Choristers from York Minster's Choir visited pupils at Heworth Primary School this week...

Choristers from York Minster’s Choir visited pupils at Heworth Primary School this week for the first session of the Cathedral’s 2018 Choral Outreach scheme.

Run in partnership with the Minster School, the scheme gives York pupils in Years 3 to 6 access to specialist staff and resources from the Cathedral and its school to encourage children to explore and enjoy music and singing.

Each term three schools take part in the programme, with weekly, hour-long workshops run by Alison Forster, Director of Music at the Minster School or Ben Morris, York Minster’s Assistant Director of Music.

The other schools taking part this term are Knavesmire Primary School and Haxby Road Primary Academy. All three schools will perform at an end of term concert in the Minster in March, alongside senior choristers from the Cathedral’s choir and members of the Minster School Junior Choir.

Alison Forster, Director of Music at the Minster School, said: “The programme started in 2007 and we’ve seen tremendous support from local schools, with around 45 taking part over the last decade.

“The first session is very relaxed and it’s nice for the pupils to meet the choristers and learn more about what their role involves and about music at the Cathedral.

“Research shows that singing can improve learning outcomes, confidence and creativity, but it also helps children to develop other important skills such as teamwork, resilience and self-discipline.

“One of my favourite parts of the scheme is seeing children discovering their singing voices and recognising their vocal potential, often for the first time.”

The end of term concert takes place in the Cathedral’s Nave with teachers, parents, families and friends invited to see the children perform.

As well as the concert, there is an opportunity for children who have enjoyed taking part in the scheme to join the York Junior Youth Choir, an informal choir for children aged seven to 16 which meets every Saturday.