Ofsted is keen to emphasise the importance of music in the primary curriculum and have made many admiring references to the achievements of school choirs. Music is a subject most primary children like and singing in a choir is an enjoyable way to perform and learn.
Many composers use the notation software Sibelius and some composers upload their works onto Score Exchange. These scores are mainly offered for sale but there are a significant number of free scores available, many of which are for choir at grades 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 (see Resources). You can listen to the scores before downloading them, to assess whether they are suitable, if you install the Scorch plug-in (see Resources).
A primary school usually belongs to a family of schools, consisting of other nearby primary schools and the high school or schools they feed. Families of schools sometimes share curriculum resources. Other primary schools in your family of schools may be able to lend, or give you choir music. Find out which of your colleagues is the liaison person and explain your request. Your colleague should be able to make enquiries on your behalf.
Music advisory team
Many education authorities have education support teams of advisers, advisory teachers and subject specialists whose job it is to promote learning in specific subjects. If your education authority has a music support service, they may be able to supply you with free choir music for your school. Ask your music subject leader in school to find out about your music advisory team’s support for primary school choirs, especially with regard to providing free scores.
As well as general libraries, many cities also have specialised music libraries, which are likely to have collections of sheet music of many different kinds. Ring your nearest music library, in the first instance, to find out what they have, then go along and see for yourself if it seems promising. Don’t be intimidated by rows and rows of tightly packed shelves of scores. Librarians are usually very helpful in helping users track down precisely what they are looking for.
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