Services for Education – music fun for disadvantaged school children


Swashbuckling music fun for Birmingham’s disadvantaged schoolchildren

An experienced Birmingham singing teacher has scooped an award for the creation of a music piece aimed at primary schools in the city who may not have the resources to offer music education to their pupils.

Sarah Baker, a vocal composer with Birmingham charity, Services for Education, has over 20 years’ experience of teaching singing in primary schools in the city.

Her creation, ‘The Backwater Pirate and His Hairy Chest’, won her £1,000 through a competition organised by publishing house Lindsay Music and The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM).

Sarah said: “I am truly honoured to have been awarded by the ISM. I spent three months working on this piece and it will be wonderful to hear it in classrooms across the country. Any form of musical expression is so important for children and I encourage everyone to explore something new. We are seeing more and more cuts to school funding, especially within the music sector, so I wanted to create a piece that is financially accessible for all schools.”

‘The Backwater Pirate and His Hairy Chest’ is 40 minutes long and includes a script, music and lyrics which will be available for schools at the end of the year.

As part of the win, Sarah is expected to donate half the prize money to her chosen charity, which is Services for Education. The money will help the charity continue to provide vocal resources to primary schools across Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Ciaran O’ Donnell, head of Music Service at Services for Education said: “We are thrilled for Sarah, and what she is trying to achieve in primary schools across the country is truly inspiring.Working within schools, we recognise the impact music can have on a child’s development – socially and academically, which is why it is so important to bring children together through music. Under our current fundraising programme, we are able to double Sarah’s donation, so I want to thank Sarah again for her support.”

To find out more about the work Services for Education do across Birmingham and the West Midlands visit