GIFT to TRUSTS, academies and Schools
An individual song to give joy and enhance a sense of identity
IT IS PROPOSED that, free of charge, every UK Trust, Academy and School be enabled to have its own Assembly Song thereby forwarding a sense of unity and purpose. An Academy, for example, can have its own Song but so also can the Trust representing wider social values.
Traditionally known as ‘The School Song’, Assembly Songs are sung 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 conventional music 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 instilling 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 Trusts, Academies and schools.
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tradition should be acknowledged unless its time and sentiments have passed – existing school songs are often outdated in some way or not easily understood by students.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.
The songs include prayers (which can be the Assembly Song or stand on their own as a prayer) and, indeed, there are also new settings of the Lord’s Prayer and Ave Maria.
There are, of course, Songs for mixed, girls’ and boys’ schools. Yet a highly individual, even idiosyncratic, choice may be desired and so, in order to allow for varied institutional preference, there is, for example, a yodeling song, a whistling song and a swimming song.
Furthermore, for older students, there is the Leaving Hymn, Songs with regional colour are also possible 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/
ALL Songs can be provided FREE OF CHARGE unless specifically composed at economical cost.
NB. At present, because there is no website containing all the Songs, the only way to provide all the information in the first place is by the provision of printed albums. These make it easier to comprehend the totality of what is possible, particularly the diversity but, inevitably, they have a cost.
HOWEVER, IT IS HOPED THAT A TRUST or broadcasting organisation will agree to host a major website from which all two hundred and fifty Songs can be downloaded. In order to fund construction of the website, application for an Arts Council grant would be made.
Specially composed Songs – 3,000 available melodies
A Trust, Academy, school (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 already available with their final words coming after correspondence and discussion. Several meetings and travel etc. may be involved and so cost is inevitable.
Colleges and Universities
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 Assembly and College Songs is huge.
NB. A Trust agreeing to host the proposed website would not only become a National Centre of Excellence for Assembly Songs but also become renown worldwide.