Welsh Government
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New initiative is music to Minister’s ears

A new initiative called ‘CânSing’ aimed at helping school children in Wales find their voice and take up singing has been launched today Friday 16 October 2009 by Education Minister Jane Hutt.

Joining international singing sensation Shaheen Jafargholi at his school in Swansea to make the announcement, the Minister said the project is being backed up with almost £476,000 of Welsh Assembly Government funding over a three year period.

‘CânSing’ is about giving young children more opportunities to sing at school, both as part of activities within the curriculum as well as out of lesson time.

The programme, delivered in partnership the charity ContinYou and local authorities will be aimed at pupils in Years 5, 6 and 7. This will encourage best use of the expertise in secondary schools and promote continuity and progression in learning for pupils moving from primary to secondary education.

The key element of the programme lies in providing schools with a training programme and curriculum-linked resources to support the teaching of singing.

Jane Hutt said:

“Singing is an excellent way to encourage children of all ages to make a positive contribution to their schools and communities. Singing is a part of our lives and I want to see our children and young people enjoying singing and having faith in their own abilities.

“Singing gives people that feel good factor, whether performing alone or as part of a group.  Our exciting ‘CânSing’ initiative is about helping to create confident, positive, motivated children who can express themselves creatively.  We want to make our schools fully “singing schools.”

Shaheen Jafargholi, aged 12, added:

“Singing is my passion and it has given me so many opportunities and memorable experiences.  Fingers crossed that the CânSing initiative will give more kids just like me a chance to enjoy the pleasures and thrills of singing like I have.

“I have accomplished many dreams and wishes in this past year and this campaign could give others a chance to do the same.  Hopefully they will.”

Opera star Bryn Terfel, welcomed the initiative saying:

“I am pleased the Assembly Government is putting renewed focus on music within the school environment.  Music is fundamental to how we live in the way it brings people together and broadens people’s horizons.  I hope that CânSing will help children all across Wales discover a love and passion for singing and music that will stay with them throughout their lives."

The programme is being provided in partnership with ContinYou, one of the UK's leading community learning organisations.  Pam Boyd, Executive Director, ContinYou Cymru, comments:

“ContinYou Cymru is delighted to be managing this exciting new initiative.  We will be drawing expertise from across Wales to ensure this Assembly Government investment delivers the maximum impact by allowing children to use their voice today and well into the future.

“Singing is for everybody.  Offering children the opportunity to 'have their voice' in different ways in and outside the school day provides a number of significant benefits, particularly in building their confidence and self-esteem.”

The ‘CânSing’ initiative follows on from the announcement made by the Education Minister in the summer that she has set up a task and finish group to review the position of music education for 3-19 year olds in Wales.  In particular the review will identify strengths and areas of improvement in current practice.

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