“Music at Ark is one of the most important things that’s happened in my life so far - it has changed the  way I think about music, and the way I listen to it.”

-- Jasmine, Year 7, Bolingbroke Academy, London.

Music is a core part of life in many of our schools. Designed to build confidence, ability and harness a life-long love of a variety of music, the Ark Music Programme offers a wealth of experience for all pupils at all levels.


Primary school music A whole-school primary music programme built on the belief that singing is central to a lifelong enjoyment of music. Students take part in a song-based curriculum beginning in reception, broadening to include instrumental learning during Key Stage 2: djembe or samba in years 3 and 4 and ukulele in years 5 and 6.

Secondary school curriculum support This programme fosters excellent and inspiring music teaching and learning at Key Stage 3, GCSE, BTEC and A Level. We provide music departments with training, resources and support visits from specialist educators, driving pupil attainment as well as developing teachers’ capacity and skill set.


One Voice vocal programme for primary and secondary schools: creating and supporting excellent school choirs, One Voice choirs also perform together as a network at the annual Ark Schools Music Gala.

Sounds Alive instrumental programme – secondary schools Sounds Alive is the partner programme to One Voice. It aims to nurture in-school instrumental music-making through a variety of genres. Examples include orchestras, fusion ensembles, bands and world music groups.

Inspiring Excellence – SPARK Choir and Fusion Ensemble – for secondary students nominated by their teachers The SPARK Choir and Fusion Ensemble provide the opportunity for Ark’s most committed and enthusiastic singers and instrumentalists to receive more intensive musical training. 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 and creative pieces composed by the students themselves.

Our annual celebrations of talent from across the network Each year concludes with the Ark Schools Music Gala, which, since 2008 has been held at the Barbican Centre in London. The Gala showcases performances from each Ark school, the One Voice massed choir, the SPARK Choir and Fusion Ensemble. In addition, Sing into Spring takes place every February and is a singing celebration involving rehearsals, masterclasses, workshops and performances.

Artists in Residence and Young Music Mentors – working throughout the network Our Music Programme is supported by a team of Artists in Residence (AIRs) and Young Music Mentors (YMMs). AIRs are some of the top performers and educators from the music industry and represent the full breadth of musical styles and specialist skills, such as music technology and production, Indian classical music and the African tradition. AIRs 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.

For more information on the Ark Music Programme, contact Margaret.O'