Karl Jenkins attends charity singing workshop

12 July 2013, 13:04 | Updated: 17 July 2013, 12:48

His new salsa-inspired piece, Rondo Latino, will be performed at the Music For Youth Schools Proms in November by charity-funded The Out of Essex Project

Karl Jenkins took part in a singing workshop in Essex yesterday, with pupils from Ockenden Academy, Dilkes Academy and Beacon Hill Academy.  More than 100 young people from the three schools shared songs and took part in singing exercises before grilling Karl Jenkins on his career as one of the UK's top composers.

The project, funded by ICAP Charity Day with The Classic FM Foundation, was designed to unite hundreds of children and young people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to help them develop skills and confidence through their love of music-making. Some of the children taking part had severe disabilities and were unable to sing, but Jenkins described his piece as 'one size fits all' - the music uses percussion and clapping for those who can't sing, as well as simple words and a straightforward tune so it's easy to pick up, regardless of musical ability.

Part of the project's aim is for young people to perform, create and collaborate with music professionals.  After the Q & A session, Jenkins shared his thoughts on the importance of music: "Music teaches loyalty, discipline, working together," he said. "It's crucially important"

He added: "I've known Music for Youth for years; I've written for them before and they do fantastic work. With cuts in music funding it's a godsend to see projects like this which are important and should be nurtured."

The schools will come together again in September to learn the new song, in preparation for their Schools Prom performance in November.