PSO is passionate about music education and widening audience engagement. We believe that engagement with the arts can have a positive impact on individuals and communities alike. One of the main aims of our education programme is to offer experiences to those who have limited opportunity to be exposed to the Arts.
See below for examples of the outreach projects that we will be launching from September 2014. We can also put together bespoke projects to suit the needs of your school or community group; ranging from ½ day workshops, to longer-term projects. Please do not hesitate contact us to discuss any ideas.
Commission Regenerate Our Generation
PSO have secured funding from the Big Local in Collyhurst to commission a fully orchestrated song cycle. The ethos behind this project is to use music as a vehicle to bring the community together and be involved in a potentially life altering experience, which they would not usually have access to. The project aims to reach all different areas of the community from primary school pupils right through to adult community members, bringing everyone together for the final performance with the PSO orchestra. The community will also engage in the writing process and get them involved with the lyricist, giving their ideas and input into the song lyrics in order to reflect their feelings and thoughts about their community. This gives the community a voice and a creative outlet, giving them ownership and a personal connection to the songs.
Matilda – Literacy Project
From September PSO will be working with Manchester Communication Academy (MCA) and their feeder primary schools to use singing as a vehicle to improve pupils’ literacy skills. The project will involve year 5 pupils from 6 different primary schools alongside year 7 pupils from MCA and they will learn a number of songs, which will be woven into the story of Matilda. The teachers at the primary schools will be responsible for teaching the songs under the guidance of PSO workshop leaders. This helps to embed singing within the school and give teachers the knowledge and skills to continue this beyond the project. At the end of the project there will be a performance with all the primary schools coming together at MCA.
Instruments of the Orchestra
PSO workshop leaders alongside players from the orchestra ran a series of instrumental workshops at MCA, with the aim of engaging year 7 seven pupils with orchestral instruments. We had demonstrations from PSO players as well as pupils having the opportunity to play the instruments themselves as a class. The pupils were able to get up close to and experiment with violins, flutes and percussion instruments. To end the series of workshops a string quintet from PSO alongside Tom Newall PSO’s conductor, demonstrated the rehearsal process and the role of the conductor; with pupils listening to a variety of music, learning about the instruments and ‘having a go’ at being a conductor. 
Curriculum Development
The outreach team at PSO is currently working with a North West school to develop a new primary school music curriculum which will be delivered by the PSO team, alongside the school’s own teachers. We will develop the curriculum in conjunction with the teachers in order to ensure it is accessible for non music specialists, whilst making sure it is challenging and interesting for the pupils and covers all music objectives set out by the government. One of the primary aims of the project is to pass on skills and equip the school’s teachers with the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to be able to deliver the music curriculum independently.