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ABCD launches new training courses

26th April 2018

The Association of British Choral Directors (abcd) has launched its new training course structure.

Choral singing is thriving in Britain today in many forms, some traditional (choral societies, colleges), others new (pop and community choirs).  After talking to some of the leading figures in these fields, abcd has responded by restructuring its training provision to meet the needs of people working with singers in all kinds of choir. It retains the key elements of abcd’s long-standing original courses – including foundations of choral directing technique, with assessment of attainment against ABRSM qualifications – with new elements particularly for those working in music education or the community.

New to abcd are ground-breaking courses for music teachers in secondary and primary schools called ‘Get them singing, keep them singing!’. Both courses:

  • Leading Singing in Secondary Schools – Secondary School vocal leadership training
  • Leading Singing in Primary Schools – Primary School vocal leadership training

are aimed at teachers who wish to develop their knowledge of leading singing for young and changing voices. In addition, a course ‘Encouraging Young Vocal Leaders’ is being offered for the first time:

  • Encouraging Young Vocal Leaders – for GSCE/A-Level students wishing to develop vocal leadership skills.

This new offer is in direct response to the challenge identified by the distinguished choral director Ralph Allwood that “the provision of singing in secondary schools is patchy: excellent in some and non-existent in other”.

abcd has accepted this challenge to tackle the problem and has spent two years developing courses specifically for music teachers with little or no choral background or experience.

All three new courses will be made available via Music Hubs, Academy Schools and Music Services in any part of the UK.

abcd’s team of specialists will share their vocal knowledge, music teaching skills and choral leadership expertise with music teachers and those leading singing in schools who may have little or no choral background or experience.

“This suite of new abcd courses should be welcomed by all Music Education Hubs in the country and included in their Singing Strategies. Individual teachers in schools will welcome the practical skills, knowledge and confidence these flexible courses will provide.”

Susan Hollingworth, Leading choral director, Sing Up Ambassador, animateur

These new courses form part of a restructured training structure that also features a development of the former Intermediate Course into two distinct strands – ‘Emerging’ and ‘Progressive’.  These new strands will allow potential participants more choice in developing their own skills and experience according to each person’s ambition and ability.

Full details of the new course structure and individual courses can be obtained from the abcd website at

Leaders of Music Hubs, Education Trusts and Music Services are invited to contact Penny Homer, Training Manager at abcd, or 07805 454563 to discuss how the training courses may be arranged and provided.

ABCD Get them singing, keep them singing

ABCD Leading singing in primary schools

ABCD Leading singing in secondary schools

ABCD Encouraging young vocal leaders