Who are Rainbow Rhyme?
My earliest musical memory is of my reception class teacher who used to play guitar to us and sing. She encouraged me to play the recorder and that was the beginning of my love for music. When I started primary school I approached the music teacher with a book with pictures of the string ‘family’. I pointed to the violin and said “I want to play that one first, then that one (pointing to the viola) then that one (the cello) then that one” (the double bass)! I managed 2 out of 4 so I didn’t do too bad!
I started to play the violin when I was 7 years old and the guitar at 8. I played in school orchestras & sang in school choirs throughout my school life, and I played for the Walsall Youth Orchestra and Walsall Symphony Orchestra.
I left school at 16 to study a national diploma in popular music. I developed a strong interest in music technology and went on to do a HNC in Music Production alongside an AS level in Music. At the age of 18 I began to play the flute.
In 2005 I graduated from Birmingham City University with a 2:1 degree in Music Technology. My final year project was based around how music technology can be used to help children with physical and learning disabilities make music. Through this I became involved with a couple of music technology projects in Walsall and at Birmingham Symph
ony Hall using all kinds of musical instruments and technology to help children with a variety of disabilities to create music.
After this I became interested in music in the early years and signed up for a course run by MusicLeader West Midlands called Musicality Matters. The course involved musicians working alongside early years practitioners in their settings. Our work was loosely based around the Reggio Emilia approach to early years learning, encouraging children’s musicality through child-led free play and exploration. It was this project that inspired me to pursue a career as an early years musician. Since then I have worked on many early years projects and have also been involved in a couple of projects involving older children.
In my spare time I teach violin and flute privately from home. I have taught a range of ages and abilities from 4 year olds to adults.
In 2009, I became a mummy for the first time to my beautiful son, Will. Whilst on maternity leave I decided the time was right to start thinking about making my dream a reality, and with the help and support from my life-long friend and business partner, Emma Jones we founded Rainbow Rhyme.
I now have a beautiful daughter, Jessica too!
My first musical influence has to be my mother. She sang and played a variety of music to me from when I was in her womb, to this present day. She even timed her contractions to Mahler’s 5th Symphony! When I was toddler I would prance around to Beethoven with my small baton, and dance to Jimi Hendrix and the B52s. She has encouraged me with my music throughout my life, and I believe that if I had not had this support from such an early age I would not have followed this musical path.
I started to play the recorder in Infant school, moving on to clarinet in primary, and saxophone and flute at secondary school. After achieving an A grade in GCSE Music, I studied popular music at college where I mostly used my voice when performing.
Following this I studied classical and popular music at degree level getting a Bachelor of Arts 2. 1 with honours, and then went on to achieve my Masters of Arts in Performance.
Throughout my education I have always been involved in orchestras, choirs and productions. I have performed solo modern classical recitals and have been in bands playing funk to heavy rock. I enjoy the emotional connection music provides, the magical quality that it can transport you to a time in your life when you hear a certain song, the kinesthetic response you feel, the list goes on.
I have taught woodwind in primary and secondary schools for the past nine years, teaching pupils one-to-one and in ensembles. I recognise the great pleasure music brings to peoples’ lives; this is one of the main reasons why I enjoy teaching. I also find it very rewarding and feel great satisfaction when pupil’s progress and achieve their goals, creating their own musical experiences.
When I had my son, Daniel, I started another career as a mother. Being a musician I am obviously keen to give him a musical upbringing. We listen to different genres of music, use movement, and play a variety of instruments. His response is fantastic, and influenced me to start Rainbow Rhyme teaching music in the early years, giving young ears the best start to their future musicality.