Diocese of Leeds’s Keyboard Studies Programme

In July 2021, I (Rob Barraclough, Director of Primary Standards) met with Keyboard Studies Programme Director, David Pipe to discuss the possibility of introducing the newly established Diocesan Keyboard Programme into the Trust’s wider curriculum offer. At this time, the Trust already bought into the Diocesan Singing Programme for all 15 of its schools.


The vision I had was to weave the two programmes together over the duration of Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) so that, typically, pupils in lower Key Stage 2 would have singing tuition and then graduate seamlessly in upper Key Stage 2 onto the Diocesan Keyboard Programme.

The BKCAT Board of Directors and CEO, presented with this proposal, were determined to support the Diocese and place music at the centre of the BKCAT offer, ensuring that every pupil across KS2 in our Trust had a high-quality, weekly music lesson. These ambitious programmes, led by some of the most talented musicians in the country, have had a transformational impact on the lives of our students over the past three years.

The investment in 750 melodicas (c. £25k) and the annual SLA (c. £20k) is a testament to the board’s commitment to place opportunity and aspiration at the heart of the BKCAT’s strategic plan and we are delighted that the impact of this decision, some three years later, is both clear to see and recognised by world-renowned figures such as composer and choral conductor, John Rutter CBE.

– Rob Barraclough, Director of Primary Standards

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