“A moment to shine”: our latest schools multi-arts programme video

As the end of the school year draws near, we’re super proud to unveil our latest multi-arts schools workshop programme video!

This year we’ve loved working with four new primary and secondary schools: Nightingale Primary and Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, London and Nelson Primary and Four Dwellings Academy in Birmingham. One of the big aims of our programmes is to improve access to music and the performing arts for young people and their communities in disadvantaged areas; plus to enable young people to improve their transferable life skills.

We’ll be completing a full evaluation of the programme shortly but we know from the end of the Spring term sessions that more than three quarters of the children who took part rated themselves as having increased their creative skills – enjoying singing or playing an instrument, writing lyrics, stories or poems (78 & 79% respectively). Plus their teachers reported that 9 out of 10 children had improved in communication, critical thinking and collaboration, whilst 98% also showed more confidence in class.

In the meantime, here are our highlights – in the words and pictures of the young people who took part, our super-talented workshop leaders and the committed and supportive school leaders with whom we worked. A massive thank you to you all!

“It makes me feel really happy to be having people coming to our school and me getting picked to join because… I get to experience new things. I like how the people are singing and… conquering their fears.” – student

“Hopefully this project will let people see me in other ways and not just a boy or normal school child, that I can actually do something, that I can actually be a performer… That anyone can do that.” – student

“A young girl at the beginning of the week looked so shy… she’s actually become the most vocal person in the group which is just amazing. I feel proud. I feel like what we are doing is not in vain. I think sometimes people are looking for these huge changes and sometimes it is not a huge change, it is a small change but it is a big change for them… it enabled those that are less vocal and less confident to find their own voice.” – Shereece Storrod, workshop leader

“It’s rare for us to be able to find the opportunity for children to actually hear music… live and I think that’s amazing for them because it shows them what they can aspire to do themselves. What I feel is that it’s a reserve that children will draw on throughout the rest of their school career but also throughout their adult life… when they hear a piece of jazz music playing they’ll probably think back and remember Giacomo, who they met when they were nine, and for some of them you can never tell what that long term influence will be. If you speak to any artist or musician there will have been a moment in their life that inspired them and I feel like this could be it for a lot of our kids that are working this week with the Foundation. And for others it will just be that they’ve had a moment to shine in a different way outside of the classroom. There are some children that struggle with literacy and numeracy and sometimes struggle with traditional learning and sitting still at a desk, but if you can show them that they can be brilliant in a different context , I think that what that gives them is resilience.” – Abi Hopper, Headteacher, Nightingale Primary School

Please help us reach and inspire more young people through jazz music and the performing arts by giving a regular gift each month. Join us as an AWF Trailblazer now!