11 November 2020
Schoolchildren across the UK are being invited to take part in a one-day national arts school to celebrate the arts and their positive impact on young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
TuneUp Tuesday, on 24 November, will offer children and teachers across the UK unprecedented access to teaching and careers resources from leading arts industry professionals. There will also be a bank of streamable performances from some of the country’s best known theatres, wholly free of charge, and a special online assembly to start the day. Already, thousands of children have signed up to take part and the numbers are rising daily.
Tuneup Tuesday is the initiative of King Edward VI High School in Birmingham – specifically the school’s Principal, musician Kirsty von Malaisé, together with Director of Drama and former puppeteer Hannah Proops.
King Edward VI High School Principal Kirsty Malaisé said:
“Children have been through so much and the arts industry has suffered considerably from lockdown, we wanted to do something to celebrate the tremendous healing power of the arts and uplift everyone. As soon as we started approaching arts organisations, we were bowled over by their generosity and enthusiasm to volunteer their time and resources, and realised we probably had a national event on our hands. With restrictions imposed on many school extra-curricular activities in this second lockdown, we really hope the free lesson-based sessions will give schools and young people something to celebrate.”
The day is open to children of all ages across the entire country, with resources for primary and secondary schools. From colouring and puppet shows, to communication workshops and explorations of set exam texts, there will be something for everyone. The free resources, provided in partnership with the Girls’ Schools Association, will demonstrate that careers in the arts are worthwhile, valuable and viable.
What will happen?
Tuneup Tuesday will begin with an online assembly available to all participating schools featuring former BBC Young Musician Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
Leading professionals from across the spectrum of arts have provided five-minute videos, offering arts activities for use in the classroom or speaking about their careers. Content has been pledged from artists such as Martha Howe Douglas (Horrible Histories), John Carey (Lord of the Dance) and Ali Natkiel (Line of Duty).
Schools will also be encouraged to immerse their pupils in the power of collective theatre. Free-to-stream performances will be provided by Cirque du Soleil, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Young Vic, Gecko, Little Angel, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.