Sherard Road Songbirds

April 14, 2023

In January 2023, NYJO Learning were delighted to announce a new partnership with Age UK Greenwich on a community singing group. Named ‘Sherard Road Songbirds’ by its members, the group is open to anyone who may benefit from experiencing music in this social setting. We hope that the group will allow its members to discover the power of singing for pleasure, make friends, and find a new sense of belonging through music.

Our members told us told us they want to come together as a group and do activity-based sessions. Not only do our members want to learn something new but also have the chance to make contacts which will lead to lifelong friendships beyond the lifetime of our groups. We recognise the power of singing which fits in with our central aim of addressing loneliness and isolation. Singing in a group helps makes social links and improve social networks.

Marie Griffin, Age UK Bromley and Greenwich


The choir meets on Wednesdays from 14:00 – 16:00 at Age UK’s centre in Eltham, Greenwich. So far, they have worked on songs including, ‘You’ve Got a Friend’, ‘I’ve Got Rhythm’, and ‘Fever’, supported by our brilliant leader Bryony Jarman-Pinto and accompanied weekly by a NYJO Emerging Professional musician.

I think the group will benefit in many ways. The social aspect for one, we know group singing can lessen stress and loneliness. Also singing will encourage lung health and core support. Already from the first session a participant mentioned he felt more confident to sing!

Bryony Jarman-Pinto, Singing Group Leader


If you think that you would benefit from joining NYJO’s community singing group, please contact NYJO’s Learning Programmes Manager Beth Ismay at [email protected].


It was wonderful.  Fabulous teacher – so professional (and a beautiful voice!).   Lovely group – we had fun.

Sherard Road Songbirds Member

Lucy-Anne (EP quote)

“Since joining NYJO, I’m so much more confident as a performer. Especially in terms of being able to entertain and keep the crowd engaged with you. It’s really nice to be able to feel that difference.” 

Lucy-Anne, NYJO Emerging Professional (Vocals)

Georgia (EP quote)

“It’s hard to just learn this music in the practice room but being immersed in the music at NYJO is a great environment to really push my playing. ” 

Georgia Ayew, NYJO Emerging Professional (Drums)

Sam Eastmond (MD quote)

"Giving them space to create whatever they wanted, without setting parameters of idiom or style helped them to conceptualise how they could bring these new concepts into their work without scaring them off, or mystifying the process."

Sam Eastmond, NYJO Educator

Jazzwise quote

"NYJO has never been conformist, never hewing to one particular line, never known for fawning replications and very deliberately these days a vehicle for new possibilities."

Jazzwise Magazine

Lydia (EP quote)

"The past year has been an absolutely incredible experience, pushing me way out of my comfort zone into playing with some of the greatest young jazz players of my generation and getting to call them my colleagues and friends has been beyond inspiring, and also an obscene amount of fun!"

Lydia Cochrane, NYJO Emerging Professional (Saxophone)

Anna (Learning national quote)

"[The NYJO residential in Cumbria] helped me to make friends with other young musicians. I enjoy playing a lot more and I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished. I feel more confident now. I have learnt different ways of coming up with solid melodies and also a little bit on harmonies. I think it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had."

Anna, NYJO Learning Widening Access participant

Briony (Learning U18s quote)

"I’ve felt very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing musicians, and I think that the environment at NYJO – which has fostered creativity and improvisation – has allowed my confidence and musical ideas to grow."

Briony, NYJO Under 18s

Oscar (Learning U18s quote)

"I think I’ve progressed a lot in my piano-playing. NYJO has helped me to flourish and really enjoy it. I’ve really enjoyed being engrossed in a high level of playing and learning things in a hands-on-way. I also like the diversity of perspectives and abilities of all the players and teachers which enables me to try things I might not normally."

Oscar, NYJO Under 18s

Jennie (Learning U18s quote)

"NYJO has got me listening to more jazz and learning more changes. It has also helped with working as a band. I’ve really enjoyed the free jazz, learning by ear, the people, and the atmosphere."

Jennie, NYJO Under 18s

Leah-Anais (Learning U18s quote)

"I love the people at NYJO. Everyone here is so encouraging and lovely and it makes the experience worthwhile. Though I have fun I’m still learning on the way which makes me feel productive too."

Leah-Anais, NYJO Under 18s

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