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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Bored of your own voice? How to get the most out of your time with your baby.

Ever get bored with the sound of your own voice?  The first few months with your baby can be a lonely and overwhelming time.  I remember the pressure I felt at the beginning to keep on talking to my baby, but it was hard.  Sometimes I would be so exhausted, I would suddenly realise that I hadn't said a word to him for 10 minutes or more. 
And then I would feel guilty:
"What if a Health Visitor had encountered that?!" 
"My sister never would have done that with her baby"
"James always seems to have so much energy for him; why can't I?!"

The power of the voice is strong, and there is copious research about the benefits on language development of regular conversation around and with your baby.  But does it always have to be talking?  Singing is a wonderful way of engaging with your child, and - believe it or not - it takes far less effort to sing than talk.

I would often put a CD on when at home with my baby and quickly found that singing along would mean that I had a 'conversation' for my baby which lasted as long as the CD did.  No more struggling to come up with a talking topic.  The rhythms from music can be soothing as well as strengthen the brain's understanding of language content and structure, which is important for children at an early age.  I also found that singing whilst holding my baby would be a soothing sound for him (and me!) as the vibrations from singing are longer than those from talking, so the baby feels a sense of security from the physical reaction to a sustained vibration. 

I'm not talking about X-factor singing, or anything that needs to sound impressive to others around you.  I'm talking about personal, beautiful vibrations that help to build a connection with your baby.  Your baby has been learning your voice from the first day of their growth inside the womb - by vibration rather than by hearing - so therefore, it doesn't matter what your singing sounds like.  It's coming from you: your voice, your body, your heart.

When your baby starts to communicate with you vocally, you may notice that they begin to 'sing' before they really start to talk.  It obviously means something to them.  So keep singing, engaging with your baby, and helping their beautiful little brains to grow and develop in a natural and musical way.

And it's not all just about nursery rhymes!  Why not sing the songs that YOU like?  And it doesn't have to be alone.  Singing together is a wonderful way to enhance your own feeling of self-esteem and energy.  There are many singing groups out there, including my very own Mums Chorus, a place for mums to come with their babies and enjoy singing together, while babies can play with toys and books, and soak up the musical vibes!  We meet on Thursdays at 1:45-2:45pm at St Mary's Church Hall in Ware.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Fundraising to save Blackheath Conservatoire.

The Blackheath Conservatoire of Music and the Arts - a fantastic music centre in South East London that employed me for over 3 years - is in danger of closing if sufficient funds aren't raised quickly.

I am involved in two fundraising activities - please do come along to one/ both!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

"It's Christmas time, bells are ringing again..."

TODAY is the biggest day for me in my professional music career.

Over the last 5 months, I have been writing, recording and publicising a project which has not only taken over my waking life but also my dreams and subconscious thoughts!  Every bike ride has been accompanied by tubular bells; every post office trip, a shaking of sleigh bells.  And it has all been working towards this day, when everything is finally in place.

It's the release of my Christmas song - Let the Light Shine Down - which has been recorded by the children at my primary school in Bermondsey.  The children are from an under-privileged area, so having the experience of going to the BBC studios (meeting John Major - although none of them knew who he was of course!), being featured on a YouTube video, and having the chance to sing on the stage at Westfield in Stratford has been an enriching part of their primary education.

At the BBC studios - getting excited about recording.

We are selling the song to raise money for a music charity - Music as Therapy International - which works with teachers and carers to provide musical therapy for disabled children and adults.

Our aim is to sell 3,000 copies this week - this will mean that we make enough money from single sales  (the song only costs 99p) to make a decent donation to the charity, and also have a chance of getting into the UK top 40, thereby continuing the amazing experience for these primary school children.

So please consider buying a copy, and spreading the word around with your friends and colleagues - particularly people who are involved in the music business for whom this cause is so relevant.

You can buy it on iTunes for 99p:

Thank you so much, and happy December!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

A Christmas ditty.


TOMORROW I'm releasing a Christmas song!  It has been 12 months in the making - from writing a simple melody at the school piano last December, to recording the band, recording the children, and organising more trips than I can count!

The project is to sell enough copies of this single to raise money for the charity Music as Therapy International.  We need to sell about 3,000 - so please buy one and tell all your friends about it!  If we sell this many, we should be able to make it into the UK TOP 40, so all your support would be truly appreciated!

Have a listen on YouTube:

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A short tour in numbers...

From Thursday 25th October - Wednesday 31st October...

6: Counties played in.
22: Counties travelled through.
7: Gigs played.
5: Different ensembles played with.
3: Tunes relating to Hallowe'en played.
1: Hats knitted.
2: Balls of wool purchased.
4: Blog entries written.
52: Photos taken.
57: Times I've listened to the Christmas song (whilst making the promotional video on YouTube - see what all my effort has produced!:
1. New songs learnt (Bouncin with Bud.  Thanks, Dan! - it's hard!!)
5. Beds slept in.
1. Coaches slept on.

Photographic evidence follows:
Pre-gig dinner with the band in Barnstaple

On stage at the Barnstaple Fringe Festival

Strange backdrop at our gig in Monmouthshire!

Dan Whieldon and me at Smith's restaurant, Eccles

The hat is finished!

Top 10... I need your likes on Facebook!

No top 10 this month... not because I can't think of anything, but mainly because the only thing occupying my mind is my Christmas song!  So if you could take a minute to go on Facebook and like our page, and watch the video on YouTube, that would be much appreciated!

2012 Charity Christmas Song

This year, I'm releasing a Christmas song for charity.  It's called Let the Light Shine Down, and I have recorded it with the children from the primary school where I'm working at the moment.

It'll be released on 2nd December 2012 and I urge you to buy it when it's ready!!  It'll be a digital release only, and all the proceeds will go to Music as Therapy.  We're hoping to get into the UK top 40 for the first week of December.  Please help this to happen!

You can start by connecting to our online sites:

Thank you!!