Finding the right class was music to my ears ; Samantha Mattos, a stay-at-home mum from Bingham, is keen to get her two-year-old involved in live music.
MY daughter loves music - due, I believe, to my singing her nursery rhymes since before she was born, and to my taking her to tots music sessions since she was very young.
Living in East Yorkshire as we were at the start of her life, there were many local music sessions led by professional musicians trained in delivering quality live music-based workshops for young children.
When we moved to Nottinghamshire last year I started to look for something similar. The surprise has been it has taken me seven months to find it.
Being in a larger county, I had expected to be tripping over musician-led opportunities for little ones; but instead Nottingham seems to be dominated by music-based franchises. We tried several and on the whole have been disappointed, a loud CD player being the only music involved. The leaders are enthusiastic and energetic, and the sessions are packed so are clearly popular, but I came away with a feeling they weren't right for us.
My daughter soon got restless and irritable, a sure sign that whatever was going on was just not engaging her enough. From loud classes to those so disorganised they didn't even welcome us or feature any music at all for much of the time, they all fell short of the mark.
I was getting disheartened until we finally found what we were looking for in Car Colston.
The lady who runs it is musically trained and the session is entirely music-led and well planned. My daughter didn't lose interest once and was soon singing along and clapping loudly with a delighted look on her face. You may be wondering, 'what does it matter if there is no live music?' But this type of music workshops for children are well documented in improving not only musical understanding but also a myriad of other skills such as emotional development, social skills, language and confidence. There are a few live music-based classes dotted around Notts when you look hard enough, including free Rainbow Stripes sessions run at Sure Start centres, and it is worth seeking them out.
I am glad I did. Live music certainly makes a massive difference to my daughter, and when I am woken in the morning by a full rendition of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' being sung down the baby monitor, believe me there is no sweeter sound in the world.
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