In Harmony Opera North is a Community Residency programme taking place at Windmill Primary School, impacting on 450 children in full-time education and the wider community in the Belle Isle area of South Leeds. It is the first In Harmony project in Yorkshire, the only one nationally that is delivered by an opera company, and includes a significant focus on singing as well as instrument playing.
In Harmony Opera North (Leeds) focuses on the children and wider school community of Windmill Primary, aiming to transform aspirations and learning outcomes for children through an immersive programme of high quality music tuition, and regular performance opportunities. The school, where 92% of children come from families classified as ‘hard-pressed’ and 60% are eligible for free school meals, was selected through extensive consultation with the Local Education Authority, based on the potential to create the greatest impact for children and their families.
All of the children in Windmill Primary School take part in transformational music activities, both within curriculum time and as free extra-curricular activities. All Year 1-6 pupils have the opportunity to play in an orchestra and receive their own instrument, in addition to singing activities, which develop musicianship skills.
Other workshops and outreach activities range from a community choir to pop-up performances by musicians from the Orchestra of Opera North in shops and living rooms, extending the reach of In Harmony throughout the local community to include adults and older children.
In Harmony uses music to bring positive change to the lives of children in disadvantaged areas of England, delivering benefits across the wider community. The programme, currently funded by the Department for Education and Arts Council England, has ongoing projects in Lambeth and Liverpool, Newcastle and Gateshead, Nottingham, and Telford and Stoke in addition to In Harmony Opera North.
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