TODAY’S weekly In the Classroom feature focuses on the importance of music in schools. Reporter Grace Walton heard from the headteacher of a village primary school how music can promote mental health and wellbeing within the classroom.

Karen Banford, headteacher at Great Witley CE Primary School, showed me around the school in Worcester Road.

I was put on the spot, but I felt flattered to be asked to deliver a talk to the students on my job role and what it’s like being a journalist. The students were writing newspaper reports and asked me for advice on how to improve their articles.

I discussed with the children the sort of stories I write, what I enjoy about the role and showed them my shorthand notes - which the children originally thought was another language or a mathematics equation.

I talked to students in years 4, 5 and 6 and also watched a music lesson take place.

Thirty children from the school attended The Resorts World Arena, in Birmingham, for the Young Voices concert, joining over 60,000 other students.

Mrs Banford said: “Going to that huge event where there were over 6,000 people in one choir was amazing. That power of children being together, lots of music teachers taking part and just being able to enjoy great songs and good company.

“It’s important that children see that wider opportunity in life. They don’t have to necessary do a traditional type job. For me, that’s the bigger role, to show children that this is what music looks and sounds like, but you can be involved in this as your profession. People can go and study music and it’s important that some children will find music stimulating.”


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Catherine Harper, music teacher, from Severn Arts said: “Learning a musical instrument is not about being the next big star, it’s much more about having fun, finding an outlet for creativity and becoming a more rounded, confident young person.

“For me, teaching music is a privilege; to be the enabler and to nurture is both a challenge and a blessing. I am so lucky to work for Severn Arts, an organisation that understands the importance of music in children’s lives as well as for schools who have made music a priority. It makes me so happy.”

Mrs Banford added: “The reason we passionately believe that music is important is because it allows children to be creative, work together, compose pieces of music and then perform it in front of each other.

“There is a real positive power of singing together and singing regardless of their capability. It’s just about joining in and being part of something.”