directors: frances

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More About frances

Frances Turnbull BSc (Hons) MEd HNC MBPsS FRSA is an early childhood music specialist, researcher, author and self-taught guitarist. Playing contemporary and community music from the age of 12, she trained as a maths and science high school teacher in South Africa before moving to England to teach. After working in varied industries in administration, she returned to music after having her daughter. She then trained in the specialist music education techniques of Kodály (singing focus), Dalcroze (movement focus) and Orff (percussion focus), whilst completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology (Open University) and master’s degree in education (University of Cambridge).

In addition to self-publishing a number of thematic early years music lesson planners and cds, Routledge published her first academic book, Learning with Music: Games and Activities for the Early Years (Routledge 2017). Since 2018, she has also been writing regularly for the early childhood magazine, Parenta. She has taught acoustic and electric guitar, delivered early years music to baby groups and nurseries, run afterschool primary music clubs, and still direct a local community choir, the Bolton Warblers, as well as researching and delivering music sessions in local care and residential homes.

Frances has always been fascinated by the different ways that people learn, possibly stemming from her own early Montessori education in South Africa, and enjoys following educational developments. She is particularly influenced by the approach of democratic education and the ideas of Pestalozzi, Maria Montessori, Paolo Freire, Margaret McMillan, John Dewey and Susan Isaacs, interestingly born in Turton and educated in Bolton, where she now lives.

As a member of the Musicians Union, Dalcroze Society, British Kodály Academy, Royal Society of Arts, and British Psychological Society, she also contributes to the development of Early Years Music profession in the Music Education Council, having represented the early years music practitioner community at the House of Commons in 2018.

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