and all pupils participated with great enthusiasm.

Great! Loved the enthusiasm– very good at enthusing both children and staff!

The class were still singing the song hours later!

Very engaging, entertaining, and inclusive. 

The National Youth Choir at Music for Youth’s National Festival 2023 

We had the amazing opportunity to be a returning partner of Music for Youth’s National Festival this year, held at the amazing Symphony Hall in Birmingham. The sheer energy and enthusiasm in the air was great to witness as we hosted two workshops for participating singing groups from across England. Led by Greg Link, and with the support of Fellow Emily Varney and Fellow Alumni Ben Goodall, the sessions focused on learning some new pieces and finding the fun in singing!   

Greg Link, Workshop Leader

It was a pleasure to be involved and fly the flag of the great organisation which is National Youth Choir!

Adding to the excitement of the event, we were thrilled to have 5 of our very own National Youth Choir Members join us as National Youth Choir Ambassadors – facilitating the workshops alongside our workshop team and interacting with the participants to make them feel welcome. They embodied the essence of National Youth Choir and their passion for singing and for the organisation left a lasting impression on all as they shared about their journeys with National Youth Choir: 

Alice Martin, National Youth Choir Ambassador

The day was absolutely brilliant! Highlights of the day were seeing how much fun the young people had in both workshops, and how engaged they were... I learnt so much from watching Greg, and there was such a positive atmosphere for the whole day...we all wanted to make these workshops the best and most encouraging learning environment for all of the young people...

What’s next?  

With all this activity happening, summer isn’t over for us just yet! We’ve been gearing up towards our follow-up activity as part of our National Youth Choir SING! programme in the North East. Open to young singers from across the region in Years 6 – 9, we’re having a free Summer Vocal Day in Newcastle on 21 August 2023. It’s an exciting opportunity to get a glimpse into what it is like to be a National Youth Choir member and to develop confidence and musical skills.