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Sing Up: Hopscotch

Sing Up Hopscotch Event at the NCEM

Sing Up Hopscotch Event at the NCEM

Sing Up Hopscotch Event at the NCEM

Sing Up Hopscotch Event at the NCEM

Sing Up Hopscotch Event at the NCEM

Sing Up Hopscotch Event at the NCEM

Sing Up Hopscotch Event at the NCEM

Sing Up Hopscotch at Fishergate Primary School, York

Sing Up Hopscotch at Fishergate Primary School, York

Sing Up Hopscotch at Fishergate Primary School, York

Sing Up Hopscotch at Fishergate Primary School, York

Sing Up was the Music Manifesto National Singing Programme, produced by Youth Music with AMV-BBDO, Faber Music and The Sage Gateshead, and supported by the Government. Sing Up aimed to raise the status of singing and increase opportunities for primary school-aged children throughout England to enjoy singing as part of their everyday lives. A £10 million government investment aimed to ensure that good quality singing became central to young children's lives, in primary schools, in the home and in the wider community. The NCEM was one of 12 organisations throughout the country who were awarded a 'Hearts and Minds' award to run a singing programme, which was offered out to 27 York primary schools in 2007-08.

The programme was title Hopscotch and focused on encouraging and revitalising songs and singing games in school playgrounds. Using brightly coloured resources, including a distinctive 'Song Stop' sign as well as skipping ropes and balls, a trained community musician acted as 'song leader', taking the children through traditional and newly invented singing games together. The Hopscotch project then trained and supported the older children in primary schools to become 'song leaders' themselves so that they could carry on the tradition of playing singing games with their peers and the younger children in the schools. Each York school had five one-hour playground singing workshops led by community musicians from the NCEM. These professional musicians worked with a group of up to 20 children aged between 8 and 11 years old, as well as a member of school staff, who received additional training to enable them to continue the singing activities in the future.

Hopscotch aimed to encourage enjoyment, singing experience, confidence, leadership, social skills and healthy exercise, and helped schools benefit from a boost to playground and social activity and from new play ideas and musical resources.

Jo Glover, the NCEM's Project Co-ordinator for Hopscotch explained that "by encouraging songs that are sung in today's playgrounds, making new ones of our own and introducing traditional rhymes and games collected in York schools, Hopscotch brought an exciting new dimension to school singing and created happy playgrounds".

This project was organised in association with the City of York Council's Performing Arts Service and the North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership in collaboration with Vocal Force.