CHILDREN LEARN LIFE-SAVING SKILLS

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Recently the Government confirmed plans for children to be taught Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as part of the National Curriculum. In some countries that teach CPR to children the survival rates for a heart attack outside of hospital almost double and now the UK will follow suit, providing important life-saving skills to children and young people in secondary schools.

 For the past 2 years Portsmouth Music Hub has been ahead of the game, providing CPR training to primary-aged children in Portsmouth and around the country.

 The team at the Music Hub created an award winning songbook called It's CPR, with each song focussing on the techniques necessary to perform CPR. Initially the Hub's team of composers had to consider several important criteria for the development of the songbook. First, the lyrics had to meet the medical standards required to implement CPR, and the songs have been written at the speed of 100 - 120 beats per minute which is the speed for giving chest compressions. The songs had to be composed for a specific target market, and It's CPR has been written for Year 3 - 6 students. Finally the songs, which contained important medical information, had to be user-friendly, they needed to be exciting, memorable and contemporary.

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On Thursday (31 January) more than 80 home educated children attended a series of workshops at the Music Hub's head office in Paulsgrove.  The children, aged 6 to 11, had the opportunity to learn, sing and play, meeting each other and developing the skills and confidence to perform CPR and perhaps one day save a life. For the younger children there was an opportunity for them to practice their CPR skills on their favourite cuddly friends; after all, who wouldn't want to save their teddy bear!

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Catherine Brentnall, Senior Leader at the Music Hub said after the workshops: "It's been a very exciting and rewarding afternoon of singing and learning. Undeniably the children are better able to deal with a situation that for many people would be alarming and confusing, but the children we met today and the many thousands of children we have worked with over the past 2 years, with the help of memorable music and song, now have the skills to confidently approach a very difficult situation, whether that's by calling for assistance or, if they feel able, to take direct action themselves and perform CPR which could, potentially save a life."

Giddy the Goat

Giddy the Goat and hundreds of primary-aged children from across Portsmouth took part in Music in the Round's thrilling interactive concert following the trials and tribulations of a young mountain goat who is scared of heights.

Based on the children's book by Jamie Rix and Lynne Chapman, and with music composed by Paul Rissmann, the concert tells the tale of facing fears and making friends.

Featuring lots of audience participation and image projections from the story, this concert engages young audiences aged 3 to 7 years in top-quality music-making alongside professional classical musicians. The goal is to embed music in children’s everyday learning.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said: "Music in the Round is an incredibly popular event with children, and it's a fantastic example of partnerships working together to create a thrilling and inspiring creative experience. The Music Hub is responding to the cultural challenge, working with partners to develop a broad range of creative opportunities that are accessible to every child and young person in our city.

The special concert performed by Ensemble 360 took place on Monday (28 January) at Portsmouth's Guildhall.

POLLUTION REVOLUTION

Portsmouth Music Hub released its latest film today as part of its One World Environmental campaign.

The film called Pollution Revolution, which can be found on the Music Hub's YouTube Channel, has been created with children in mind, and it encourages the viewer to take positive steps to improve the local environment and to safeguard our planets limited resources.

The film is set to music, and Pollution Revolution is just one of 17 songs that have been created by the Music Hub's Award-winning team of composers. With subjects ranging from air pollution, blue whales and chlorofluorocarbons the One World songbook tackles challenging environmental issues in a positive, exciting and engaging way. The songs have been made available, free to download, for everyone, and educational providers in the UK, France and Canada are already using the Music hub's songs to inspire children and young people.

Social Media plays an important part of the One World Environmental campaign, and the Hub has deliberately embraced a variety of social media platforms to communicate easily and effectively with young minds.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said: "We've composed an exciting range of environmental songs that are having an incredible impact with children in Portsmouth and around the country, so the next step had to be to create a series of films that brings the songs to life. Throughout the One World campaign we've sought to deliver key environmental messages in a way that children will understand and enjoy, which is why our films are colourful, exciting and dynamic. The music, lyrics and films really do bring our One World campaign to life."

Pollution Revolution is the sixth song that has been made available on YouTube, with more to come in 2019.

A NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Children and young people were at the Church of the Resurrection on Monday (17 December) to celebrate the festive season and to mark the end of another year of music-making with Portsmouth Music Hub with a Christmas concert.

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Each week, during term-time, Portsmouth Music Hub offers children with a passion for singing and for playing a musical instrument the opportunity to receive expert guidance from the Hub's team of music teachers. The children and young people work together, developing musical skills, confidence and a passion for music in a secure and sociable environment.

The young members of the Music Hub's many ensemble groups performed for a proud audience of family members. It was a night to celebrate young talent and with performances from the Hub's wind bands, the orchestra and choirs, and the audience enjoyed a festive programme of music including Holly Jolly Christmas, Sleigh Ride and the Theme from the Muppet Show; so, not quite a Christmas tune but close enough!

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Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said: "The Christmas concert has been a celebration of all the incredible work that the children and young people have undertaken throughout the past year. It's a chance for them to show their families the amazing progress that's been made, and to gain experience in performing live to a friendly audience. Our ensembles continue to make a real difference to the confidence and the abilities of the young people who work so hard and achieve so much."

SANTA SCORES AT FRATTON PARK

It's not every day that thousands of children get the chance to have Portsmouth Football Club all to themselves, but on Monday (10 December) children from across the city were at Fratton Park for a Christmas concert, which also included an unforgettable visit from Father Christmas himself!

The primary-aged children were joined by their families in the stands, wrapped up well on a chilly night, and ready to join in the singing led by conductors from Portsmouth Music Hub and the Salvation Army Band.

For one night only the familiar chants from supporters were replaced with the crowd singing a host of popular Christmas songs including Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger and Christmas Calypso.

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With a welcome from the Deputy Lord and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth, festive poems from Howard Payne, Headteacher of Medina Primary School and Councillor Suzy Horton the children and their families enjoyed a joyous occasion, packed with yuletide sights, sounds and songs.

A Christmas celebration wouldn't be the same without a big surprise, and as the Band played and the children sang a rousing rendition of Santa Claus is Coming to Town the famous man arrived to greet the cheering crowd.

This was the highlight of the concert, with children clapping and high-fiving Santa Claus, who even gave the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth a yuletide hug.

After the concert and as he was about to climb aboard his sledge to head back to the North Pole, Santa Claus said: "What a wonderful evening, with such delightful singing, and all the children behaved so well, so they are bound to get a present or two on Christmas Day. Now, I must fly home, I've got to speak to the elves and start wrapping the presents."

All images courtesy of Vernon Nash Photography

CAROLS, CAMELS AND CHRISTMAS!

Christmas came early to Portsmouth when primary-aged children from schools across the city came together for Portsmouth Music Hub's Special Christmas Concert, taking place at the Catholic Cathedral on Thursday (6 December).

A Wise Man and his camels make their entrance!

A Wise Man and his camels make their entrance!

The children performed The Landlord's Cat. This musical adaptation of the Nativity includes all the familiar characters including Mary and Joseph, the wise men, camels, shepherds and sheep, but the story is told from the unique perspective of the Landlord's cat.

Kimmie, aged 10, from Cliffdale Primary Academy said: "I loved singing and signing the songs with all the children from other schools. I liked the camels, they were really funny."

The Special Christmas Concert has been running for the past 15 years. It gives children from mainstream and special schools the opportunity to work together, and to share their passion for music, dancing and drama. The children were joined on stage by members of the Salvation Army Band, who gave up their time to perform traditional Christmas favourites including Away in a Manger and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

Emily Horner, Events Officer at Portsmouth Music Hub said after the concert: "Everyone who attends the special Christmas Celebration comes away with a smile on their face; it's an uplifting experience. The children's enthusiasm is infectious, they really are having a wonderful time, and it's fantastic to see children with very different needs and backgrounds working together and enjoying the spirit of Christmas.’

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She continued: ‘There are no barriers, no prejudices, everyone is here to perform and have fun, and that powerful message is what makes this concert and Christmas so unforgettable."




CHILDREN AND MP MAKE HISTORY!

Children from Portsmouth Schools were at Parliament on Tuesday 27 November 2018 to play their part in history and celebrate the centenary of women's right to vote. Beneath the statue of Millicent Fawcett, the Suffragette campaigner, children from Charter Academy, Cottage Grove Primary School, Craneswater Junior School, St. Edmunds Catholic School, St. John's Cathedral Catholic School and St. Swithin's Catholic Primary School sang 3 new songs commissioned by Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan.

The children’s choir with Stephen Morgan MP and Sue Beckett

The children’s choir with Stephen Morgan MP and Sue Beckett

The Choir ready for rain in Parliament Square

The Choir ready for rain in Parliament Square

The special performance was a collaboration between Schools, Portsmouth Music Hub and Stephen Morgan, and it was an opportunity for the children to learn more about the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Suffragette moment. On the 21 November 1918, immediately after the First World War, Parliament finally passed The Representation of The People Act of 1918 which gave women over 30 the right to vote; this was the children's chance to celebrate this landmark in history.

The songs, created by Portsmouth Music Hub composers, included Deeds Not Words, The Suffragettes, and Hear our Voice. The children, dressed in suffragette rosettes gave a performance of the songs to invited guests, delighted tourists and members of the public outside Parliament before Stephen Morgan took the children inside Parliament for a very special tour of the historic building.

Stephen Morgan MP and Fran Matthews from Arts Council England enjoy the performance

Stephen Morgan MP and Fran Matthews from Arts Council England enjoy the performance

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said: “Children from Portsmouth Schools have captured an important moment in time, when our country took a leap towards a fairer world, and the children's performance evoked the struggle of the Suffragette movement; the passion, the dedication and the courage. We're very grateful to Stephen Morgan MP for commissioning the songs and giving the children the opportunity to perform at Parliament. Music really can bring history to life and the children's performance has been a celebration of all the progress made to end discrimination in our laws and in our lives.”

DREAMING OF FUTURE SUCCESS

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Portsmouth Music Hub has been shortlisted for the Outstanding Print Resource at the Music Teachers Awards for Excellence.

The annual ceremony celebrates achievement in music and performing arts education, and it showcases the very best teaching methods and resources used to inspire creativity, passion and performance in children, young people and their local communities.

The Music Hub has been shortlisted for My Dream Job which is a songbook created for children in primary education. As the title suggests there are 19 songs that cover a range of careers, from being a Police officer, to a footballer or teacher. However, at the start of the 21st century there are songs that have a modern twist, including website development, being a paramedic or a vet. My Dream Job was created by Portsmouth Music Hub's team of composers working alongside children who suggested some of the topics for the songs. The aim of the songbook is to inspire children to think about their future careers without losing sight of the importance of personal achievement.

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On hearing that the Hub had been shortlisted for Outstanding Print Resource, Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, said: "Growing up today is very different than it was only a generation ago, and it's hard to ignore the pressures that children have to face. The impact of social media, rolling news and a complex and ever-changing job market means that young people lead busy lives with lots of demands. My Dream Job aims to inspire children to think about the exciting opportunities that lie ahead, to be prepared for their own extraordinary journeys in life, but to hold on to their evolving values and personal achievements. The message is simple; what we do should never be more important than who we are."

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My Dream Job was premiered at the Kings Theatre in Southsea in March 2018, with more than 500 primary-aged children taking to the stage in an array of 'career focussed' costumes. Since then the songbook has been made available for purchase on Portsmouth Music Hub's website, at www.portsmouthmusichub.org.uk.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Portsmouth Music Hub has been shortlisted for a Music Teachers Award for Excellence, with the Hub winning the Music Education Council's Major Award in 2016 and 2017.

The winner of the Outstanding Print Resource will be announced at the Music Teachers Awards for Excellence on 6 March 2019, at a ceremony in London.