News and Events

Artist Approach Project

We are delighted to launch the resources that have been developed concurrently with the collaborative writing of Lockdown Life. Two lead artists, two young artists, six developing young artist mentees and a life coach and storyteller worked together over six months. After much planning, brainstorming, discussion about this past extraordinary year, one-to-one mentoring and sharing, the team wrote the song Lockdown Life. Shammi Pithia and Michael Goodey produced the song while mentoring the mentees. Georgia Thorp provided mentoring one-to-one sessions and wrote the Zak Story based on the song lyrics. We were delighted to have Caro X share a BSL performance of the song. The young artists rose to the challenges of leading sessions and recording vocals. One of the young artists wrote this wrote this:

“ The songwriting sessions have been going grea., Everybody has a great creative voice but always listens to other people’s input. We established the direction of the song pretty early, so it’s just been building and polishing that idea from then onwards”.

Abbi Asante

You can see all of the team at work in the seven short film excerpts below (YouTube links in the Handbook)

We have created a Handbook (PDF) and a Presentation (PDF) for primary, or secondary teachers and community leaders to encourage their groups to write a song collaboratively. This is a chance to share stories, discuss and explore the experiences of this past year and to enjoy creating something together from it, a powerful way to process and return to sharing space in real time.  This is a fully flexible Resource Pack for leaders to draw on as they choose. The films were not made to script, but rather a ‘fly on the wall’ capture of the creative process that is Artist Approach.

We’d like to thank Arts Council England for funding this essential project. 

Film links in Handbook 

Music In The Air Project with Community Links

The Music In The Air project has uncovered some highly talented and motivated young people. Students from Newham College learning English as a second language, demonstrated resilience and determination in continuing to attend workshops when they had to go online due to the COVID Lockdown. They worked through singing games, creative musical play with words and writing in the ‘chat’, sharing ideas and developing vocabulary and confidence in conversation. Three students were particularly keen to develop their singing and built their confidence to sing solo, via Zoom.

Students from Learning Links also continued to create their raps and tracks via Zoom for the second half of their workshop series. A number of these students demonstrated considerable talent for writing and performing raps, working with the skilful facilitation of Shammi Pithia with support from Moh Dhar. Example tracks can be heard here.  We wish the students all the best on their journeys to artistry and look forward to working with them in future.

Sing Up – Songs of the Week

Sign-up logoLiving Song is proud to be in a partnership with Sing up, contributing to their wonderful series of ‘Songs of the Week’. Their vision for inclusion resonates with ours and we are proud of Itoya and Chante for creating accessible, and engaging singing activities based on songs from the Sing Up website. If you are a teacher in school, or a singing leader reading this, we highly recommend that you sign up to Sing Up! for access to a huge range of songs, including teaching films, song sheets, backing tracks and musical scores. It is being updated all the time and you will find old classics and new compositions to suit any occasion.

Choral Music Experience (CME), London 2020

Our annual course has been affected by COVID19, needless to say. We managed to complete last year’s course by adapting our last day due to be held at Next year will be our 10th Anniversary of curating the CME London course, so we’ve decided to offer simply a one day Top Up and Taster CME day on Zoom, as advertised in our focus box on the homepage. We will be sinking into the CME philosophy, techniques and teaching strategies, as well as holding the space to support all comers in the current ‘phase of change’ we are all now living. Do sign up and come along if you have anything to do with leading singing of any kind. We very much hope that by next summer we can offer an exciting, resident course to celebrate our 10th Anniversary

Artist Approach Project

This month we begin our Artist Approach Project. We will be working with a professional Artist team of six, and six mentees to write and record a new song for our time.  Alongside this the team will be creating a set of resources for teachers and youth workers to use for facilitating collaborative song making in any context, including schools, youth centres and units for children learning with Special Educational Needs. From May 2021 these resources will be accessible and free to access on the Living Song website. We will be working entirely via Zoom for the first time with our creative projects, in order to ensure safety for our team. It will be a new experience to learn from! We’d like to thank the Arts Council for funding this project.

Music In The Air Project with Community Links

Community Links logoWe are delighted to have been approached by Community Links to run two series of workshops for their Music In The Air Project. Artists will be working with young ESOL students at Newham College to help them develop their confidence and English speaking, through lyric writing and rhythmic engagement games. A second strand of the project will be held at Education Links, Newham where young people will work with our artists to develop their production and song making skills. In all our work we will be fully compliant with COVID safety recommendations and those expected of both Newham College and Education Links where young people will work with our artists to develop their production and song making skills. In all our work we will be fully compliant with COVID safety recommendations and those expected of both Newham College and Education Links.

ONE VOICE – Bromley (Report and Song bank)

We are delighted that all the songs created by children learning with SEND in Bromley are now up on the BYMT website. You can find the link on this page, as well as the link to the report on the project. Working with BYMT and a team from Living Song, including young artists Abbi Asante and Moh Dee, the evaluation from Sound Connections demonstrated that the project had developed the children’s musical skills, increased their self-confidence and team working, and increased the self-confidence and ability of non-specialist SEND staff to deliver music education” Sound Connections 2020.

Jago Manush Jago

Gouri ChoudhuryOn Thursday 9th July Forest Voices Community Choir hosted a combined choirs event in partnership with Living Song via Zoom, with guest International artist Gouri Choudhury. Members from Isle Of Dogs Voices, and NewYVC took part in the workshop, learning the poignant Bengali song Jago Manush Jago – Wake up Humankind wake up!

This is the beginning of an on going project. Our aim is to have fun singing and learning together as well as to support musicians in Bangladesh whose lives and work have been devastated by the onset of the pandemic. For further information about how you can support or take part in this project, please contact us.

CME London Course via ZOOM!

We are delighted to have been able to complete a successful CME London Choral Conducting Course by putting the final day onto Zoom. All but three delegates were able to attend the new date from their homes. The faculty was complete as planned for the original date in March. Dr Brandon Williams @brandino994 from New York USA and Mandy Miller from Scotland joined the local faculty Jane Wheeler and Naveen Arles, with delegates from Ireland, Berlin and across the UK. The course content was covered in breadth and depth, learning through singing and conducting preparation, teaching and performance.

The focus repertoire was Winter Wind by Brandon Williams, Take Me To The Water by Rollo Dillworth and Brainstorm by David Brunner. Four of the Masterclasses focused on It Takes A Village by Joan Szymko and a new arrangement of Ergen Deda by Bryan Welton (Unpublished). Watch this space for dates of the next CME London Course 2020-21.

Sing In The Spring

We were so sad not to be able to bring this wonderful project to the planned performance outcome on 5th April at Stratford Circus. It was to be a Give A Gig event to support the Youth Music Foundation. However, Artists and Young Artists involved in the project adapted quickly to the new circumstances and worked hard with Living Song to develop on-line Learning Resources for all the choirs and singing groups involved. Choirs have continued to learn and sing in their groups via Zoom with much anticipation for when we can meet, share and perform again.  Sing In The Spring was a National Lottery Community Fund project and we still plan to hold the final performance event ‘live’ as soon as it’s possible, rather than take it on-line. However, all groups involved, including Boys 4 Voice, East Ham Voices, Isle Of Dogs Voices, Forest Voices and Solid Harmony hope to continue workshops on-line in the meantime, funding permitting.