No time to sing? Bollocks to that, says tsar

3rd December 2010 at 00:00

Teachers who say they have no time for singing in their schools because of worries about English and maths scores are talking "bollocks", the country's singing tsar has said.

Blackadder theme tune composer Howard Goodall, who was made national singing ambassador by the last government, said singing should be "the first thing you do" to boost results in other subjects.

Mr Goodall told a private schools conference that primaries needed to get away from the idea that music was something "geniuses do while we watch" and "open music up to the whole community".

The composer was speaking before the funding for his #163;40 million Sing Up scheme comes to an end in March. The programme, designed to promote whole-school singing in primaries, has trained up 54,000 members of staff to lead singing sessions. More than nine out of 10 primary schools have signed up for it since it was launched four years ago.

"There are 7 per cent of schools who have not signed up, who we call the refuseniks," Mr Goodall told the Girls' Schools Association annual conference last month. He added that 19 other countries had asked to copy the Sing Up scheme.

"Some teachers say to me they don't have the time to do singing because they are so worried about literacy and numeracy," he said. "This is such bollocks. Singing is the first thing you do if you want to develop these things."

He added: "If you turn your whole school into a singing school, the gender, racial and cultural differences go out of the window. We had to get the men involved or the Year 6s think it is something adults don't endorse."

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