Songs of Rights & Respecting
Testimonials re: Songs of Rights and Respecting (by Paul Austin Kelly & Tim Freeman)
I have been teaching singing for 25 years in primary schools and one of my biggest issues has been finding songs suitable for assemblies. ·Many schools are non-denominational and multicultural and the requirement to sing about a deity whom many do not believe in has disappeared. ·However, there is a need for inspirational material to encourage good citizenship and socially accepted behaviour. Paul and Tim’s songs are approached from this angle. They have used some of the articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to approach the subject and have so far succeeded in producing five songs which do the job brilliantly. I have taught these songs to children aged between five and eleven. The response is extremely positive. In fact, the children (and adults) love them! Each one is slightly different in style but all are great to sing and not difficult to teach. They have already become a part of our regular whole school assemblies and I am looking forward to receiving the next batch in order to extend our repertoire.
Sue Eldridge, Wallands Primary School teacher
My name is Nic Perry and I am a full time class teacher at Wallands C. P. School in Lewes. I am also a member of the Senior Leadership Team and am ‘Every Child Matters’ co-ordinator for the school. My role has included obtaining level 2 status of UNICEFs Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA). A lot has been done in the school on Equality and Diversity issues.
During our journey towards level 2 RRSA Paul Kelly and Tim Freeman approached me about writing some songs for the school to do with Rights Respecting. It was a wonderful idea. We worked alongside the head of music – Zoe Hurlock and the head of performance – Sue Eldridge to ensure that the music was appropriate for children aged between 5 and 11, (Year 1 and Year 6) and to make sure that the lyrics were conveying the values of RRS. Paul and Tim researched RRS and all the texts we use with the children at our school to come up with themes that eventually became songs. They recorded their material and the working party listened to them to check that they ticked all the right boxes. Thus far the school has 5 songs from Paul and Tim which we are already teaching the children in singing sessions. Feedback from the children has been very positive and we are thrilled to have such meaningful songs as part of our school repertoire.
When UNICEF came to inspect the school for the level 2 Award, the inspectors were very impressed with the songs too and reported this to me in their verbal feedback. Paul and Tim also met with the inspectors as part of an adult group for the inspection.
These songs would be an asset to any primary school whether they are a Rights Respecting School or not. I for one highly recommend them.
Nic Perry (ECM co-ordinator)
How much music is there in the public awareness today about 'looking after number one', getting what you want, no matter what? While independence, aspiration and courage are essential and admirable, at times we could be forgiven for thinking that these individual, self-promoting rights have eclipsed into insignificance the ideas of responsibility and charity to others. When rudeness to authority is glamourised (think of the established convention of booing the judges) and the personal agenda is given priority over nearly everything else, the message carried in these songs by Paul Austin Kelly and Tim Freeman has rarely been more apposite and important. With accompaniments which are in turn quirky, fun and touching, with melodies which are accessible and suitable for young voices, and with direct text which will hit home, I would hope that these songs can do their work of making schools happier places as soon as possible.
Music Director, Glyndebourne Youth Opera
Music Director, LSO Youth Choirs 2009-2013