Church workers and school staff from across the diocese have boosted their musical repertoire at a recent training day, adding a host of interactive ‘Songs for Life’ that support children’s spiritual development and wellbeing.
At the free training event, held at Guildford Baptist Church on Thursday 25 May, around 20 primary school teachers and children’s workers were taught in new songs suitable for all types of collective worship settings, such as church groups, assemblies and RE lessons. The songs, which have actions and signs to aid learning and engagement, address themes such as bullying, loss, friendship and are designed to help children connect everyday experiences with a loving God.
Suzanne Butler from charity Fischy Music, who led the training, also taught attendees innovative and effective approaches to using music and song with children in the school or church environment, regardless of their level of musical expertise.
Suzanne said: “It has been wonderful to train such an enthusiastic bunch!
“Spreading the importance of music to both churches and schools, and knowing that the people who came are leaving with songs to share with others, is wonderful.
“Music is an essential ingredient for spiritual growth and it’s been a privilege to spread that today.”
Holly Barton, who attended from Leatherhead Parish church, said: “It's great that you can have songs that are accessible for children that aren’t simplistic, that are hard-hitting and talk about real subjects. I really appreciate Fischy Music’s way of actually using real situations and feelings. I’m definitely going to try to use this in the future.”
Rachel Boxer, who attended the training said: “I’m interested in assembly music for the infant school I support on a regular basis so I can see this is brilliant stuff to use with them. It’s been a really helpful day - it’s been brilliant to have very accessible and serious music, not happy-clappy, that’s good and friendly music for any school to use.”
Jane Whittington, who organised the training, said: “It was a great day with children’s workers and teachers learning a range of songs to give children in schools and churches the opportunity to develop spiritually through singing.
“The participants were enthusiastic about taking the songs back to their schools and churches, I’m thrilled with the response as I’m sure the children will be too.”
More information about Fischy Music and the resources they offer is available here. From their website you can sample their new musical resources for collective worship, RE and Health and Wellbeing work for use in the classroom, assemblies and groups.