RCM Sparks works in partnership with community schemes, charities, orchestras and venues on innovative and bespoke music projects.
Our partnership programme also aims to increase access to music making for local families and young people from less affluent backgrounds and underrepresented groups.
Tri-borough Music Hub
The Tri-borough Music Hub (TBMH) is the lead organisation overseeing the delivery of music education in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and the City of Westminster. An award-winning organisation, TBMH is a centralised local authority that receives core funding from the Department for Education via Arts Council England, working with schools, pupils and the workforce.
The Royal College of Music works closely with TBMH and the Royal Albert Hall as strategic partners, helping to achieve the following aims:
- Engage all schools in the area, in order to reach all pupils and provide them with access to high-quality music education opportunities
- Raise standards and support musical progression for all pupils
- Ensure a broad range of outstanding musical opportunities for pupils, parents and the community
We plan our widening participation work based on a detailed understanding of the areas of need in the local area. Through this relationship with the TBMH, RCM Sparks has regular links with a number of state schools.
Supporting larger scale projects
Convo, an ambitious new work by RCM alumnus composer Charlotte Harding, commissioned by the Tri-borough Music Hub, the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal College of Music premiered at the Royal Albert Hall on 7 March 2019.
A massed instrumental ensemble of Tri-borough music hub young musicians played side-by-side with professional instrumentalists, together supporting a massed chorus of around 1,000 primary, secondary and special school pupils. The huge ensemble was led by the internationally renowned conductor Ben Palmer. The performance was the culmination of an extensive two-year project of creative music making and development across the Tri-borough music hub, which aimed to embed best musical practice as an essential part of school life, giving invaluable musical opportunities to all pupils in the area irrespective of their background.
We are very grateful to John Lyon’s Charity for their generous support of Convo.
Find out more
See and hear more about Convo from the people involved, including RCM composer Charlotte Harding
Convo follows the success of Seven Seeds, a large scale performance of a newly commissioned vocal work involving 160 schools, more than 20 Royal College of Music students from and 150 music co-ordinators. In November 2015 Seven Seeds was awarded the prize for 'New Music' by the Music Education Council of Great Britiain (MEC) and shortlisted for the 'Best Classical Music Education Initiative'.
Visit the Convo website
London Early Years Foundation
This is a partnership project with the LEFY nurseries and RCM Sparks.
The aim of the project is to develop the music skills of a team of Early Years practitioners ‘Music Champions’ in order to enrich music in their nursery settings for children aged 0-4, with a long-term aim to improve practice across the organisation.
The overall objective is to increase the skill level of practitioners in order to rate themselves as a platinum standard music setting, based on the Tri-borough Music Hub Self-Evaluation Tool.
Musically Inclusive Forum
The Musically Inclusive Forum brings together nationally and internationally renowned music and arts organisations to ignite the conversation for improving access and outcomes for young disabled people across the music and arts sector. RCM Sparks co-ordinate experts and discussions at the forums and partners are asked who they would like to hear from to help develop their targets.
Turtle Song is a Turtle Key Arts, English Touring Opera and Royal College of Music partnership project which brings music, movement, and singing to people with Alzheimers and all forms of Dementia.
Over the course of the project, participants write the lyrics and compose the music for their own song cycle with the help of an animateur, a composer, Royal College of Music students or a Royal College of Music ambassador. The piece is then performed and recorded on DVD so that it can be shared with family and friends.
Since the first Turtle Song at the Royal College of Music in 2008 it has been introduced in Cambridge, Wolverhampton, Dulwich, Suffolk, Oxford, Stockton-on-Tees, Leeds, Norwich, Reading, Newbury, Croydon, Hackney, York, Waddesdon Manor, Chester and Camden. There are now on average five held each year.
In 2022, there were 80 participants in the Turtle Song project, with 4 RCM students and 4 RCM graduates involved.
Turtle Song was recently featured in the BBC documentary Holding Back the Years.