teaching


Bethany Elen is a freelance educator,  facilitator, teacher and music practitioner.

She teaches solo, group and ensemble music and voice work in a range of informal, school and community settings. She employs a range of methodologies and approaches dependent on the student/participants learning styles and abilities. 

 

Bethany enjoys creating and developing bespoke, tailored workshops and educational music work. She has worked within a diverse range of communities settings and learning environments, with various participants and groups.

 

A full CV and portfolio of work is available upon request, please see below for film, photographic and musical evidence and further examples of recent work.

 

For further information please contact: info@bethanyelen.co.uk 

  • Please see below for picture gallery of teaching 
  • Recent examples of work can be found HERE
  • Click HERE for details of commission and compostition work
  • Links to articles reporting my education and community participation and engagement projects can be found HERE

 


CHOIRS & COMMUNITY MUSIC GROUPS

I currently lead the following choirs and community music groups:

  • NORTH EAST SOCIALIST SINGERS - based in NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
  • DERWENT VOICES - based in BLACKHALL MILL, GATESHEAD
  • STANLEY SILVER SINGERS - based in STANLEY, DURHAM
  • SOUTH SHIELDS SILVER SINGERS - based in SOUTH SHIELDS

some snapshots of my facilitation and teaching work...


JOURNEY TO JUSTICE 'SING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE' - SUMMER 2015

As part of my work with Journey to Justice North East, I devised and delivered a community music participatory project delivered project 'Sing for Social Justice' in local North East schools throughout which the student participants explored human rights, civil rights, democratic rights and the use of music and song as tool to protest and campaign. We created wonderful musical materials, poetry and songs (some of which I still sing today with NESS! (North East Socialist Singers). We used these works to highlight a range of social and economic problems, identified by the students during discussion and exploration of local, national and world new, views, politics and free thinking.
Coincidentally the main issues raised by the children were the same three stated by Martin Luther King during his acceptance speech at Newcastle University, the problems of:

  • war
  • racism
  • poverty

Also highlighted by the students were the issues of:

  • homophobia
  • global warming / environmental pollution
  • sexism

It was a wonderful experience working with the children, sharing our stories, thoughts and ideas and learning about their views on the world and the issues most prevalent to them. 

 

A film documentary of the project can be found HERE, audio recordIngs of our compositions can be found HERE and examples of lyrics are below:

 

 

HEROES & BELIEVERS (Exploring the themes of US CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT LEADERS) 

Written with year 5 students at St. Benet’s School, Ouston, Durham

CHORUS
We will stand together

Friends forever

Protest in song

Marching as one

Remember our leaders

Heroes, believers

Brave, determined and strong

 

Rosa Parks was brave

People she tried to save

She fought for beliefs

Persecution she received

She stayed on the bus

It caused a lot of fuss

She was prepared to fight

To SIT DOWN for her rights!

CHORUS 

 

Ruby was a little child

Who wished to live a normal life

White parents did not approve

Took their children out of school

In a classroom, on her own

For a year she learned all alone

Ruby was brave and strong

Stood up against what was wrong

CHORUS 

 

Martin Luther King

Believed all should be equal

Campaigned for democracy

of all black people

He fought for freedom

and civil rights

And for his dreams

He lost his life

CHORUS 

 

LIVING IS GIVING (Exploring the issue of POVERTY)

Written with year 4 students at Hotspur Primary School, Heaton, Newcastle

 

CHORUS -

When you walk down the street

Do you see the people sleep 

In bags, in rags, in poverty

Life is worth living

So let’s begin giving,

Caring for those in need

 

People go hungry whilst some have the best

Food is rotting whilst money means less

Some are starving and some have steak

Some lie snoring and some shiver awake

When you walk down the street

 

Every person should have a home

Warmth and shelter from the cold

Lives turned upside down

We could one day be where they are now

When you walk down the street

 

There are things you can do

Like donate money, clothes and food

In this life nothing comes for free

So share what you do not need

When you walk down the street

 

RAP

Can’t afford a house

Can’t afford shoes

Can’t afford clothes

Can’t afford food

Rich have chandeliers

Poor can’t afford beers

Rich people travel far

Poor people can’t afford a car

It seems strange to people like us

Poor people can’t afford a bus

 

IT DOESN’T MATTER -  (Exploring the issue of RACISM)

Written with year 4 students at Hotspur Primary School, Heaton, Newcastle

 

CHORUS

Colour and class - it doesn’t matter

Culture and creed - it doesn’t matter

Maybe we should work together

Campaign for peace and equality

Rights = family

Wrongs = lonely (x 2)

Come, celebrate our diversity

Campaign for peace and equality!

 

Doesn’t matter bout the colour of your skin

Doesn’t matter about your religion

Doens’t matter if your Hindu, Buddhist, Jew

We’re all the same, him, her, me, you!

CHORUS

 

Doesn’t matter about nationality

What counts is compassion and equality

Doesn’t matter bout where you were raised

Doesn’t matter bout the colour of your face

CHORUS

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re straight or gay

Everyone should have equal say

Don’t worry about your sex or your size

All that matters is inside

CHORUS

 

EQUALITY (Exploring the issues of EQUALITY, HOMOPHOBIA) 

Written with year 4 students at Hotspur Primary School, Heaton, Newcastle

 

CHORUS

Equality

It’s your heart, your life, your body, your rights

Equality

Be strong, be true, be beautiful, be you!

 

Women banned from education

Why is this allowed to happen?

Surely it must be illegal

Why aren’t men and women equal

People discover they are gay

Each and every single day

Ignore what the others say

Follow your heart, don’t be afraid

CHORUS

 

Suffragette’s fought for our right to vote

Many saw the fighting and couldn’t cope

But some brave women rose above

Stood up for their rights

Changed the world

Girls don’t have to wear make up

They can make their own mind up

So much pressure to be thin

To dress to impress, all with a grin!

CHORUS

 

Not only men can change things

Remember Rosa Parks

alongside Martin Luther King

So many women from history

Who’s influence shines down on me

CHORUS

 

Don’t ever be afraid to show

The talent that lies below

Hatred is fear, rise above

We love you for you, not what you’re not

CHORUS

 

 

STOP ALL WARS NOW (Exploring the theme of WAR)

Written with year 4 students at Hotspur Primary School, Heaton, Newcastle

 

War destroys, lives and hearts

We can all play our part

We must make peace, end this pain

So join us and sing our campaign

What are we fighting for?

Can we not share, oil and land

What are we living for?

 

If not for peace

There’s no reason to start a war

People die near and far

of gun shots and broken hearts

Stop all wars, now!

 

Stop the fighting, and agree

That we can live in peace

Let’s put down our guns

live as friends

Stop all wars, now!

 

Bombs kill, hurting everything

Sobbing women, injured men

Soldiers die, canon fire

Stop all wars, now!

 

RAP

Exploding bombs 

banging guns

slashing swords 

bashing drums

groaning mouths

here us shout

Stop all wars now!

 

OUR FUTURE (Exploring the issue of GLOBAL WARMING AND THE ENVIRONMENT)

Written with year 4 students at Hotspur Primary School, Heaton, Newcastle

 

RAP

The world is changing

Ice caps are melting

Amazon is dying

Plants are wilting

Poachers are killing

Pollution is spreading

Trees are a falling as the

Globe is Warming

Deforestation, so unfair

Cuts out oxygen in the air

A world of flowers plants and bees

Is suffocating, save the trees!

 

CHORUS

Let’s work together as one, 

Build a world powered by the sun

We can live in peace, happy and free

Create a future for you and me

 

Dirty water, carried for miles

We must change our ways if we are to survive

Wasting earth’s energy is not good

Turn off the lights when you leave a room

CHORUS

 

Animals dying for skin and meat


Forests falling very second we speak

Smoking is bad for everyone’s health

Global warming kills the plants!

CHORUS

 

 



british values - folk culture festival

During the summer term of 2015, I worked with classes in 15 schools throughout Bishop Aukland. Working as one of a team of four artists, we worked collaboratively contrasting our own chosen mediums of music*, dance, photography and storytelling to explore the history of British folk cultures and the complex idea of 'British Values'. Utilising my passion (skills and training) in traditional folk culture, I taught the children a range of folk music from the UK and the further afield the British diaspora, exploring and celebrating our eclectic culture and heritage. 

 

Our project website with resources, documentation and further information can be found here.

 

 

...More to follow soon... please check back regularly for updates!