'Growing musicians through singing'
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A Singing School Is A Successful School Research Project

A Singing School is a Successful School logo
Out of the Ark Research Project

In 2017, in collaboration with Professor Susan Hallam MBE the Milton Keynes and Sheffield Music Hubs, in conjunction with Out of the Ark, worked with 24 primary schools, offering them simple training for all their staff, alongside free unlimited use of the entire catalogue of Out of the Ark songs and all associated resources.

We wanted to measure the impact that fully integrating singing into the school curriculum could have on a range of measures, including well-being, social inclusion, pupil and teacher confidence, as well as academic attainment across the general and music curriculums. The study extended to 24 schools, 300 teachers and nearly 9,000 children.

You can:

Out of the Ark Poster showing that 300 staff and 8632 children took part in the project.

Look out for all the Sing:MK training and events in your area.

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Join a choir in Milton Keynes

There are several choirs that young people in Milton Keynes can join.

Milton Keynes Music Centre Choirs:

Junior Choir 

Do you love to sing? Then come along to Junior Choir and learn to sing your favourite songs with new friends. This friendly choir is for everybody in Year 3 and above who wants to improve their vocal ability, while learning to sing well in a group. Join in, and experience the exhilaration of singing together.  Year 3+  Saturday mornings at MK Music Centre (Shenley Brook End School).

Intermediate Choir

Intermediate Choir for age 9+ develops your musical and choral skills through rehearsing and performing a wide range of songs. In this group you’ll learn vocal techniques to improve your singing ability. There will be regular opportunities to perform for friends and family at our end-of-term concerts.  This choir often performs as part of the Milton Keynes Scratch Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall.

Email us for details of the above groups.

Milton Keynes Youth Choir:

Milton Keynes Youth Choir is a choir for young people aged 8 to 18 (unbroken voices), established in 1997. We sing a wide range of music including jazz, pop, classical and world music as well as original pieces and arrangements by our Musical Director Craig McLeish

We rehearse from 6pm to 7:25pm on Tuesday evenings during term time at Stantonbury Campus.

If you would like to have a trial session at our choir please contact our Chair Imogen Allen: 07585 291625
Email:  Website:

Cornerstone Children's Choir/ Cornerstone Young Voices (senior singers):

The Choir is open to children aged 6 to 18. It meets on Fridays in the Small Hall at the Cornerstone between 6.30 and 7.45. They sing at various services and perform in concerts throughout the year. If you are interested in getting involved come along to a rehearsal, contact Adrian or Jill  Boynton  on  01908 246486 or 07961 348697 or e-mail:

Visit the Cornerstone Music MK website for more information.

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What's been happening so far?

MK Hub Scratch Choir


The MK Hub Scratch Choir joined with over 1,500 young voices to perform Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall.

 The participants said:
“I think it was the most amazing thing I ever did!’
“Amazing, fun, awesome experience”
“It was epic”
“I enjoyed the whole thing, it was the best day of my life”

National Research Project with Out of the Ark and Sue Hallam

Eleven schools took part in a National Research Project to explore how singing  improves pupils self-esteem and attainment.  Studies have shown that active engagement with music produces structural changes in the brain related to the processing of sound, improved aural processing facilitates phonological awareness, and improved language and literacy skills.

There is also strong evidence for the impact of active engagement with music on spatial reasoning and some aspects of mathematics Intervention studies with children have shown that active engagement with music impacts on IQ scores, particularly on elements related to spatial awareness and reasoning

BBC Children in Need 

More than 200 pupils from MK Primary Schools went to the MK Dons stadium to sing for BBC Children in Need.  Chestnuts Primary, Cedars Primary, Lord Grey, Charles Warren Academy, Emerson Valley and Priory Rise Schools were joined by around 1500 other children from across the UK to perform 'Lean on Me' by Bill Withers.  A recording of the performance has been uploaded to You Tube and you can read more about the Children in Need MK Dons Event in an article by MK Citizen.

Active Music Digital 

Six Infant schools attended the Music Faculty's training on Active Music Digital.  This is a pilot project aimed at promoting good quality singing in infant schools.  Here is some of the feedback from participants:

  • "What a fantastic session!  Engaging, exciting and inspiring.  A thoughtfully put together curriculum which is easy for musicians and non-musicians to access." - Jess Jenkins - New Chapter Primary School
  • "Really clear and practical guidance, with lots of super activities that can be put into practice.  At last, a simple, memorable way of accessing sol fa patterning and a logical way of presenting it (using it) creatively to develop children's musicianship."  - Lizzie Bancroft, Loughton Manor First School

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Last Updated: 25 March 2020