Schubert in Schools
"It’s amazing to perform on the same stage as these amazing musicians who we don’t usually see every day, and to put our point out there that we are musicians too." Student, Milton Keynes
"Confidence in singing has grown massively. A group of year 9 boys who at first refused to sing will now willingly do so. They are generally much better bonded as a class too." Teacher, Milton Keynes
Schubert in Schools is a project led by Music in the Round, working in partnership with our Singer-in-Residence the baritone Roderick Williams, pianist Christopher Glynn, and schools & Music Hubs in Barking, Clapham, Doncaster, Milton Keynes, Nottingham and Sheffield.
Thanks to Jeremy Sams' vivid new translation of Winterreise - Winter Journey - the music of Schubert became brilliantly and immediately accessible to English school students for the first time. Together with our collaborators, we embarked on a project that used Schubert as a starting point for students and teachers to find their voice (by singing the Schubert songs in whole class groups, with expert support from our singing specialists) and to compose their own music in their own mediums inspired by the words and music of Winter Journey. Its themes are, after all, universal - love, loss, searching - and once the students had grasped that, they saw the barriers to "classical" music melt away.
Our project model, refined over many years of experience with secondary-age projects, was: 1) inspiring resources and practitioner training; 2) work in schools, with ongoing support for teachers through online webinars; 3) school visits by expert singers; 4) culmination days with our star professionals making music alongside the wonderful students; 5) disseminating all their great work through an online archive and documentaries.
"Composition had been our biggest challenge in KS3; now all the pupils want to do is compose! 2 of our pupils have now taken up singing lesson and boys’ singing is now more accepted within boys in our school. Our next step is to bring singing to every music lesson and introduce styles of music pupils are not common with or have misconceptions of." Teacher, Barking
Through inventive programming, a comprehensive set of videos, detailed and engaging teaching resources, and a national tour of artists, we enabled and inspired students and teachers to get creative with the music of Schubert. This project recognised the paramount importance of making music in whole classes in Key Stage 3, before academic choices have been made and while it is still possible to engage every young person through music. Watch the documentary above or read the report to see how this project inspired students and teachers alike.
"To come to a theatre, to perform, to work with professionals, and to see what life could be like in the creative arts - it will open up doors for them that they’ve not thought of before." Teacher, Barking
"I think it’s really important that everyone has the chance to do music because it can be a life-changing experience." Student, Sheffield
You can also listen to these music pieces created during the course of this project:
This project is now a central part of our 3-year Learning and Participation activity plan. From 2020 we will be rolling out Schubert in Schools, alongside a complementary Key Stage 4 composition project, for secondary schools in South Yorkshire and (in the second phase) around England in our partner areas. This has the potential to transform secondary-school composition and creativity. We are currently fundraising for what will be a major project for us and our partners. For more information and with offers of help so we can achieve it, please contact Kate, Learning & Participation Producer on 0114 281 4660, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"It’s a marvellous experience. Music shouldn’t just be in a classroom. I want more of this." Teacher, Sheffield
Schubert in Schools 2018-19 has been funded by the Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation, Sheffield Town Trust, Sheffield Church Burgesses Trust, Mayfield Valley Arts Trust, individual donors, and Friends of Music in the Round.