Harris Harmony - Music Education

Music education is an integral part of our curriculum at both primary and secondary.  From learning an instrument to participating in a choir or ensemble to being introduced to a variety of diverse musical genres, we want all our students to experience the benefits of a fully inclusive music programme.

This means that:

  • All of our primary academies offer one hour of curricular music per week that is split into two separate lessons – one 30 minute choral lesson and one 30 minute instrumental lesson;
  • We have developed a fully planned and resourced music curriculum for Years 1-6 that exceeds the requirements of the National Curriculum;
  • We have launched a  Music Scholars programme giving our most disadvantaged students access to free instrumental lessons. The pilot programme is currently running across ten primary and secondary academies that have received funding from either Restore the Music or the Foyle Foundation to purchase new instrumental hardware;
  • We continuously seek to enhance our music provision through partnerships with a range of organisations including:
    • Restore the Music which has provided significant funding to enable our schools to buy musical instruments;
    • ABRSM whose Artistic Director Alexis Ffrench is working with us to enable a new and more diverse generation of young people to reap the rewards of musical achievement;
    • London Music Fund which is working closely with us to design workshop days for our primary orchestral musicians;
    • The Barbican's Creative Learning Programme which works with our schools to enhance the development of creative skills within the curriculum.

Through this work, we are bucking the national trend of declining numbers choosing music courses with more students than ever across the Harris Federation now following a music pathway at Key Stages 4 and 5.  We are equally pleased to see how our focus on music is opening up a wealth of social and personal development opportunities for our students.  To see examples of our curriculum, co-curricular ensembles, cross-Federation rehearsals/workshops and external partnerships in action please follow our Twitter/X account @HarrisFedMusic


Alexis Ffrench, Artistic Director at ABRSM said:

“I’m delighted to be collaborating with the Harris Federation.  Together we’re creating inclusive opportunities to nurture and champion creative music-making by young people and to amplify their voices within music education. We hope to encourage music lovers and learners of all ages with the aim of supporting them on a life-long musical journey.”