School’s Newsletter November 2022

Dear colleague,

Greetings from all our colleagues at Surrey Arts and very best wishes for the coming half –term and for your preparations for seasonal performance events at the end of term.

Please see below our second newsletter for this term, with details of a wide range of events and courses of interest to all who are interested in developing opportunities for music in Surrey schools.

As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Kind regards,

John Stephens

Curriculum Manager Surrey Arts and Lead for Culture Box Surrey

2023 Primary Music Festival – last places remaining!

Online music theory class, free trial

NEW Picks ‘n’ Stix, free trial

Ofsted:  An Update on Music in Schools

ABRSM Classroom 200

Music Mark Membership for Schools

Up! Orchestra

CPD Events

External CPD spotlight


2023 Primary Music Festival – last places remaining!

The 2023 Primary Music Festival concerts are filling up quickly and several dates are already full.  Space remains at our Dorking Halls concerts on the following dates 26 April, 11 & 15 May, 14, 15 & 20 June.  Get in touch now if you’d like your school to take part!

Your registration gives you access to all the music you will need and some helpful online learning resources to help you prepare your children in learning the music. Specialised CPD is also available to teachers. The concerts are a great way for children to sing with other schools in one of Surrey’s top venues, along with a professional backing band. Email to request an application form for your preferred date. 

Group online music theory class, free trial

Surrey Arts are expanding their ABRSM Grade 5 music theory online group classes and now offering individual online theory lesson for ABRSM Grades 1-3 or 6-8. 

The lessons cost £9.50 per session for a 45minute online group lesson or £21.50 per session for a 30 minute online individual lesson.

Parents and carers of any student grade 3 or above can apply for a free 45 minute online ABRSM Grade 5 group theory trial lesson on Thursday 10 November at 5pm.

NEW Picks ‘n’ Stix, free trial

Offering students of all abilities, from year one and above, the chance to try a wide range of contemporary instruments, learning together, as a group of 3 or more students.  Instruments include guitar, drums, keyboards, bass guitar and ukulele – try each instrument or focus on your favourite.

Cost: £8.60 per lesson

Day and time: Thursdays from 4pm

Venue: Woking Youth Arts Centre, Trinity Road, GU21 2SY

Parents and carers can apply for a free Picks ‘n’ Stix trial lesson on Thursday 10 November at 4pm for school years 1 to 3 and 5pm for years 4 to 6.  .

Ofsted:  An Update on Music in Schools

In this recording of this Music Mark session, Ofsted’s Christopher Stevens, HMI National Lead for music, presents their latest thinking on effective assessment of music in schools. Christopher’s presentation, touching on different types and regularity of assessment, is followed by a period of Q&A covering a variety of topics raised by attendees.  

Please find the recording of the session along with presentation slides on this link: 

Ofsted: An Update on Music in Schools | Music Mark

ABRSM Classroom 200

Classroom 200 is a free online resource for school teachers working with students up to the age of 14.  Featuring 200 recordings of inspiring music in a range of styles, plus accompanying lesson plans, Classroom 200 is all about bringing music to life in the classroom.  

Lessons can be filtered by age, musical element or classroom layout.  Each lesson plan contains a learning objective, key terminology, resources needed, ideas for whole class learning, small group activities and ‘support and challenge’ suggestions.

To access this fantastic free resource, visit

Music Mark Membership for Schools

Surrey Arts continues to offer all schools in Surrey free membership of Music Mark, the UK’s subject association for music education.  Music Mark membership can offer your school opportunities for training and networking, as well as useful resources.  You can find out more here.  

In order to apply for membership please complete this form.  To be granted membership we ask you to write a short statement which addresses the Music Mark membership criteria, and shows:

  • evidence of a willingness to engage in developmental conversations related to improving music provision, including with the Music Hub
  • recognition of the value of music education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum
  • a strategy for music in place which provides for all children

•        evidence of engagement with Surrey Music Hub

Applications should be made with the support of the school’s headteacher.

UP! Orchestra is a free inclusive orchestra for experienced musicians, complete beginners and anyone in between.  This award-winning ensemble is designed to be accessible for young people aged 13+ of all abilities, including those with special educational needs.  We are particularly interested in welcoming Looked After Children, children from diverse backgrounds and any young people who have found it difficult to access music because of their life circumstances.  Equally, if you’re a young person who just loves to make new music in a fun and creative way then we’d love to hear from you also. Best of all, there is no audition process and it’s totally free to attend!

UP! Orchestra is led by an awesome team of professional musicians whose aim is to ensure each participant has a meaningful musical and dance experience regardless of ability, musical interest, vocal style or instrument. The team is experienced in supporting young people in mainstream settings as well as those who have mental health, disability, behavioural, ESL (English as a second language) needs and young people from diverse cultural backgrounds. 

During the Saturday morning music sessions, the young people will be taking part in a range of fun and fulfilling music activities. The theme this term is Pop Music! UP! Orchestra warmly welcomes new members to apply online or contact for further information.

The Role of Play in Children’s Musical Learning and Singing

Thursday 3 November 15.45-17.15 via Zoom

Singing doesn’t always have to take place in the choir! Establishing a culture of singing-play in your classroom is easier than you might think and can have significant benefits on your classroom community and each individual child’s wellbeing, vocal and musical development, and personal and social skills. This session led by Ex Cathedra’s ), Rebecca Ledgard will leave you with lots of activities to enjoy doing with your children. Rebecca has worked as Ex Cathedra’s Director of Education and Participation since 2000 and has led Singing Playgrounds and other significant projects across the UK and internationally. She was bestowed with honorary membership for the services to music education by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Voices Foundation: Choral Excellence

Thursday 10 November 16.00-17.30 at Chertsey High School, Addlestone KT15 2EP

Voices Foundation session to help develop the choral leadership skills of teachers/MEH staff to lead high quality, whole school singing and choir sessions. This session is appropriate for new choir leaders or more experienced leaders who would like to further develop their leading skills. It makes a good follow-on session from our October “Start Your Choir!” workshop.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Introduction to Charanga Musical School 

Monday 14 November 16.00-17.30 at Salesian School, Chertsey, KT16 9LU

A face to face training session for Surrey schools who are new to, or want to discover more, about the Original Charanga Scheme.  Led by Timothy Bond.

To attend this in person CPD session, register here

Introducing the Music of the 2023 Primary Festival Concerts – workshop 1

Tuesday 15 November 15.45-17.00 via Zoom

The Surrey Primary Festival concerts are back! Come along to this online workshop with conductor Cole Bendall as an introduction to Teresa Jennings’ “Positive” and some of the other music to be included in the 2023 Primary Festival concerts. This is a good way to have a first listen to the songs your children will be singing and to get some ideas for ways to teach the music in your school. A follow-on workshop with more teaching tips will be offered in January.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

SMH Inclusion Networking Event

Wednesday 16 November 14.00-16.00 via Zoom

An opportunity to hear about music opportunities for vulnerable children and young people as well as make connections, find solutions and discuss the topics that are currently important to attendees.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

GarageBand class teaching for KS2

Tuesday 22 November 16.00 -17.00 at Surrey Arts, 14 The Pines, Guildford, GU3 3BH

A workshop exploring teaching years 5 & 6 how to compose using GarageBand. This session, with our Digital Music Lead, James Crompton, will provide lesson ideas for teaching full classes to create their own musical projects; teach students how to make voice collages & sonic art, video game themes, raps & vocals, rock & pop and dance music. GarageBand is easy to use, and notes are available with lesson ideas, learning objectives and studio tips. The workshop would suit both class teachers and music specialists looking to get their pupils exploring and creating their own music digitally.

Sign up via the Autumn CPD events form

Part Singing for Your Choir

Thursday 24 November 17.00-18.30 at Cranleigh School, Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh, GU6 8QQ

A workshop hosted by Cole Bendall, for teachers who want to develop their choir’s skills in singing in 2 or more parts. This practical workshop will explore ways in which to introduce part singing, rehearsal techniques, and real-world examples from music submitted by teachers. Learn methods you can put to use straight away in preparing your holiday concerts!

Charanga and the Model Music Curriculum 

Monday 5 December 16:00-17:00 via Zoom

Please note change of date due to National Bank Holiday

Surrey Arts and Charanga warmly invite you to this high-level overview looking at the structure of the Charanga units, the range of learning activities and supporting documentation.  Led by Timothy Bond.

To attend this online CPD session, register here

External CPD spotlight

Below we highlight some free music workshops by other providers, that may be of interest 

Inspire-Works free online djembe leader training

Wednesday 9th November 5:30pm-6:30pm (GMT)

Fully interactive session via Zoom – bring a hand-drum (e.g. djembe) to brush up on your technique! 

Using Inspire-Works’ model of workshop facilitating as a starting point, participants will have the opportunity to:


  • new djembe facilitation skills for whole-class teaching
  • the roles of the djembe, dununs, bells and talking drums within a typical Senegalese ensemble and what classroom percussion instruments are suitable substitutions
  • how to use differentiation in a whole-class environment with different age groups.


  • in practical music-making activities to help enhance your own teaching
  • in discussions with other like-minded facilitators/teachers.


  • techniques for teaching djembe in the classroom
  • an understanding of appropriate West African music and pedagogy for different age groups.

Register in advance for this meeting: here

Can’t make the session?! No problem – sign up and we’ll send you the recording!

Full details about the videos and resources that accompany this free training are here:

Kapow Music Blog:  How to teach music even if you aren’t musical

Some useful tips here which some teachers may find helpful:  link here.


Surrey Arts are recruiting for new instrumental music teachers

All the available vacancy details are currently in a separate attachment, ‘Instrumental Music Teacher Vacancies’ underneath the advertisement 

We have opportunities throughout Surrey – please share far and wide.