"Dear Helen-Jane, Well you were absolutely fantastic!! What a wonderful workshop. You paced it all so well and have such a lovely manner with the children. I thought that you won them all round and have always been keen to be 'inclusive' whenever possible". (Jo Houston, Bach Choir Education Coordinator)
"You did such a wonderful workshop with instant attention and enthusiasm from the children. It was a joy to see how you had them in the palm of your hand, and produced spectacular results. I think you now have a band of small disciples at St Stephen's who can't wait to see you again! Thank you so much!"
Outreach and me
Before I pursued singing full-time I taught as a secondary school classroom music teacher (2002-2007). I've been delighted to have been involved in Vocal 'Outreach' projects with the Samling Foundation, Spitalfields Festival, Glyndebourne Opera and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. I'm currently enjoying working with the wonderful Bach Choir and six North London primary schools. The pupils are learning a piece by Bob Chilcott called the Angry Planet and will be performing alongside the BBC Singers and the Bach Choir in a fantastic concert at the Royal Albert Hall this summer.
What is Outreach?
Everyone knows that singing is fun and that it is good for you- it's great to sing in a group and grow in confidence when you sing in harmony. You only have to look at the wonderful success of the BBC programmes with Gareth Malone to see how music and singing can bring a group of people together and help them achieve things they didn't think possible. Vocal outreach in schools can have a number of goals- to build confidence, to help build awareness of classical music through fun interaction and performance and to develop new skills such as composition or singing in harmony. Most Outreach projects culminate in a big concert, so there is a real sense of occasion and achievement. Above all it is always fun!
What can I do?
Well, as a qualified teacher, I have experience in classroom and workshop settings and I have organised and led vocal workshops and other musical activities for students of 8-18 years (the photo above is of a Junior choir festival I organised involving six local primary schools in Cambridge). I am very happy to lead workshops and organise resources (I have a wide knowledge of the National Curriculum for music and have many resources and ideas) so If your school or youth choir have an upcoming piece you would like to work on, or if you have a project that you want to link into music and would like to discuss ideas please do get in touch. As well as enjoying being at the front end of things I am also very happy to simply perform a supporting role, as with many of the Outreach projects I have been involved in, so if you already have an animateur in place but would like someone to support their role then please get in touch.
Years active: 2003-2007
CRB- checked (and current)
PGCE Secondary, University of Wales, Cardiff (2003)
Sawston Village College 2006-2007
Linton Village College and Netherhall School 2005-2006
Heathfield Community College 2003-2005
Training: Radyr and Porthcawl Comprehensive 2002-2003
Postgraduate Diploma, Royal College of Music, 2009
BMus (Hons) 2:1, Royal Welsh College of Music, 2002
Grade 8 Voice
Grade 8 Flute
Glyndebourne Education Outreach
The OAE Outreach
The Bach Choir
The Spitalfields Festival