NMPositiviT is here to share positive content and ways for you to still be involved with NMPAT from a distance.

We miss you and hope to see you again soon. In the meantime, here are some things you can get involved with to maintain music at home.

Resources for download

You can find full coverage on our social media pages, with highlights and downloadable resources available below.

For specific resources relating to your instrumental or vocal lessons please visit the resources for lessons page.
Information and resources for curriculum music, as well as learning from home, can be found on the resources for school staff page.

For Wellbeing, jump down the page.  This section includes content from Action for Happiness, That Wellbeing Guy and Young Minds as well as colouring in sheets, recommended TED Talks, downloadable calendars/planners and more…

Have you listened to the NMPositiviT playlist yet?  We have created a playlist of positive tunes to help motivate you through this difficult time.  If you would like to add anything to it, do get in touch at  For YouTube, where we are able to include county group performance videos where requested, click here.  If Spotify is more your thing, you can find the playlist at this link.

“You name it!” A composition idea based around the letters of your name.

If you need some help to practice effectively while you’re at home, check out Miss Coles Patent Practice Techniques! All of these exercises can be applied to any instrument, you can use them right from when you start learning and they’re still helpful if you’re working towards your grade 8.

For almost 80 years, Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio 4) have asked their castaways to contemplate life in isolation, cut off from family and friends and the security of everyday routine.  Now a reality for us all, they are asking us to share with them the music that is motivating us to get through lockdown, as well as the story behind it. There will be a special programme broadcast on June 5th, more information can be found here:

Our 7 tips for staying motivated…

  1. Write down what motivates you.  Music is fun, and making music with friends is even more fun!
  2. Give yourself a daily goal.  It doesn’t have to be a big challenge, but you can ‘go large’ if you want to!
  3. Motion creates emotion.  Can’t be bothered to get up? Think Nike and ‘just do it’ – you’ll feel better!
  4. Keep leaning.  Learning is fun, learners are earners, learning makes you interesting and keeps you interested.
  5. Hang out with superstars.  Look for the people you most want to emulate.
  6. Reward yourself.  Celebrate little wins with a pat on the back or a victory dance – you did it!
  7. Believe in yourself! Motivation is internal, if you believe you will fail or if you believe you will succeed… you are right!

Lots of you enjoying getting involved with the National Youth Orchestra as they celebrated Beethoven and performed Ode to Joy across the country.  On Friday 29th May, you are invited to perform a rendition of Jupiter from your own front garden.  Downloadable parts and details of how to get involved can be found on the NYO website.

Why not design your own logo for NMPAT? You could start with one of ours and colour it in, or completely change it! Send your masterpieces to

You could try creating an Easter egg ready for the NMPositiviT egg hunt, coming soon…

Here is an innovative way to help you learn your scales – make your own scale dice! All the instructions are on the template, and if you get stuck you can always email us for help:

‘Grater grooves’ with kitchen instruments! What can you find at home that might make a musical sound? With the permission of an adult, give your favourite mug/bowl/glass a tap with a chopstick and see where it takes you…

Have you seen our wall of origami cranes at NMPAT? Have a go at making your own or start with something a bit simpler:

Have you ever listened to a whole symphony, all the way through? Give it a try! See how it makes you feel.  Here are some of our favourites to get you started:

Have you recorded yourself playing? Send it to a friend or family member and ask them to give you some feedback! What was their favourite bit, what could you improve on next time? 

Why not try writing your very own song… you could record it and share it with friends and family to connect with them in a creative way.  This worksheet has some great hints and tips for getting started:

The National Youth Jazz Orchestra have launched a Virtual Academy – create a virtual big band in your own home, immerse yourself in the classics or get to work on your improvisation…

On Saturday 4th July the very first NMPAT Virtual Centre event took place, featuring members from all 13 centres perfoming “With a Little Help from my Friends”.  Resources are still available, including this signing video, taking you through some makaton signs for the song.  For more information please contact Laura Bendy:

On the last Try It Tuesday of the summer term we challenge you to find faces in unusual places

At the very beginning of this isolation period, we hosted a virtual festival to try and replicate the Music for Youth Northampton Regional Festival that should have taken place that weekend.  We were able to share lots of current or very recent concert performances, as well as some throwback specials, from nearly every group that had entered.  You can look back at all the performances we shared here. 

NMPAT County players have been collaborating whilst in isolation

  •  Bassosaurus Rock – Bass Players of the county have spent their lock down time being creative as well as practising hard, and recorded this arrangement of “Bassosaurus Rock” to accompany a series of self-portraits.
  •  Words: (Anders Edenroth) – County Youth Choir were due to tour in Spain this Easter, and chose to mark the occasion with this recording of a piece they were looking forward to performing for Spanish audiences.
  •  Norse Legend – Like many, the County Wind Ensemble were disappointed not to have been able to showcase their hard work at the MFY Northampton Regional Festival in  March. As an alternative, they managed to perform “Norse Legend” from isolation.  
  •   Summon the Spirits – NYPE recorded themselves performing “Summon the Spirits” on alternative instruments they found at home – excellent creativity going on.
  •   Fiddlin’ with the Classics – It’s the turn of the County Training Strings to share the success of their continuing practice. They are accompanied by some of their own artwork! 
  • As the Deer (Martin Nystrom & James Wright) – Our partner band in Uganda, the Mbale Schools Band recorded this tribute to all those who have lost their lives to Covid-19 at their last rehearsal before lock down in March. The band includes players sponsored in the name of NMPAT. 
  • Somebody that I used to know (Gotye) – Members of Guitarlactica recorded this arrangement from their own homes and featured some of their highlights from recent years.
  • Finlandia (Sibelius, arr. Meyer)County Junior Orchestra were missing weekly rehearsals and used SmartMusic to listen to the track as they recorded their part.
  • Hot Toddy – Members of County Youth Brass Band recorded this track, originally performed at Youth in Concert 2019, bringing the academic year to a close.

NMPAT Staff have also managed to find some time to practice while not being able to teach – have a look at what your teachers get up to when they’re not at school…

  •  Brass staff performing “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”
  •  Axis of NMPAT – the guitar team collaborating on the four chord song
  •  Bohemian Rhapsody – brass staff duo Meghan Foster and Andy Macfarlane perform an arrangement the classic Queen hit
  • New Beats – one of four NMPAT recital teams that make weekly visits to schools across the county.  For more information, or to book a visit for your school, contact us at

NMPAT Alumni have also been collaborating whilst in isolation

  • Clarinet quartet performing Caprice by Carol Grundman, to keep themselves connected and spread musical joy
  • Tuba quartet – all former NMPAT students, three now studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and one now a member of the NMPAT brass team, performing Music 4 Tubas by John Stevens

You can find all performances recorded during lockdown, from students, staff and alumni, at this link: Watch It Wednesday

Thank YOU from the NMPositiviTeam! Your continued contributions, support, engagement and determination to keep the music going at home has meant that we can keep feeling the #NMPositiviT! Thanks so much from all of us!

Lots of you are taking to the streets to perform as part of the clap for carers in support of the NHS.  Scottish band Skerryvore have been so inspired by people showing their care during this difficult time that they have written and released a charity single: Everyday Heroes.  Below, you can find copies of this tune in various keys – perhaps you could learn this to perform on a Thursday evening to help raise the profile of their single.  Proceeds are going towards the NHS and Covid-19 charities. 

Joshua is learning the clarinet at school and recorded this tribute moving to the NHS:

Jemima is fundraising as part of the marathon challenge, as she practices 26 scales over 2.6 weeks, on both her violin and piano.  Read more on her challenge here.

Lots of orchestras, venues and other arts organisations are kindly streaming performances, some live, during this time.  Here are some of our favourites to get you started:

Xavier is having lessons with Mr Bell, and wrote a song with his siblings to thank all key workers, celebrate the achievements of Sir Tom Moore, and remind us all of the importance of staying home and washing our hands:

We are particularly thankful for our site staff who are spending time ensuring the NMPAT building is safe to return to soon, and the administrative team who have continued to work from home, communicating with staff, schools and members and putting new systems in place throughout the lockdown.  We’d also like to take a moment to show our gratitude to the person at the helm of NMPAT. Peter Smalley has shaped us into the inspiring, nurturing and excellent community we are now. Thank you from us all for leading with a smile.

Maybe you could have a virtual rehearsal with your friends, and record a virtual concert! Have a go at Ode to Joy, or choose your favourite piece.  What new ways have you found to keep in touch with your music friends?

  • Ode to Joy – Quartet arrangement for any instruments

Have you created any new instruments from things you’ve found at home? Why not give the Pringlino a go…

We love the Beat Goes On body percussion workshops! They’re a great way to get active and rhythmic with music.

Have you tried the NMPositiviT Quiz?? Test your knowledge of NMPAT, music theory, general music and NMPAT Staff:

Make Music Day UK falls on Sunday 21st June, which also should have been the annual outing of the NMPAT Family Band in Abington Park.  For inspiration and ideas for getting involved in virtual music making on that day, check out the Make Music Day website.

On Friday 19th June, the Philharmonia Orchestra streamed a performance of The Planets from a recording made at Watford Colosseum in 2012.  The performances featured an extra final movement composed specifically for the installation, and is still available to watch on their YouTube channel.

Can you guess which members of NMPAT Staff these images represent..?

We’ve had fun chatting to staff in online meetings recently, and they’ve all added some tunes to the #NMPositiviT playlist! You can find the full playlist on YouTube or Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe, and let us know the tunes that will keep you bouncing through the summer hols!

The NMPositiviT Bank Holiday Quiz!

Friday 28th August

  • Round 1 Where is this..? is 12 photos taken around the NMPAT building – can you tell us where?
  • Round 2 Composers – say what you see to work out which 18 composers are hidden
  • Answers for rounds 1 & 2

Saturday 29th August

  • Round 3 NMPAT History – lots has happened in our 51 year history, how much do you know?
  • Round 4 Orchestral works – say what you see to reveal 18 famous orchestral masterpieces
  • Answers for round 3 & 4

Sunday 30th August

  • Round 5 “Check the website” – you will find the answers to all 12 questions someone on this very website…
  • Round 6 Musicals – say what you see to find the titles of 18 favourite musicals
  • Answers for round 5 & 6

Monday 31st August

  • Round 7 The new NMPAT tests your knowledge of the new measures we have put in place to ensure Covid security
  • Round 8 Musical terms – possibly the most challenging say what you see… good luck!
  • Answers for round 7 & 8

If you’re missing your regular music and drama activities, hopefully these fun worksheets will help to get your mini NMPAT-fix!

A collection of word searches can be found under “Other NMPAT resources” here.

Music for Youth Elevate Festival 2020 celebrated creativity in lockdown, diversity, live music, and looking forward.  You can find the full festival here.

NMPositiviT board game: this game has been created for those with a little background knowledge of NMPAT. It features questions and activities in four categories: act it out; general musicianship; NMPAT trivia and scenarios.  See if you can be the first to overcome the obstacles and reach the chequered flag!

Please share your game experiences with us! We’d love to see you playing it:


A selection of resources shared as part of the Wellbeing event in 2020. This page is regularly updated with hints and tips for keeping your wellbeing in tip-top shape!

We now offer Music and Wellbeing projects as part of our school curriculum delivery.  This short video gives an overview of the projects and forms of delivery:

NMPAT Music and Wellbeing

Action for Happiness publish a calendar every month with a different theme.  You can find calendars for every month here.

Did you know there is an Action for Happiness group in Northampton?! You can find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and more general info about these groups is available here.

The Action for Happiness app is available for download on iOS and Android.

That Wellbeing Guy is a teacher, speaker, writer, coach and consultant on all areas of education, using his expertise to help schools transform their communities for the better.

Young Minds are aiming for a future where all young minds are equally supported and empowered.  They work to make sure young people get the best possible mental health support and resilience to keep going.

Student Minds is the UK’s mental health charity for students aims to empower members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others, and create change, so that all in higher education can thrive.

Their website contains a wide range of resources, in addition to those linked below, including support through a family crisis, coping with student life and coming out as LGBTQ+.

The Listening Passport

The Listening Passport is an opportunity to reflect on your listening experience during the Covid-19 pandemic. Listen to sounds, and note down your feelings, and the things you see and hear around you.   

TED talks

The TED talks website has thousands of inspiring and educational talks to watch, you can browse by subject or playlist.  This link takes you straight to their bundle of happiness!

Whale Synth

You can layer up the calls of different whale species as your mix your own soothing sounds, leaving you feeling chilled and peaceful… 

Get Into Theatre

Get Into Theatre believe that all young people should have the same opportunities to access careers within theatre.  Whether its backstage or performing, you can find out about training, apprenticeships, job information and advice all in one place.

Future Me

This is a remarkable time we are living through, and we’re all learning lots about ourselves.  What a great idea to send an email to your future self so you don’t forget everything you’ve learnt?  Maybe you’ve got some advice for future you, or you’d like to congratulate yourself for coping so well in lockdown.

The Positive Page Company

The Positive Page exists to help people with positivity, self love and mental health. Their community aims to bridge the gap between those suffering with poor mental health to those who don’t yet understand it.

You can find them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  Their website also contains lots of resources:

Move this world

Resources for parents to encourage social emotional learning at home.

"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

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