School based music programmes:
Primary school music
We believe that singing is the foundation on which children build a lifelong enjoyment of music. Our pupils enjoy song-based curriculum from reception onwards. They start learning to play musical instruments during Key Stage 2: they play with djembe or samba in years 3 and 4, and ukulele in years 5 and 6.
Secondary school curriculum support
We help our schools develop excellent and inspiring music teaching and learning at Key Stage 3, GCSE, BTEC and A Level. Our Secondary Music Programme provides a rigorous KS3 curriculum enabling pupils to learn the core principles of music performance, composition and analysis, setting them up to succeed at GCSE. We offer music departments lots of training and resources, as well as support visits from specialist educators, helping to develop teachers' skills and improve pupils' performance.
Choirs and ensembles:
One Voice vocal programme
This is a programme, for both primary and secondary schools, which creates and supports excellent school choirs. Different One Voice choirs from different schools join together to perform together at the Ark Music Gala.
Fusion Ensemble and the Spark and Ignite choirs
These programmes give intensive training to the most committed and enthusiastic Ark singers and instrumentalists. Each ensemble rehearses on Saturdays throughout the year, and the Spark and Fusion ensembles join together for a weekend residential course every year. They play a wide range of music – including world music, classical, musical theatre and chart hits – arranged specifically for them, as well as pieces created by the students themselves.
The Ark Music Gala
Each year concludes with the Ark Music Gala, which has been held at London's Barbican Centre since 2008. The Gala showcases performances from Ark schools, the One Voice massed choir, the Spark Choir and Fusion Ensemble.
Sing into Spring
This singing celebration takes place in the Spring term, and brings together our One Voice choirs from the different Ark schools in a day of rehearsals, masterclasses, workshops and performances.
Artists in Residence (AIRs) and Music Mentors
A team of Artists in Residence (AIRs) and Music Mentors support pupils across our schools.
AIRs are some of the top performers and educators from the music industry. They represent the full breadth of musical styles and specialist skills, such as music technology and production, Indian classical music and the African traditions. They lead rehearsals and lessons, working in partnership with class teachers.
Music Mentors are students and recent graduates with burgeoning careers in the music profession. As talented and committed young musicians themselves, they act as role models to Ark pupils. Mentors support events, choir rehearsals, the Spark Choir and the Fusion Ensemble.
Anna, a year 8 student at Ark Putney Academy:
“Standing in front of a crowd, most people would feel stage fright but I'm ready to produce something beautiful.
If you can stand in front of a crowd and sing, you can stand in front of your school and speak your mind.
If you can speak your mind in front of your school, then you can speak your mind to the world.”
For more information on the Ark Music Programme, contact: