052: Live classical music in schools with Apollo Music Projects

Listen to this episode

Apollo Music Projects brings live classical music to children who might not otherwise experience it. Over 13 years, more than 8,600 children have experienced the magic of live performance from classroom to concert hall, culminating in the thrilling spectacle of a full orchestra in concert.

I talk to David Chernaik about how this project was brought to life 13 years ago and how it has positively affected 8600 children.

The 3 main ways are:

  • Interactive
  • Self Confidence
  • Performance

Apollo Music Projects provides a unique opportunity for children to work closely with professional musicians, using the language of music to develop listening skills, communication and teamwork. Our programmes enable students to discover for themselves how to listen to and enjoy classical music, using their own imagination and experiences to enter a new world of sound, stories and feelings.

The programme introduces children to the instruments of the orchestra, the musicians who play them and the music they play, providing the opportunity to hear live music and the tools to understand what they are hearing.

The programme takes the form of a residency in each school. Over two terms, the musicians gradually introduce the different members of the orchestra, starting with small groups including a string quartet, brass ensemble and woodwind quartet. At the halfway point of the programme there is a series of chamber orchestra workshops, each attended by three or four schools. This is a chance for the children to engage in music on a larger scale, to meet musicians up close and to learn about the ways in which the different instruments of the orchestra interact and join together to make music. The programme concludes with a spectacular symphony orchestra concert featuring large-scale orchestral works using the full range of instruments.


David Chernaik (Chief Executive & Programme Director) is a professional conductor and cellist. He is passionate about music education and giving children of all backgrounds access to the life-enhancing experience of music, both performing and listening. He founded the Apollo Chamber Orchestra in 1989 and since then has given many concerts with the orchestra – including chamber orchestra, string orchestra, symphony and opera performances.


Email: info@apollomusicprojects.org

Twitter: @ApolloMusicLDN

Facebook: @apollomusicprojects

For more podcasts about ‘Music and the Arts’ visit


Leave a comment

051: Why 18,000 schools are using ‘Out of the Ark Music’

Listen to this episode

Out of the Ark Music was born out of a passionate belief that children deserve the very best.
Good songs leave a lasting impression and contain huge potential to make a difference to our lives. The importance of music and the arts cannot be emphasised enough and, though often overlooked, they are a vital part of our children’s education.

Our goal is…

  • To enhance and expand children’s enjoyment of music and the world around them by producing songs that are thought provoking, relevant and most of all great fun to sing.
  • To produce top quality materials to give today’s children music which excites them and to which they can readily relate.
  • To teach about music using traditional methods i.e. by providing strong melodies, interesting song structures and clever rhymes and combining these with modern musical arrangements.
  • To preserve the best of our musical and literary heritage whilst embracing modern styles and instrumentation.
  • To write good positive songs that re-enforce self-worth and significance and that are appropriate to children’s experience.
  • To convey truth and teach about Christian values and faith.
  • To make all our resources completely teacher-friendly and to support our customers through excellent customer service.

I interview Antony Copus – Head of Education Development about their history and new projects being developed.

For full details please visit




In 1989 Mark and Helen Johnson were asked to write a short nativity musical by the headteacher of the primary school where Helen was teaching. ‘Off To Bethlehem’ was a huge success and within months Mark and Helen were given the opportunity of leaving their jobs to explore and develop their gift in writing music. It was with a deep breath and a big step of faith that Mark and Helen went on to set up their own publishing and production company as a vehicle for distributing their songs to primary schools.

What began with only a tiny desk under the stairs, has grown over 25 years to become a thriving business, which now supplies over 18,000 primary schools and prep schools (not to mention nurseries, churches, theatre groups, etc!) across the UK and countless others around the world. With publishing offices and a warehouse in Middlesex, a recording studio in Sussex and with an associate office in Australia, ‘Out Of The Ark’ is reaching out to the corners of the earth with good, positive songs, that everyone will enjoy.





Leave a comment

050: How to produce a local music project for primary schools

Listen to this episode

Today I talk about my experiences from producing a music project for local primary schools.

My insights and thoughts about expectations, how schools work together and being a beacon for people to follow.

How do you use your time and are there more effective ways to get great results?

For more information please visit


Leave a comment

049: Bonus Ep. – Better Leaders Better Schools with Daniel Bauer

Listen to this episode

I interview fellow educator Daniel Bauer from the Better Leaders Better Schools podcast.

Daniel E. Bauer helps school leaders create winning cultures, focus on the essential, and lead with courage and integrity.



Better Leaders Better Schools is designed to connect excellent leaders in education and promote leadership development.  My passion is developing leaders to their fullest potential – there is nothing greater than this. I accomplish this through creating free consistent content on the blog and podcast as well as offering premium services (like masterminds) that accelerate leadership growth.

We discuss:

  • saying ‘Yes and’ and what that means
  • taking away obstacles to make things happen
  • how to support teachers
  • masterminds/mentors
  • creativity
  • FREE resources

Listen at www.EducationOnFire.com


For full details visit his website at


Twitter @alienearbud




Leave a comment

048: Charanga – Best-selling online resource for primary music

Listen to this episode

Charanga is the best-selling, modern resource for primary music — online, easy to use and great value.


  • A complete scheme to teach the national curriculum for music
  • A vast library of songs, topics, instrument courses and creative apps
  • In-depth support for assessment, SEND and personalised teaching and learning

Winner of Best Digital Resource in the Music Teacher Magazine Awards 2015

I chat to founder Mark Burke about the history of the company.

We cover:

  • How things have changed in technology over their 20 years
  • The engagement with over 7000 schools
  • Working in partnerships with over 100 Music Hubs
  • How it is used by both music specialists and non-music specialist teachers
  • International Expansion
  • FREE trials

Visit www.charanga.com

You can listen to the full podcast at www.EducationOnFire.com and search for Charanga in the search bar.

Leave a comment