The Singalong was a joyous Christmas music event for pupils with SEND in Leeds, put on by ArtForms Music Service with support from Leeds Schools Music Association (LSMA) and Leeds Music Education Partnership (LMEP, our local Music Education Hub). Held at Pudsey Civic Hall on December 12th and 13th, the Singalong mornings gathered nearly 300 pupils from 25 schools to celebrate the holiday season with singing and music. Pupils from mainstream, RP units and special schools came together to sing, dance, play instruments, pass the parcel and meet Father Christmas and his elves.
The event was especially suited to primary school pupils with learning disabilities and higher needs around communication. It featured short songs with easy, repeated words. Some songs were adapted with Makaton signing, and others with actions or opportunities to play instruments, in order to make every activity as interactive as possible for the wide range of abilities who attended. A live rock band accompanied the whole morning, with listening sections to break up the programme, so the pupils could experience concert music as audience members in a relaxed setting. It runs in a similar way each year, with thematic songs during the first half and a party with Santa and familiar holiday songs in the second. Everyone joins in, in their own way.
Comments from our schools:
Isaac and Poppy, Y5 at Rothwell St Mary’s “It was nice to meet the other schools. I liked the singing.”
Farsley Springbank pupils: “I love this. I want to play the flute!” “I had so much fun this morning”
Fiona, a teacher from St Joseph’s: “The event was really well organised. Dancing, singing, games, meeting other children, Santa, the whole event! The words of one child ‘I really loved it!’ ”
Keep an eye out for more information from the ArtForms SEND team, YAMSEN, LSMA and LMEP and look out for the invitation to the next Singalong in late October. For more information please email email@example.com