Giving children positive, first musical experiences have been an essential part of my practice as a music educator for the past 20 years. I have worked extensively in schools and early years settings across Cornwall and have managed and developed high quality participation projects that show categorically how essential positive musical play is when developing young children’s speech, language and communication.
As a Lead Practitioner with Kernow Education Arts Project, I delivered on the “Onwards and Upwards”, an in-depth training programme for musicians and early years practitioners in settings in North Cornwall, embedding and enhancing links across a local community. This involved working regularly with non-specialists, supporting planning and mentoring other musicians throughout the programme.
With Creative Partnerships (Cornwall) and through my own freelance work, I worked in collaboration with nurseries, children’s centre’s, schools, children’s charities and other organisations to build programmes of work that were highly individualised to meet the needs and intended outcomes of each setting. In partnership with an early years programme at The Eden Project I developed a programme entitled “Tots Rock’, that broke down the barriers that often generic (packaged) early years music delivery can sometimes cause. By using a variety of music styles, my sessions involved guitar, percussion (often using Djembe/doun doun and other World music percussion), pre-recorded sounds and music. “Tots Rock’ shifted the perception of early years music being all nursery rhymes and traditional action games to embrace a new way of working with pop culture, world music and became a cult following amongst the Cornish parenting and carers groups.
Over the past 5 years I have undertaken a BA (Hons) in Professional Practice (Education), using my Early Years music practice in Special Education settings as a starting point for more in depth practice.
In 2016, I was appointed Director of Music for the Bridge Multi Academy Trust in Cornwall, developing programmes of CPD for Primary and early Years settings as part of practical curriculum projects. One such project ‘ Lost and Found’ also linked to KEAP’s Early Years installation of Oliver Jeffers world, where over 15 nursery and Primary leaders were supported to encourage music and play based on the authors well -loved books.
As a Professional musician, I have been a drummer/percussionist, bass and lead guitarist and vocalist in several successful bands both on independent and major labels. I am confident in using recording, digital technology and sound equipment in all school settings and can show how new technology can really enhance music making in education.
As an Artist, I understand the need to collaborate and invent in the moment, reflecting the creativity that can be found in a high quality early years environment. I understand how scary music can be, often based on poor first experiences and am passionate that music can be shared and celebrated in all kinds of inclusive and exciting ways. With this in mind I like to share my love of music, sense of play and ways to make a lot of noise.