Friday Afternoons is a Britten Pears Arts led singing project connecting teachers and young people with contemporary composers, through creating high quality repertoire, resources and training to encourage challenging and exciting music making experiences for all. The Friday Afternoons vision is for every young person to have access to high quality music experiences through using their voice.
The project began in 2013 as part of the celebrations for Benjamin Britten’s centenary. What was initially just a Suffolk project became regional, then national, then global, and on Friday 22 November 2013, there were close to 70,000 young people from around the world singing one or more of Britten’s songs.
Britten Pears Arts now commissions new repertoire and resources for teachers, music leaders and young people, including teaching and accessibility resources to help as many people as possible engage with the songs. Alongside this, we work in partnership with organisations across the UK, delivering large scale singing events and training programmes to support skills development and connect the Friday Afternoons community.
All of the Friday Afternoons resources are free to download and use. They can be found on our website – https://www.fridayafternoonsmusic.co.uk The resources have been designed to help support specialist and non-specialist teachers and are great for leading large-scale projects with young singers.
The newest set of songs have been written by Russell Hepplewhite, with words by Michael Rosen. So far we have released two songs – Earth and Language. We will be releasing the rest of this set throughout the year, so keep an eye on our website for more songs soon!
As well as these latest songs, we are developing new resources to explore composition and composers, and have also been working with Dr Paul Whittaker to create more signed resources.