Sing Up

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In January 2007,[1][2] the British Government through the Department for Education (then Department for Education and Skills) announced a £10 million investment towards a one-year national singing programme for primary schools responding to the recommendations of the Music Manifesto. In 2008, the funding was extended to £40 million over four years, ending in March 2011. Between January 2007 and March 2012 Sing Up was led by a Consortium of partners, made up of Youth Music with AMV BBDO, Faber Music and The Sage Gateshead. Children's charity Youth Music was the lead partner, with music publisher Faber Music overseeing the national singing resource, including the Song Bank library, while advertising agency AMV BBDO led a media and schools campaign highlighting the benefits of singing. The Sage Gateshead led the Workforce Development Programme, which aimed to build the confidence and expertise of primary school teachers and musicians so they could lead and support children's singing activities. From January 2007 to March 2011, Sing Up was championed by the composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall[3] CBE, as the Government's National Singing Ambassador. In 2010 Sing Up won the Royal Philharmonic Society's (RPS) Education Award and in 2011 the programme was praised in the National Plan for Music Education.[4]

A study conducted in 2010 by the Institute of Education concluded that children in schools engaged with Sing Up are 18 months to 2 years further advanced in their singing competency than those in non- Sing Up schools.[5][6] Research has also shown that singing has a benefit in children's language development, learning retention, motor skills and brain development.[7][8] Since 2007 Sing Up have worked with over 86,000 teachers, 98% state primary schools, 1,324 SEN and PRU schools and with over 8,000 freelance music practitioners. The website holds over 2,000 resources. Over 1,730 schools have achieved a Sing Up Award: 831 Silver, 565 Gold and 134 Platinum. Over 57,000 people have taken part in Sing Up training and professional development.[9]

In March 2011, Government announced a further £4 million funding[10] to Sing Up for the next financial year. The aim of this investment was to help the programme build a sustainable future beyond April 2012. Due to restrictions in the programme’s funding,[11] AMV BBDO have now stepped away from their role within the Consortium.

In April 2012, Sing Up became a not-for-profit organisation, and now offer a membership scheme of packages designed for schools, freelancers and organisations.


Sing Up's website and resources are aimed at providing teachers and music leaders in the UK access to cross-curricular singing resources for use in and out of the classroom. The organisation have launched a membership scheme for schools, individuals and organisations. Each package is made up of songs, resources, training and support to help provide singing opportunities for primary-aged children. Previously limited by funding restrictions to users in mainland England, Sing Up is now available across the UK, where users in England, Scotland and Wales can join as full members, and internationally, where users can join as Sing Up Friends.

  • The Song Bank is a resource of over 500 songs and warm-ups in an online learning space. Arranged specifically for children's voices, the songs range from choral classics to pop hits, each with accompanying resources including sheet music, audio tracks, curriculum-linked teaching activities and SEN resources.
  • Teaching Tools and Advice is a set of over 2000 resources for teachers and music practitioners, including how-tos and guides, lesson plans and topic plans, monthly Assembly Plans, cross-curricular activity plans, a multimedia guide to vocal health, seasonal activity packs and a Quality Framework.[12]
  • Tutorial Videos: the Sing Up website and YouTube channels host over 180 tutorial videos providing multimedia support, including how to gain a Sing Up Award, lesson plans for teaching songs and Makaton and BSL sign-along videos.
  • The Sing Up Magazine is a termly publication sent directly to member schools offering topic and lesson plans, teaching guides, advice, ideas and support, plus a CD of 10 songs per issue.
  • Sing Up Awards recognise schools who put promote singing in school life.[13][14] There are three different levels: Gold, Silver and Platinum.
  • Accessible Learning (previously known as Beyond the Mainstream) aims to reach children who are educated in settings outside of mainstream education (SEN, Short Stay School or Pupil Referral Unit),[15] or for children who attend primary mainstream schools but face difficulties accessing or attending (including looked-after children, children with special needs and refugee children). This strand of work aims to explore, develop and disseminate good practice, supporting and learning from the children and workforce in these settings. Sing Up's Accessible Learning incorporates specialist resources and integrated support for Autism, challenging behaviour, looked after children, Signed Song, Assistive Technologies and Makaton.

Training and Continuing Professional Development[edit]

Sing Up run online training Webinars, where users log on and join a live audience via a video stream. The live and online audiences interact through instant messaging and social media, and can take part in a live web chat with the vocal leader following the session.

To help improve and enhance the quality of singing and singing leadership in schools and other settings, and to inspire singing leaders to reflect upon their practice and consider ways to develop it, Sing Up have also developed the Principles of Good Quality Vocal Leadership.[12]


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  3. ^ "Howard Goodall: Why all of Britain's schools should be singing from the same hymn sheet". The Independent. London. 25 October 2007. 
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  5. ^ "National Singing Programme..". International Music Education Research Centre. 2011. 
  6. ^ "School singing 'can boost children's well-being'". BBC News. 9 February 2011. 
  7. ^ ""Sing Up" helps children learn through song". Reuters. 4 December 2007. 
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  10. ^ "School singing 'can boost children's well-being'". BBC News. 9 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Shave, Nick (8 February 2011). "Bittersweet symphonies: what will happen to music in schools?". The Guardian. London. 
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