Sinfonia Viva



A STEAM project using music and science to aid understanding in STEM subjects.

The story of energy looks at how we used to make electricity, what the problems were, and what we can now do instead.

The story of energy has three/four main parts:

1) The invention of electricity and power stations (could be combined with 2 or skipped over)

2) The use of fossil fuels to make LOTS of energy (inventions, travel, making stuff, life style changes)

3) The problems from using fossil fuels (run out and climate change)

4) New solutions (renewable energy and energy efficiency/using less)

Our STEAM projects are a collaboration to deliver activity on an identified need by Derby primary schools teachers:

  • To support STEM delivery that is helps to engage primary aged children in a way that is creative, accessible and stimulating
  • To use music as a tool for aspirational delivery and to provide more creating writing and composing opportunities for YP

Consultation on and evaluation of each project means we are delivering relevant work and developing future work plans based on 360-degree evaluation. Young people are at the very heart of our delivery. It is a collaboration in the truest sense, with young people suggesting activity and themes, writing their own songs and performing them to their peers and very importantly helping to evaluate the success of the project in achieving its aims.

This project will enable more young people to fulfil their potential and increase aspiration. By working with young people and developing new ways of working with KS2 we are supporting knowledge and aspiration at an early age, helping them to be at the heart of creating new lyrics, songs, workshops and a performance in which they tell the audience all about STEM subjects. This project supports learning and development of young people, increasing knowledge, teamwork, confidence and aspirations of those taking part and building connections with local companies and community.

Schools Packages:

Primary School Learning Project: Cost per school is £150 (plus additional tickets as required)

This includes the following elements:

  • Teacher/s attendance at Primary Singing & STEM CPD Session
  • Workpack and CD with songs and maths activities to be teacher led in school
  • 2 or 3 (as required) x hour-long DMEH singing support session in school to help learn songs
  • Visit by Rolls Royce team to support coding workshop (TBC)
  • Attendance of the final performance at Derby Theatre.  Price includes 30 children’s tickets with up to 5 adults
  • Additional children’s tickets charged at £4.00 per child with up to 5 accompanying adults (per 30 children) free of charge
Expected outcomes

In collaboration we design the projects to have a range of objectives and positive outcomes both on individuals and the communities in the longer-term laying foundations for increased social mobility:

  • Involvement of YP from all backgrounds and all abilities
  • Development of creative skills and building confidence and self esteem
  • Working across different schools and age ranges 
  • Positive relationships building and communication between children, parents and carers, Schools, Early Years settings and local community.
  • The opportunity to engage in aspirational activity
  • Embedding skills within the local communities
  • Bringing together musicians, scientists, engineers and teachers to develop a range of inspirational activities linked to the STEM and early years, primary national curriculum
  • Producing work packs for early years and primary school teachers to deliver in school
  • Strengthening team working skills and encourage group creativity through music writing sessions.
  • Working closely with participating teachers to provide skills sharing opportunities, through a CPD session, led by  STEM ambassadors, Sinfonia Viva musicians and a DMEH singing support leader, and follow-up visits by DMEH singing support leader.
  • To give young people from Derbyshire and surrounding areas the opportunity to share a professional concert platform with Sinfonia Viva in a public performance and to enable school students to perform as active audience members in a performance which is specially crafted to meet their needs


Although this story focuses specifically on energy, it can be used to convey wider ideas/themes, namely:

1) We took a natural resource for granted and used to much of it. We didn’t think what the consequences/impacts might be

2) There are serious consequences/impacts!

3) We can now be more careful - not only with energy but with all our uses and activities (e.g. plastic). We shouldn’t taken anything for granted. We should think how we use stuff. And when we invent/start new things we should think though what the impacts/consequences might be.

Class packs

In addition to The Story of Energy and the accompanying songs, the science side of these focuses on the turbine and its role in The Story of Energy.

  1. Background: A turbine is turned by something (water, air, steam). This can be used to make electricity.
  2. Creative Activity: Make your own turbine. Try turning it in air (blowing) or water (under the tap). Kits, guides or materials provided. Enough elements for them to vary/choose to assess effectiveness (different styles or materials etc). Ways to test/measure which work best.
  3. Guided activity: Make electricity from a turbine: A kit to turn a turbine to make electricity - light up a bulb etc
  4. Creativity Activity: Invent your own renewable energy device. Think of something renewable (won’t run out) that could be used to turn a turbine (rain, tide, football fans, farts etc…). Present/draw/explain ideas within the class. Critically assess ideas (materials, feasibility, renewability, amount of energy produced etc).
  5. Present Activity: Pick X best ideas (or work in groups from the beginning and present all ideas). Work in groups to present them (pictures, posters, model, video company pitches…). These will be included in the final performance (videos could be integrated in and/or posters/models/pictures could be displayed in the foyer etc).



Themes that are included that might link to parts of the curriculum (the non-musical bits):

  • Curiosity and understanding of our world
  • What is electricity (and how is it made)
  • Electrical circuits
  • Human development/industrial revolution/technological revolution
  • Climate change
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Saving energy
  • Natural resource use
  • Interactions between physical (weather, climate change) and human (energy production, carbon emissions) processes
  • Renewable energy
  • Using creativity and imagination - making their own designs
  • Materials - what types of materials and their properties, and what works best for a set invention (a turbine) or their own inventions (new forms of renewable energy)
  • Planning, making, reviewing
  • Evaluating ideas/design
  • Presentation skills
  • Ideas of impacts and consequences


To book this activity, please contact:
Simone Lennox-Gordon

Sinfonia Viva,
11 Robinson Estate
Shaftesbury Street
DE23 8NL Derby Derbyshire

The STEM Directory is provided as a service to support you in finding enrichment opportunities. The activities are offered by external providers and are not endorsed by STEM Learning. We are not responsible for their content or delivery.


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