Meet the Directors!

Frances Turnbull, Director
Frances Turnbull, Director

Frances Turnbull BSc (Hons) Psych MEd HNC (Music and Movement in the Early Years) 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 distance bachelor degree in psychology (Open University) and part time 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). She has taught acoustic and electric guitar, delivered early years music to baby groups and nurseries, run afterschool primary music clubs, and still directs 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!

As a member of the Musicians Union, Dalcroze Society, British Kodaly 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.

Melanie Cossins, Director
Melanie Cossins, Director

Melanie Cossins BA (Hons) Cache Dip 3 CPD Cert Early Years Music has been teaching music to children for over fifteen years and built up a wealth of experience working with parents and young children, nurseries, junior and infants, as well as adults. She is proud to have worked with the Wakefield Theatre Royal Performance Academy as a singing tutor; she also led adult mental health and wellbeing singing groups and sessions for vulnerable teenagers. In 2017 she secured substantial funding from Wakefield Council Culture Cures to run creative projects for mental health and wellbeing, around the district.

Much of her youth was spent dancing where she competed against Melanie Brown (aka Spice Girl Mel B) and she was also a member of the Wakefield Youth Choir. At school she played clarinet and saxophone however left music behind, believing she was not “musical enough”!

Her intention on leaving university was to work in television, however after suffering severe depression her path changed. During her time living in Poole, she joined a Performance Academy and started to lead singing with young children. It was at this point that she realised how much she loved singing and teaching. On finding out that she had Crohn’s Disease she returned back to her home town of Wakefield with her husband and set up Music for Minors (early years music classes).

Over the years she has been on many Kodály training courses and now works using this philosophy. In 2017 she travelled to Budapest in Hungary (home of Zoltán Kodály) to visit their nurseries where the Kodály philosophy is still practised and music is an essential part of their education system. She was lucky to have training from one of the top Hungarian Kodály tutors, Helga Dietrich, whilst there, as well as visiting Kodály’s home and the Kodály music institute in Kesckemét.

Singing is a massive part of her life. She truly believes that it has helped her mental health and wellbeing and she has seen the effects on other people too. Her interesting facts including appearing on the National Lottery Jetset programme, meeting Eamon Holmes, and looking around the Blue Peter Garden (then in London).

She is also a member of Musicians Union and Sound Sense.

Pamela Eaton, Director
Pamela Eaton, Director

From leaving school, Pamela Eaton BSc MA RHV RMHN MIHPE PGCE Dip Counselling (Dementia Friend) had an over-riding ambition to help to improve people’s lives. At the beginning she only wanted to work with children and young people. To this end, she trained and practised nursery nursing, then paediatric nursing and obstetrics. She especially enjoyed working with children and young people with disabilities. She then went on to general nursing, working with adults in many settings. Health visiting meant that she could use a holistic approach to caring for and supporting all members of the family and the community, from cradle to grave. An interesting time was her work in public health with families of prisoners. She has always enjoyed singing, finding that it alleviated many stressful situations in the community, and in hospitals and hospices.

Her passion for providing the best possible support led her to work on national Government projects in identifying and establishing measurable standards for nursing and health visiting. This also involved training staff nationally on achieving these standards and implementing them in the community and hospitals. Working across the age spectrum in the community in Bolton, she helped set up and worked as part of a multiagency team to support the health and wellbeing of that community, and to improve their choice and build their own lives. As CEO of the Community Health Council, she championed patient rights, collaborating with local MPs and councillors, and through the media of TV and radio, and speaking at conferences.

She led Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in West Lancashire, and then was Head of Children’s Services. Using the concept of community and all-inclusive work, she has specialised in caring for and supporting members of the older generation. As well as working on a one-to-one basis with the older person and their loved ones, she enjoys training their carers and support staff through the local college and university. Her main special interest and strengths are with vulnerable older people, whatever their vulnerability. Working with individuals who have dementia and their families is also a specialty that she enjoys and about which she is passionate. Her special thrill: being invited by HM Queen Elizabeth II to her Garden Party in 2013 at Buckingham Palace in recognition of her contribution to improving the lives of those living in deprived communities.