This playlist is a chance to make some noise, work together, explore your voices and find that special unity that can only come from singing as a group.
Our Singing Assemblies have so much potential to bring us all together, celebrate our school community, set the tone for school day, energise and enliven students and staff alike, and bring joy and positivity to all. They are a chance to make some noise, work together, explore our voices and find that special unity that can only come from singing as a group.
Britten-Pears Arts Community Ambassador Charles MacDougall has made a playlist of the songs from our Songbank that he knows will make your singing assemblies something to which students and staff look forward!
It's a Quarter to Nine - Errollyn Wallen
This song was written by a 9 year old for Errollyn to sing with her sisters every morning as they walked to school. Short and sweet, it can be taught over two short singing assemblies or even one longer session . The school life imagery - such as the whistle blowing and following the rules - makes it suitable for KS1, while its poking fun at certain subjects ("Maths, Geography, English, what a bore!), make it appealing to KS2. Add actions and play with facial expressions and voice qualities to really bring this fun song to life. A brilliant way to start the school day!
There was a man of Newington - Benjamin Britten
This song is a setting of a nonsense poem about a man from Newington who jumped into a hedge and scratched out both of his eyes. When he realised this, he jumped into another hedge and scratched them in again! The nursery rhyme quality of the story facilitates its use with KS1, while the slightly gruesome nature of the lyrics entertains KS2. The simple two part structure of the song makes it ideal to teach over two assemblies. The lyrics are essential to the success of this song, so focus on clear diction, rapping the lyrics before adding the melody.
The Bird Song - traditional, arr. Nico Muhly
This song is a gentle arrangement of a Northumbrian folksong. The six verses make it an ideal longer term singing assembly project for the whole school. The different characters in each verse keep singers engaged with the narrative.
You could tackle a new verse in each assembly, or you could try allocating a verse to each year group so there is only one set of lyrics for each class to learn… put it altogether, and you have a whole school performance ready!
Us - Russell Hepplewhite
With lyrics celebrating how incredible human beings are and reminding children that we can do astonishing things in our lives, this song is a powerful way to promote a focussed and positive day for all in the school. The main melody has a real energy and will be easily grasped by all, while the slightly trickier middle section would be a great chance to showcase your choir or an older year group.