Opera North’s Singing School (Hull) is an immersive, musical excellence programme focusing on the power of singing to change lives.
This project builds on Opera North’s In Harmony project in Leeds which uses the discipline of orchestral music-making to provide opportunities to people that would not otherwise receive them. Singing School requires a whole-school approach, embracing in- and out-of-school settings, and family life. The project focuses on the voice, singing and expressive movement as a means to bring positive outcomes for the community.
Singing School takes place in Bransholme, the second largest council estate in Europe with approximately 50,000 residents. The project is largely based in Bude Park Primary School, and it is supported by Hessle-based business William Jackson Food Group.
Delivery includes in- and out-of-school delivery of up to 3-4 hours per week per child and involves community-based organisations such as local Children’s Centres to support early intervention work with early years children and their parents. The programme is focused on 0–11 year olds, their parents and families, and seeks to achieve significant social and educational outcomes for the community over the initial three years.
The programme enables children to build skills for classical and healthy singing, accessing a broad range of genres which showcase the capacity of the human voice to be expressive and creative. We focus on enjoyment and progression musically, personally and socially.
Opera North removes barriers to progression by introducing children to music in a way that enables them to 'speak', 'understand', 'write' and 'read' the language. Improvisation and creativity is central to our approach. Young musicians perform for their families and community, alongside other young people and perform side-by-side with professional musicians from Opera North. The programme is rooted in the local community in Bude Park, making use of local spaces.
Singing School forms part of Opera North's community residencies and social impact work.