September 2019 was a busy month for Director Frances Turnbull! Asked to write about music for a parenting magazine called Parenta, she developed a series of articles that ran to the end of the year. So many times, we are told that the people we sing with are not musical and cannot sing. And every single time, we have found that to be false!
Believing in empowering parents and children, Frances enjoys giving practical suggestions to achieve musical aims, as well as the reasons for her thinking. Based on her book, “Learning with Music: games and activities for the early years”, these articles break down the ways in which musical skills can be taught, and the additional skills that are supported.
The same month, Sound Sense, a community musicians union asked Frances to write about the state of the early childhood music community. Frances has for some time felt that this growing community could do with working together.
As an unregulated group, music leaders had a variety of specialisms, usually music through to early childhood care, and often had taken up additional training to ensure a balanced knowledge of both skills. Unsupported on the whole by music hubs, independent groups felt threatened by franchises that had centralised administration, while franchises felt discriminated against for being money focussed.
These were her ideas on how to bring together a disparate sector towards simple things like child safeguarding training and checks, insurances, pensions and all of the perks of other forms of employment.
Creating a supportive group to unite the sector is still a passion of not only Frances but Melanie too, and we will be taking this forward over the next few months.