Gift to the Schools of the Nation
at a difficult time when unity, renewal of hope and sense of national purpose are needed and schools, whose pupils have been dispersed, wish to regain a sense of identity
It is proposed that every UK school be enabled to have its own School Song (free of charge).
The School Song is sung by the whole school at the beginning and end of term and on important occasions. Such songs become deeply loved –– they give joy, perpetuate ethos and linger in the memory. Often in the ‘classical’ tradition, they inculcate a love of beauty, contribute to social cohesion and help every student overcome feelings of alienation.
Crucially, they are capable of gently instiling core British Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural values (there is a statutory duty to do so) including the desire to work and create.
Just as many independent schools have their own songs, so should all state schools and academies, and this can be done free of charge or at minimal cost.
Whilst a song should focus on everyday experience, sometimes in an amusing way, it is also desirable that, wherever possible, the larger values be covered. An example (for older students) is a quiet reminder of those who served our nation in the past and often sacrificed their lives.
Institutional tradition should be acknowledged unless its time and sentiments have passed – existing school assembly songs are often outdated in some way or not easily understood by students. Thus, although many of the traditional songs are in Latin, today’s schools with no substantial Latin in their practice or background should decide for modern English (with exception for mottos).
Above all, a song must have a lovely tune and together with the words be a beautiful integrated entity. Moreover, introduced at the earliest possible age, it should generally be of a deeply emotional and enduring nature. This is essential because the main purpose of the songs is the promotion of social cohesion and the perpetuation of society’s positive values.
There are 250 (two hundred and fifty) songs in five albums. They have been vetted by a Royal College of Music composition tutor and encompass a wide range of situations from the age of five to eighteen and beyond. Any UK educational institution may use any of these songs, free of charge.
The songs include prayers (which can be the school song or stand on their own as prayers – there are also recent new settings of Ave Maria and The Lord’s Prayer) and, in order to allow for varied institutional preference, there is a yodeling song, a whistling song, a swimming song, and songs not only for mixed but also for girls’ and boys’ schools. For older students, there is the Leaving Hymn and, all in all, a wide choice is available for all aspects of school life so that an institution can feel comfortable that its song reflects aspiration and ethos.
Ten sample songs, illustrating the range of what is available, can be heard and seen on this website –– https://songsforschools.org/ten-sample-songs/
The albums are printed as paper editions because a printed edition makes it easier to comprehend the totality of what is possible, particularly the diversity. Moreover, it is hoped that a major website, allowing the downloading of the two hundred and fifity songs, will become available.
Specially written songs
A school of academcy (or a grouping of institutions with a common ethos) may wish to have its own individual song and 3,000 (three thousand) lovely melodies are available with their final words coming after correspondence and discussion. Several meetings and travel etc. may be involved and such things can be costly. Suggested basic prices are £300, £500 and £700 for purchase of sole copyright.
While the present focus is on primary and secondary educational institutions, it is noted that many UK colleges and universities do not have their own song or anthem. The situation needs to be rectified.
Furthermore, English-speaking schools, colleges and universities around the world also need something embodying their ethos and values. They, too, should have their own song.
All in all, the potential for school assembly and college songs is huge.