New Pop4Schools programme launches
12th January 2011
Britain's under-12s are being given the chance to simulate the work undertaken by record companies and release their own music in the new Pop4Schools education programme launched this week at the BETT education technology show.
Pop4Schools enables children to gain a better understanding of how the music they love is produced, while learning a wide range of curriculum subjects whether they are taught individually or as a cross-curricular project. Pop4Schools provides lesson plans for nine different subjects ranging from Literacy to ICT.
Children engaged in the Pop4Schools programme produce and promote a piece of music, simulating the basic process that takes place in a business environment. Teachers can match pupils' skills to certain tasks, such as composing, writing and performing a song, designing artwork or writing album sleeve notes. The resulting CD or download can be sold to family and friends, perhaps to raise money for the school or a charitable cause.
The programme was piloted in five very different schools across the UK where it was enthusiastically backed by pupils, teachers and parents. As an example of the programme's flexibility, two schools chose to use Pop4Schools to raise money for good causes; the RNLI life boat campaign and the Agape Orphanage in South Africa, through the sale of music created by children experiencing and learning through the Pop4Schools programme.
Pop4Schools is delivered through an online resource that features a wealth of specially created content. This includes films about the recording process, the production and design process behind creating songs and the role of different people in making and promoting a piece of work. There are also tailored lesson plans, recording software, details of school recording specialists and links to third-party education resources.
As part of their collaboration in the production and promotion of an original piece of music, children will learn about the importance of ownership, being fairly rewarded for their work and respecting the rights of others. They will also learn there are many occupations in the music business they can aspire to undertake in the future, without necessarily being a performer themselves.
Pop4Schools has been created by Ruth Katz, an independent music consultant with more than 30 years' experience in the music business, in partnership with primary school teachers. It is designed to be used by primary school children of all ages and there are plans to adapt it to be taught in secondary schools. Pop4Schools is a commercial product, with an annual licence to use the software charged at £100 per school.
The all-encompassing programme is backed by organisations from a wide range of sectors in the music industry including AIM, BPI and IFPI. It is also supported by a range of other organisations and education establishments including the BRIT School, Merton Music Foundation and Gibson Guitar.
Ruth Katz says: "Pop4Schools enables children of all ages and differing abilities to collaborate in the production and promotion of an original piece of music. It is a unique, new and fun way for children to engage with a whole range of national curriculum subjects while finding out more about how the music they are so passionate about is created. It may even inspire a whole new generation of performers, songwriters and producers."