Singing Picnics give primary school children in Surrey a new opportunity to perform songs to each other, play singing games and enjoy a picnic lunch at parks across the county.
"You play a lot of fun games, have loads of things to do, do lots of singing and you get fresh air too!"
With an emphasis on enjoyment, Singing Picnics are a great way for schools to participate in music-making in outdoor settings such as Kempton Park, Runnymede Pleasure Grounds, Woking Park or Lingfield Park Racecourse. The picnics also provide an opportunity for performances from secondary school singing groups, showing there is a pathway to continue singing as children get older.
Schools bring around 30 children each, often one year group at KS2 level. Teachers prepare one or two simple songs to share at the Picnic that can easily be sung unaccompanied or with guitar. On arrival, each school is allocated a picnic spot within the grounds and is visited by a professional vocal tutor who leads the children in singing games until all schools have arrived and settled.
All schools are then gathered into a big circle on the grass, and some group warm-up games are sung. Each school sings their prepared song for the others, after which the professional tutors lead the entire group in a call-and-response song with the assistance of the young singing leaders. The schools children then have their picnic lunches and play more singing games.
The training of future singing leaders forms an integral part of the project, with opportunities for young leaders from secondary schools to help lead at the events, CPD workshops, and places for trainee tutors allocated to each event. In this way the project also supports the creation and maintenance of a county-wide singing network.
Children and teachers who have enjoyed taking part are likely to be involved in further music-making activities, and this project is designed to reach out to schools which are hesitant to take part in music-making due to lack of experience and teacher time.
"Children had a smile the whole time, and sang songs all the way home."
How to get involved
Applications for schools to take part will open in January 2018.
For more information, contact Nancy Gillio-Terry, Vocal Development Leader for Surrey Arts: