Gareth Malone Gets The Whole School Singing!

TV star and conductor Gareth Malone has joined forces with teacher Catherine de Sybel to get the whole school singing. Recent research from BPI (British Phonographic Industry) suggests that state schools have seen a 21% decrease in music provision over the past five years. One of the major areas of music in which students are missing out is singing – in particular whole-class and whole-school singing.

To address this situation, Gareth Malone and Catherine de Sybel have created an exciting new music resource for schools, Bright Star, published by Hal Leonard. Catchy, heartfelt, accessible and fun, the book includes a song co-written with Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy. Equally suitable for small groups, school choirs or the entire school, these engaging songs cover a wide range of themes including life choices, friendship and community, the environment, bereavement and growing up.

The songs are written to get the whole school singing confidently and are appropriate for all ages, with a particular focus on children aged 8–14, bridging the gap between Key Stages 2 and 3, when children are more likely to give up singing.

Gareth and Catherine said ‘We believe that singing has enormous benefits to children’s mental and physical well-being and that it should be an integral part of every child’s school day. The simple act of breathing and singing together can be so valuable in fostering a sense of community and shared values. We hope that the subject matter will resonate with pupils and their teachers and we have included some pointers for discussion in the introduction to each song. We want pupils of all faiths and none to experience the joy of singing and most importantly for every school to be a singing school!’

Designed to be user-friendly for music teachers and particularly non-specialist teachers, the Bright Star pack includes full scores, demo and backing tracks to download, and photocopiable melody and lyric sheets. Introductory notes on the songs provide support in learning and performing, as well as discussion points for use in the classroom.

  • RRP: £39.99
  • 297x210mm
  • 176pp incl. photocopiable melody/lyrics pages
  • Demonstration and Backing Tracks to download
  • Available now from all good music shops and online retailers.

About Gareth Malone

Gareth Malone OBE, is well-known in the UK and around the world as a Broadcaster; Composer and Choral Animateur. He has won two BAFTAS for his BBC Two series The Choir, which means that Gareth has been making programmes for the BBC for over 14 years. Other achievements include working as an artistic director for a Royal Opera House community opera, working with orchestra and opera education departments including the LSO, Philharmonia, Glyndebourne and ENO Baylis.

Gareth has had two number one singles in the UK, the first in 2011 with the Military Wives Choir, followed by the Gareth Malone All Star Choir for Children in Need  three years later. He has also had two number one albums: In My Dreams with the Military Wives, and his latest, Music for Healing, which is currently at the top of the specialist classical charts. His 2014 series The Big Performance 3 won the Royal Television Society award for best children’s television and Gareth Goes to Glyndebourne won an International Emmy in 2011. In 2012 he was honoured with an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to music.

Gareth continues to compose with young people and to work with emerging artists. He has recorded with some of the leading performers in the UK and has just released his third album Music for Healing.

About Catherine de Sybel

Catherine de Sybel is a composer, pianist and music educator. She read Music at The University of Cambridge and continued with postgraduate studies in Composition at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, where she won the prestigious Premier Prix for her work for mezzo soprano and piano, Imagination. 

Her teaching career, spanning over twenty years, has encompassed work in mainstream, private and specialist schools always driving inclusive music education to the forefront of the curriculum. As Head of Music at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School she facilitated outreach projects with The London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment together with high profile performances for Her Majesty the Queen and Michelle Obama.

In addition to her work inside the classroom, she has led music composition workshops for trainee teachers at the University of Cambridge, mentored beginner teachers from the Institute of Education and worked as Schools Projects Manager at the London Symphony Orchestra. 

Catherine believes passionately in the power of music to inspire and educate and has dedicated her career to enabling the finest musical opportunities for children from all backgrounds whilst encouraging young voices to be heard from every corner of her school.