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 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. 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 as one at the Ark Music Gala.
Sounds Alive instrumental programme
Sounds Alive is the partner programme to One Voice, and is for secondary schools. It nurtures instrumental music-making through a variety of genres, and helps schools to set up great orchestras, fusion ensembles, bands and world music groups.
SPARK Choir and Fusion Ensemble
These programmes give intensive training to the most committed and enthusiastic Ark singers and instrumentalists. Each ensemble rehearses on Saturday and travels 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 composed by the students themselves.
The Ark Music Gala
Each year concludes with the Ark Music Gala, which has been held at London's Barbican Centra since 2008. The Gala showcases performances from each ARK school, the One Voice massed choir, the SPARK Choir and Fusion Ensemble.
Sing into Spring
This takes place every February and is a singing celebration involving rehearsals, masterclasses, workshops and performances.
Artists in Residence (AIRs) and Young Music Mentors
A team of Artists in Residence (AIRs) and Young Music Mentors (YMMs) 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 tradition. They lead rehearsals and lessons, working in partnership with class teachers.
YMMs 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. YMMs 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: