Songwriting Choir project benefits from Youth Music funding

WINCHCOMBE SECONDARY SCHOOL AWARDED £20,000 GRANT FOR SONGWRITING AND PERFORMANCE PROJECT

 Pupils from Isbourne Valley and Gretton primary schools will benefit in their transition to secondary school

The National Foundation for Youth Music this week awarded a grant of £20,250 for a unique music project at Winchcombe Secondary School in conjunction with The Songwriting Charity. The project will also partner with Isbourne Valley and Gretton primary schools.

The Songwriting Charity is dedicated to the empowerment of young people through the art and craft of songwriting and has worked with over 12,000 children, inspiring them to reach their creative musical potential.

The charity will initiate a Songwriters Choir at Winchcombe, only the second one of its kind in the country.  The project will mentor songwriting by a core of 20 primary school participants who will then introduce their work to their older peers making up the rest of the choir. The choir will get the opportunity to share the stage at high profile venues, such as Cheltenham Town Hall, with professional singers and musicians.  The charity believes that children building songs together, and then hearing them sung en masse by a community choir, provides a huge confidence boost and helps to bridge the gap often associated with the transition from primary to secondary school.

Ben O’Sullivan, Director of Programmes at The Songwriting Charity and the Winchcombe Songwriters Choir leader says: “It’s a huge privilege to be taking the Songwriters Choir idea to Gloucestershire with the generous support of Youth Music, enabling the Songwriting Charity to reach more children with this life-changing approach to music-making. We know how useful choral singing is for shy and withdrawn children when drawing students together to make music and build friendships. In offering the added layer of songwriting and creative music-making with professionals and peers, the children are all the more empowered and their self-esteem elevated through the challenging step up to secondary school.”

Matt Griffiths, Executive Director, Youth Music says: “We are delighted to support this project as it will provide such a valuable experience for the young people taking part.  We know that through music, many young people find a new focus in their lives and in this way, the project at Winchcombe Secondary school will be providing them with a confidence building and ultimately life-changing experience.  We wish the organisers every success in getting this very worthwhile project off the ground.”

The national charity Youth Music supports life-changing music-making opportunities for children and young people with least opportunity.  These include young people at risk of exclusion, children in care, those coping with disability and young people living in urban deprivation or rural isolation.   It announced grants totalling £3,419,000 across England, bringing the number of projects helped over the last year to 418, the highest ever. These projects reach out to over 100,000 children and young people every year.  Grants are made available across all musical genres from opera to hip-hop.

A list of all the organisations awarded funding may be found at:  http://bit.ly/ymgrantsAug13

For further information about the music project being run at Winchcombe Secondary School please contact

Ben O’Sullivan

Director of Programmes

The Songwriting Charity

T: 07803139801

E: ben@songwritingcharity.org

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