National Centre for Early Music

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Happy Birthday, dear Henry


This resource provides an introduction to the life of Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695), one of England's finest composers. It is designed to help teachers of Key Stage 2 (or lower Key Stage 3) explore Purcell's life and music with the children they teach.

The resource is focused upon a dramatised presentation, during which three choristers from Purcell's time tell the story of his life and music. You can listen to a recording of this presentation, or, if you have more time, perform it in school with a class or the school choir. The presentation, notated versions of the songs and backing tracks can all be downloaded from this site. You can also download ideas for classroom activities that look at Purcell's life and music in more detail.

Follow the links below to explore the resources:

1. Listen to and/or perform the podcast presentation
    This dramatised presentation tells the story of Purcell and his music.

2. Sing some of Purcell's songs 
    Learn and perform the songs featured in the presentation.

3. Explore the teaching resources 
    Use the teaching resources to learn about Purcell's music, life and times in the classroom.

 Click on the links to discover more