Changing communities through music
‘ ...since this started, it's dead cool to play a violin in West Everton.’
Find out about In Harmony
In Harmony is inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, using the unique power of music making through the symphony orchestra to enthuse and motivate children, their families and their communities. In Harmony is centred around ensembles and seeks social change through the pursuit of musical excellence. One happens through the other, and neither is prioritized above the other.
Liverpool Philharmonic successfully bid to lead one of three national pilots for In Harmony Sistema England between January 2009 and March 2011, funded by the Department for Education and chaired by Julian Lloyd Webber. Since 2011, In Harmony Liverpool has continued to flourish, with a growing number of participants and ensembles. In July 2012, Arts Council England announced the creation of four new In Harmony projects in Leeds, Newcastle Gateshead, Telford & Stoke on Trent, and Nottingham, who join Liverpool and Lambeth in the In Harmony Sistema England family.
‘I saw the government’s In Harmony scheme in action in Liverpool and what an astonishing, inspiring experience it was… seeing it in action is the sort of experience that would make a music-educational evangelist of any politician.’
Tom Service, The Guardian Classical Blog
Listen to performances by the In Harmony Liverpool ensembles by using the download links on the right:
• West Everton Children’s Orchestra perform at Liverpool Lighthouse, 9 July 2012:
1. West Everton Cowboy Chorus
2. In the Hall of the Mountain King
• West Everton Children’s Orchestra perform at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 26 March 2012
1. O Fortuna from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana
2. Edelweiss from The Sound of Music
• West Everton Super Strings perform What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction at Liverpool Lighthouse, 9 July 2012
• In Harmony String Quintet perform Flipso Calypso at St George’s Hall Concert Room, 26 June 2012
• West Everton Super Strings perform Wizards United at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 16 September 2012
In Harmony Liverpool is:
• Using music to bring positive change to the lives of young children aged 3-14 years in West Everton and delivering significant benefits across families, Faith Primary School and the wider community;
• Encouraging participation in music – through the West Everton Children’s Orchestra, West Everton Super Strings, associated ensembles and daily, immersive music making – to bring about huge personal benefits for children involved and providing opportunities for them to grow and develop, both socially and musically;
• Led by Liverpool Philharmonic with local partners including: West Everton’s only school, Faith Primary School; West Everton Community Council; Liverpool Hope University; Liverpool Music Support Service; and The Shewsy.
In its first 3 years, In Harmony had a dramatic impact in West Everton:
• Significant increases in children’s educational attainment in reading and numeracy and improvements in self-esteem, confidence, pride and wellbeing;
• Attendance figures at Faith Primary School have improved with a significant decrease in absence rates across the school;
• 165 children and young people have participated in In Harmony Liverpool in 2011/12, with 139 of those on the orchestral programme and part of the West Everton Children’s Orchestra or West Everton Super Strings. This has increased from a baseline of 84 and 70 children respectively in April 2009.
• Since the programme began in February 2009, In Harmony Liverpool has engaged a total of 218 children and young people in West Everton from early years to age 14;
• 22 secondary school aged young people are regularly involved in West Everton Super Strings, or in-school instrument lessons, with In Harmony achieving 71% continuation rate of children leaving primary school and continuing their music making;
• Outstanding progress achieved in children’s musical ability as individuals and an orchestra through the intensive, immersive and high quality approach to music led by In Harmony Liverpool Artistic Director Rod Skipp;
• Improved Ofsted result for Faith Primary School; and
• Increases in pride, wellbeing and engagement throughout the West Everton community, with reports of improved parent-child relationships and examples of parents themselves returning to education.
‘In Harmony is transforming the school and has brought a new energy to our community.’
Sister Moira Meeghan, Head Teacher, Faith Primary School
‘The quality of music teaching enjoyed by pupils in group lessons is outstanding. The consistency of approach, founded on strong principles that draw on a range of pedagogical and musical approaches, is commendable. Every opportunity is taken to immerse pupils in musical language, and not a minute is wasted. The ‘In Harmony’ teachers are excellent musicians and their expert modelling sets the standard for the technical and musical quality that pupils are expected to match.’
Mark Phillips, Her Majesty’s Inspector, Music, Ofsted. February 2011
Led by a team of Liverpool Philharmonic musicians, every primary aged child in West Everton has the opportunity to learn an instrument from aged 4, and immediately becomes a musician of the West Everton Children’s Orchestra.
The orchestra as a form is crucial. For an orchestra to succeed, it must be greater than the sum of its parts. Every person has a role to play. It combines leadership, teamwork, discipline, communication skills and respect with friendship, great fun and positive social experiences. It develops the foundations of musicianship through the enjoyment of learning, rehearsing and performing as an ensemble of musicians.
West Everton Children’s Orchestra began in April 2009; one day after children had picked up an instrument for the first time. Just 12 weeks later, they performed for 600 friends and families at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. They now regularly perform to great acclaim at Liverpool Philharmonic’s concert venue for audiences up to 1,000 people, and performed at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall Clore Ballroom as part of a national In Harmony celebration.
All staff at Faith School, including Head Teacher (double bass), teachers, school secretary and cook, learn an instrument alongside the children, strengthening relationships between child and teacher and developing the culture of the school as a learning community.
Any child and young person living in West Everton but not attending Faith School can access our out of school programme, which currently includes children and young people from 7 primary schools and 5 secondary schools across the City.
In Harmony Liverpool’s weekly schedule includes:
• Sectional rehearsals (group instrumental lessons) on violin, viola, cello and double bass run Monday and Thursday mornings;
• West Everton Children’s Orchestra rehearsals on Friday afternoons at Liverpool Philharmonic at the Friary, our rehearsal and education centre, formerly St Mary of the Angel’s Church;
• Regular after school clubs and sectional rehearsals, when Faith Primary children are joined by children who live in West Everton but attend Beacon Primary School and other primary schools;
• After school rehearsals for West Everton Super Strings (Year 7+ chamber group), West Everton Junior Strings (Years 4-6 chamber ensemble), West Everton Mini Strings (Years 2 & 3 chamber groups), West Everton String Quartet (Years 7, 8 & 9 children), In Harmony String Quintet (Year 7 children), Seahorses, Starfish and Clownfish sectionals, and Orchestral Brass and Percussion sectionals;
• Regular performances by West Everton Children’s Orchestra and chamber ensembles at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, St George’s Hall Concert Room and throughout the community;
• Whole school singing each morning; and
• Weekly musicianship and composition classes
During holiday periods, we run In Harmony Summer School and In Harmony at Home, which provides live performances by individual or small groups of children accompanied and supported by professional musicians in their own living room for families and friends. Children have received master classes from Liverpool Philharmonic musicians, violinist Tasmin Little and Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar String Quartet.
Children, families and community members regularly attend Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Music Series events at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and St George’s Hall Small Concert Room. We also run Tea & Tunes, a series of informal classical music concerts by small ensembles from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in community venues and churches in West Everton, including performances, talks, demonstrations and practical music making for the whole community, all in an informal atmosphere over a cup of tea.
In Harmony Liverpool is supported by an extensive, longitudinal evaluation study, and in 2012 we are working with the Institute of Cultural Capital, Liverpool John Moores University, University of Liverpool, Royal Northern College of Music, Liverpool Hope University, our evaluation team and project partners and supporters to establish and develop an In Harmony Liverpool Research Network.
In Harmony is already highlighting the potential of music to transform schools and learning, strengthening families and communities. In Harmony is providing a powerful, inclusive model to support every child to fulfil their personal, social, educational and musical potential.
In Harmony Liverpool is supported by Arts Council England, the Department for Education, Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Liverpool Philharmonic, The Eric and Margaret Kinder Charitable Trust, The West Lancashire Freemasons Charity, The Granada Foundation, Faith Primary School, Liverpool Music Support Service and private donors.
In Harmony Liverpool is part of In Harmony, the national programme to inspire and transform the lives of children through music-making.
In Harmony Liverpool is supported by:
For more information, please contact Zoe Armfield, In Harmony Liverpool Manager, on . All media enquiries should be directed to Jayne Garrity, Head of Communications, on 0151 210 2895 and .
What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
- Download the In Harmony 3 Year Evaluation Report
- Download the In Harmony 2 Year Evaluation Report
- Listen to the West Everton Cowboy Chorus
- Listen to In The Hall of the Mountain King
- Listen to O Fortuna from Carmina Burana
- Listen to Edelweiss