Music Workshops for Secondary Schools 

The Music Workshop Company Secondary School workshops are tailored to the needs of the school and the participants. 
 

Why a music workshop? 

We work with you to create the project you want based on: 
 
Required outcomes eg performance / recording / preparation for GCSE / AS /A-Level 
Links to curriculum 
Off curriculum day / week eg Focus day /Arts Week / Multi-cultural week 
Preferred date 
Preferred timetable 
 
Workshops start from £345. 
 

What is involved in a workshop? 

We have a range of standard workshops that are tailored to your needs or we love the challenge of creating new projects. Whether music workshops are new to your school or you have a strong history of music participation, we can create a music workshop project that fits your needs: from a general introduction to a specific brief – our most specific brief was “we need a Junk Percussion Samba workshop on the theme of space!” 
 
We know the value of having a record of your music workshop project so we are happy to for you to record the workshops and performances – by audio, video or photograph. 
 

Run by experts 

All the Music Workshop Company musicians are professional music facilitators or workshop leaders. Many of our musicians also teach and perform at the highest levels as soloists, with their own ensembles, in recording sessions and with top orchestras. All have a wide experience of leading workshops and have Enhanced DBS / CRB checks which can be supplied. 
 
Do have a look at our workshops and if you don’t find what you are looking for – do contact us. 
 
"The workshop leader was (once again!) excellent as his high expectations were very effective. Engaging, positive - development for students participating and staff watching workshop" 
John Parsons, Newstead Wood Grammar School, Orpington 
 

African Drumming 

Our African drumming workshop introduces students to the instruments and rhythms of Africa through participation in a traditional drumming circle. We focus on the djembe, a West African drum made from wood with a goatskin head, and explore its three main sounds, bass, tone and slap. The workshop can include chants and songs from West Africa. 
 
After a warm up the participants are introduced to the instruments, and experience the excitement of playing in a drumming circle. 
 
Our African Drumming workshops can be tailored to cover GCSE, AS and A-Level requirements, linking to set works or as a starting point for composition. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days. They are also suitable for Year 6 taster days. 
 

Latin American Percussion / Samba 

Our Secondary School Samba workshop introduces students to the instruments and rhythms of Samba through participation in a traditional Samba band. 
 
We focus on instruments such as the Tambourim and Surdo drums, ganza (shaker), agogo bells and huiro (scraper). 
 
The workshop begins with a body percussion warm up. This is an accessible and fun way to engage students, and gets them working together to develop rhythm and beat, also allowing the workshop leader an opportunity to identify ability levels in the group. The participants are then introduced to the instruments, and experience the energising excitement of playing together in a Samba band. This work leads to a performance that can be recorded. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days as well as Year 6 taster days. 
 

World Percussion 

Our Secondary School World Percussion Workshop introduces students to rhythms and instruments from around the world, typically featuring African Drumming and Samba. 
 
We focus on instruments such as the African djembe drum, Brazilian claves, and shakers and scrapers used by cultures around the world. 
 
Participants experiment with the sounds of the instruments before creating their own piece of music incorporating rhythms and other influences from around the world. This work leads to a performance that can be recorded. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days as well as Year 6 taster days. 
 
To find out more about African Drumming and Samba Workshops, have a look at our blog posts, African Drumming - Culture, Confidence and Creativity and The Samba Workshop - How it Works. 

Black History Month 

Our Black History Month workshops are designed to explore the culture and history of the African people through the medium of music. 
 
The African Songs workshops include a wide range of chants and songs such as work songs and Celebration songs. 
 
Our West African Drumming workshop teaches djembe drumming in a traditional West African drumming circle. 
 
In our North African Percussion, students learn about the instruments and rhythms from North Africa, such as the darabuka drum, and the riq (tambourine). 
 
The Blues workshop teaches students about the tradition of Blues music helping them to write their own songs based on the traditional 12 Bar Blues structure. This can be directly linked to the GCSE syllabus. 
 
"We were using the workshop to encourage more uptake in our exam classes – the workshop leaders were SO enthusiastic the students really enjoyed the 3 hours. An excellent and professional service. The students (and teachers) really enjoyed the workshop." 
Ruth Fehrenbach, Thomas Deacon Academy, Peterborough 

Junk Percussion 

Our Secondary School Junk Percussion Workshop introduces participants to the fun of making music using household objects and homemade instruments. 
 
The junk percussion workshop can take a number of formats. 
 
World Junk Percussion introduces students to percussion instruments from around the world before giving them a chance to explore music making with junk instruments such as pots and pans, bottle shakers and dustbins. 
 
Make Your Own Instruments gives students the chance to create their own instruments out of junk or recycled items such as old bottles, dustbins, paper and cans. 
 
In Household Junk, students make music from pots, pans and broom handles. Instruments can include anything and everything. 
 
Participants then experiment with the sounds of the junk percussion instruments to make their own piece of music which can be recorded. 
 

Middle Eastern Percussion 

Our Secondary School Middle Eastern music workshop introduces students to the instruments and rhythms of the Middle East through participation in an interactive session. 
 
We focus on instruments such as the darabuka or doumbec drum, riq (tambourine) and finger cymbals. 
 
The workshop begins with a body percussion warm up. This is an accessible and fun way to engage students and dispel inhibitions, and gets them working together to develop rhythm and ensemble. It also allows the workshop leader an opportunity to identify ability levels in the group. 
 
The participants are then introduced to the instruments, and experience the invigorating excitement of playing together in a percussion ensemble. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days: The Middle Eastern music is a powerful team building exercise and perfect for channelling exam nerves! They are also suitable for Year 6 taster days. 

Cuban Percussion 

Our Secondary School Cuban workshop introduces students to the instruments and rhythms of Cuba through participation in a traditional Cuban band. 
 
We focus on instruments such as the conga and bongo drums, claves and cajón. 
 
The workshop begins with a body percussion warm up. This is an accessible and fun way to engage students, and gets them working together to develop rhythm and beat. It also allows the workshop leader an opportunity to identify ability levels in the group and get to know the students. 
 
Participants are then introduced to the instruments, and experience the energising excitement of playing together in a Cuban band. This work leads to a performance that can be recorded. 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 

Spoons 

Our Secondary Spoons Workshop introduces participants to the fun of making music using spoons. 
 
There are spoon playing traditions in many different countries around the world, including Ireland, America, Turkey and Russia. Spoons are great fun to play and are easily accessible as have them in our homes, and they are very portable too. 
 
Spoon playing is brilliant for co-ordination, particularly fine motor skills. Our workshops involve movement and singing too, stamping your feet, singing and moving in time with the music. 
 
Participants then experiment with the sounds of the spoons to make their own piece of music which can be recorded. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days as well as Year 6 taster days. 
 
"[The workshop leader} quickly assessed the level of the students and worked with them very well, keeping excellent control" 
Warren Honey, King Henry VIII School Coventry 

Composition 

Our Secondary School Composition workshop introduces students to creating their own music. Workshops can be based a particular style of music such as pop, jazz, classical, Samba or can explore influences of specific composers. Alternatively the workshop can create a soundtrack for a play, silent movie or advert. 
 
The workshop leader supplies a range of percussion instruments for the students to play, but if the students play instruments such as violin, recorder, guitar – they can bring these instruments and incorporate them in their composition. 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 
 

Song writing 

Our Secondary School Singing workshop introduces students to creating their own songs. Workshops can be based on a particular style of music such as pop, jazz, musical theatre, classical. 
 
The workshop leader supplies a range of percussion instruments for the students to play to accompany the songs, but if the students play instruments such as violin, recorder, guitar – they can bring these instruments and incorporate them in their composition. 
 
The participants then create a song leading to a performance which can be recorded. 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 

Improvisation 

Our Secondary Improvisation workshops introduce students to improvisation in a range of styles. 
 
The workshop leader supplies a range of percussion instruments for the students to play, but if the students play instruments such as violin, recorder, guitar – they can bring these instruments and incorporate them in their improvisation. 
 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 

Indian Music 

Our Secondary School Indian Music workshops introduce students to the rhythms and raga (scales) or traditional Indian Music. 
 
After a warm up, the workshop leader introduces the rhythms through body percussion and the raga through singing, leading to a performance which can be recorded. 
 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 
"The outcome was excellent; the performances by the students at our international evening were well received and were enjoyed by both the students and the audience. We have had a lot of positive feedback." 
S Plunkett, Uxbridge High School Academy Trust, London 

Singing 

Our Secondary School singing workshops can introduce students to the joy of singing or develop vocal skills. Workshops can be based on particular theme such as Music from Around the World, Music through Time or focus on a particular style such as jazz or musical theatre. 
 
Singing releases feel-good chemicals such as endorphins into the brain and is a great physical exercise, raising oxygen levels in the blood, encouraging deep breathing and giving lungs and facial muscles a workout. 
 
The workshop starts with a warm up, getting the body and the voice ready, before introducing chants and songs leading to a performance which can be recorded. 
 
We can also work with choirs to help develop their vocal and musicianship skills. 
 
Read more about singing on our blog. 

Jazz 

Our Secondary School jazz workshops introduce students to jazz through listening, singing and composition. 
 
The workshop can explore the development and history of jazz or focus on a particular style such as swing or scat. 
 
After a warm up, the students are introduced to jazz leading to a performance which can be recorded. 
 
The workshop leader supplies a range of percussion instruments for the students to play, but if the students play instruments such as violin, recorder, guitar – they can bring these instruments and incorporate them in their composition. 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 

Blues 

Our Secondary Blues workshops introduce students to the 12-Bar Blues through singing and playing. 
 
The students write their own Blues, composing both lyrics and melody, using the traditional 12-Bar Blues structure. 
 
The workshop leader supplies a range of percussion instruments for the students to play, but if the students play instruments such as violin, recorder, guitar – they can bring these instruments and incorporate them in their composition. 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 

Historical Music 

Our Secondary School Historical Music workshop introduces students to music from History. Workshops can be based on period such as Medieval, Tudor, Victorian, on figures such as Robin Hood, Henry VIII, Shakespeare or a particular style of music such as pop, jazz, classical. Alternatively the workshop can be a travel through History introducing students to music from a range of periods. 
 
The workshop can include listening, singing and dancing, leading to a performance which can be recorded. 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 
"We have had many music workshops before, and this was certainly up there with the best. The arrangements were straightforward and the musicians arrived promptly and ran the sessions professionally and were both entertaining and produced some fantastic results from the students. The activities were varied and engaging and suited to the abilities of the students. An excellent company to do business with." 
Mr B Chapman, Head of Music, Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Maidstone, Kent 

Play in a Day 

Our Secondary School Play in a Day workshop incorporates drama, singing and percussion workshops leading to a performance at the end of the day. 
Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, Samba and African Drumming 
Excellent ... the booking process was easy and there was considerable support in arranging the workshops. The workshops themselves were superb - the students really enjoyed themselves and the activities were stimulating, matched the abilities of the students and stretched and challenged them. 
Mr B Chapman, Head of Music, Maidstone Grammar School for Girls, July 2015  
Themes for Play in a Day for primary schools include “The Magic Carpet Ride” and “Christmas around the World”, the content is tailored to the needs of the school. 
 
Alternatively the workshop can link to GCSE, AS or A-Level set works for drama or music. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days as well as Year 6 taster days. 

Ceilidh 

Our Secondary School Ceilidh workshops introduce students to the music and dances of the British Isles. 
 
Our Ceilidh musicians perform and “call” (give dance instructions) for a range of traditional dances from around the British Isles. 
 
The workshops can focus on one particular country or can include a mix of styles. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days as well as Year 6 taster days. 

Classical Ensembles & Soloists 

Our ensemble and soloist workshops introduce students to string quartets, woodwind trios, wind quintets, brass trios, brass quintets, percussion quartet, classical guitar, flute and guitar duo and the piano. The workshops use an interactive lecture recital format to introduce students to instruments before exploring how sound is made and then composing a piece for the musicians. Alternatively the workshops can be in the form of a masterclass. 
 
Workshops can be based on particular theme (such as the Egyptians, the Stone Age, environment, recycling, healthy eating, a story or to fit a topic being studied) or a particular style of music such as pop, jazz, classical. 
 
This can be directly linked to the GCSE, AS and A-Level syllabus as well as being suitable for off-curriculum days and Year 6 taster days. 

Orchestral workshop 

Our Secondary orchestra workshop introduces students to a range of orchestral instruments through listening to recordings and live performance. The students then have the chance to make an orchestral instrument from cardboard and learn to mime to an orchestral piece to experience what it is like to play in an orchestra. 
 
The workshop incorporates ensemble playing through body percussion or world percussion to help the students understand the enjoyment of performing in an ensemble. 
 
The workshop can end with a performance which can be recorded. 
 
The workshops are great as an activity for multicultural days and off-curriculum days as well as Year 6 taster days. 
"I was really pleased with the way the workshop leader got the children working as a group/ensemble from the start. Even as a whole year group, it made them focus on working together for the rest of the day. The material and songs chosen to demonstrate the points he was making was relevant to the children, and he made sure everyone was included and involved at every stage of the day ... would most definitely recommend The Music Workshop Company to colleagues." 
Claremont Fan Court Prep, Esher, Surrey, January 2014 

British Folk Dance 

Our Secondary British Folk Dance workshops introduce participants to the music and dances of the British Isles. 
 
Our musicians perform and “call” (give dance instructions) for a range of traditional dances from around the British Isles. 
 
The workshops can focus on one particular country or can include a mix of styles. 
 
Read about British Folk Dances on our blog -  

Teacher Training Inset  

Our Secondary Teacher Training Inset Workshop are tailored to the needs of the participants, covering specific topics, genres or exam syllabuses. 
 
The workshops are tailored to develop skills in areas where staff feel they are lacking in confidence or ideas, or can be linked to teaching topics. 
 
These workshops can run as twilight classes at the end of the day, or as half day or whole day sessions. Participants are given our MWC resource pack to take away. 

Activities for fetes & fairs 

Our Secondary School activities for fetes and fairs include World Percussion, African Drumming, Samba, junk percussion and composition workshops. These workshops can take place before the main event leading to a performance at the fete or fair, or can be run as drop in sessions at the fair open to all members of the family. 
 
Workshops are fully interactive and suitable for all ages and abilities. 

Topics 

Our Secondary School Topic workshops can be linked to topics being covered in the class room or extra curricula activities. Examples or topics include: 
Musicals 
Healthy eating 
Christmas 
Carnival 
Festivals 
Anti Bullying 
Smoking / Drugs 
Mental Health 
Recycling 
Being Green 
 

Contact us 

We create musical workshops for all ages, abilities and occasions. To book or if you have any questions, feel free to email us using the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. 
 
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