Expert advice and opinions on the hottest topics in music education


Each term we'll be addressing a different area of music education and bringing you expert opinion on how to teach it.

Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for the #SUHotTopics discussions.

Head over to the Hot Topics area of our site for our full articles.

#SUHotTopics: Songwriting with Beccy Owen

Join us for a free songwriting workshop and Q&A session with Beccy Owen, writer of this year's Sing Up Day song and founder of Beccy Owen's Pop-Up Choirs.

Beccy will be joined by Sing Up Learning Executive Charlotte Law and a group of teachers who will be doing some songwriting together on the night. We will give advice on how to get started with songwriting and demonstrate a group songwriting activity. Beccy will also give advice on how to perform her Sing Up Day song One moment, one people.

The event is open to everyone and is free to join, so spread the word. All you have to do is visit our page on the night and tune into the live video. Make sure you sign up to this event to be kept up to date. Follow us on Facebook as well to be notified when the video starts.

RSVP to the event

For updates on this live chat and to be notified when the stream starts, make sure you RSVP to the event.

Do you have questions for our experts?

Want advice on building singing into your school day? Do you have questions about engaging other staff? Whatever your question on the topic, please submit your question to us here and we will do our best to answer them on 6 November.


Previous #SUHotTopics events

#SUHotTopics: Keep singing with The Singing School Handbook

On 06 November 2018 our CEO Michelle James discussed how to develop singing in your school and keep it on the agenda. Michelle was joined by two long-term Sing Up Members and primary music teachers, Amanda Bennett (Headteacher at Seaton Sluice first School) and Bethan Gill (Music Lead and Assistant Head Teacher at John Scurr Primary School).

The group discussed how to place singing at the heart of school life and how to reap the benefits of a singing school. We asked our Members how they got started with singing in their school, their experience of the Sing Up Awards journey and embedding singing in everything they do. We also talked about how you can start your own singing school journey with James’s brand-new book based on years of guiding schools, The Singing School Handbook.

#SUHotTopics: Focusing on vocal style

On 6 February 2018, songwriter Emily Barden joined the Sing Up team to discuss developing great singing performances through focus on the vocal style of the song. In particular, they discussed how to achieve a great performance of Be the change, this year's Sing Up Day anthem which was written by Emily Barden.

Find out how to teach a song starting with the basics then developing a distinct and powerful sound. We were excited to be bringing you a more practical session this time around. Sing along with members of the Sing Up team as Emily demonstrates teaching Be the change.

#SUHotTopics: How to develop musical learning across your school

In November 2017 we ran a  Live Q&A event on an important topic for anyone looking to improve the music in their primary school: how to improve musical learning for 4-11 year olds. Dr Ally Daubney - author of the Primary Music Toolkit and Performance anxiety: a practical guide for music teachers - and primary music teacher at Highfields Schools Catherine Andrews sat down with Sing Up's Head of Learning Shelly Ambury to talk about the different approaches to getting started with singing and musical development across a primary school.

#SUHotTopics: Benefits of singing on physical and mental health

In October 2017 we ran a Facebook Live Q&A with experts Phoene Cave and Daisy Fancourt to discuss the benefits of singing. Based on recent research conducted as part of Sing Up’s 10th birthday celebrations and the experiences of our experts, we discussed the benefits we’ve witnessed in singers of all ages as well as sharing ideas to help you reap those benefits in your own practice. Watch the full video below. Get the research here.

#SUHotTopics: Keeping singers engaged through their voice change

In March 2017 we ran a Facebook Live event giving the music teacher community an opportunity to discuss with experts a topic we see raised a lot. Professor Martin Ashley and music teacher Jane Werry sat down with our Head of Learning Shelly Ambury for an hour to talk about voice change. Watch the full discussion below.

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