St Christopher


Every year, Little Missenden Festival runs music workshops with pupils from Hyde Heath and Little Missenden Infant Schools, and Great Missenden Combined School. Professional musicians encourage the children to develop musical ideas and create original songs, which are then performed to parents at a combined concert.

This programme benefits the children enormously. They enjoy the musical experience, gain confidence, work together in teams, develop creativity and exercise valuable skills - including concentration, communication, and literacy.

Each year a different theme is chosen, based on topic work within school. This year's inspiration was the classic children's story Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. The programme was led by composer and animateur, John Webb, who uses workshops to inspire the children's creativity. Musicians from the Buckinghamshire Music Education Hub worked alongside John and the children throughout, using a wide range of instruments to bring the compositions alive.

Learn more about 'Where The Wild Things Are' here and John Webb's work here

The Festival Schools Programme is funded by Arts Council England (using public funding from the National Lottery), Heart of Bucks Community Foundation, the Parent Teacher Associations of each school, and the Festival. 

Each school participates in four workshops plus the final concert performance which takes place at the Parish Church of Great Missenden, in front of an audience of around 100 parents and carers. Each school performs their own song and a song which all the schools perform together.

This unique activity encourages the children to take an active role in the development of an idea that is entirely their own. It is invaluable in building their self-confidence, especially among those who may not be conventionally academic.

The programme encourages an entirely creative approach to learning. There are no right or wrong ideas and the direction taken is achieved through consensus. The pupils are challenged to think about why a story or a picture might suggest a certain thing and how music can enhance emotions.

They decide on all of the words for the song and how it should feel, and thus have complete creative ownership of the project. Rehearsal and performance is crucial to the process and the children suggest physical actions and movements to go with their performance in order to bring it alive.

The schools we work with agree that this is an incredibly valuable project for their children, many of whom have never experienced musical instruments such as the French Horn, Flute or Cello. This programme gives them the opportunity to hear them played live, inspiring musicians of the future.

It also builds their confidence, their ability to work as a team and achieves a real sense of pride in what they can accomplish at such a young age. Performing in such a large space, to a large audience, boosts self-esteem and creates a considerable sense of achievement for the children. 

Click here for the Schools Concert Photo Gallery  


'The Little Missenden Festival plays a very important part in the life of the local community bringing  excellence, diversity and accessibility of musical experience. Of particular significance is the work with schools. I see it first-hand. The children are inspired by the music, learn how to work together, use different parts of their brain, and they work across school and age boundaries. There is plenty of evidence that enriched musical experience in childhood has a lasting effect on emotional, intellectual and artistic development throughout life. As a vicar I am delighted to be able to host and support this work as it embodies so many of the values that I hold dear.’

Reverend Canon Rosie Harper
Vicar of Great Missenden Parish Church 
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Supported by Arts Council England, Heart of Bucks Community Foundation and the School PTAs 





For more information about the work of the PTAs click on the links below:

Little Missenden School PTA (PSALMS)

Great Missenden Church of England Combined School PTA

Hyde Heath Infant School PTA