Peterborough mother of two Donna Steele:
Igot an electric piano for my birthday earlier this year, picking up long lost, half-learned skills from my childhood. To quote a well used saying, you are never too old to start.
At the other end of the scale, my five-year-old daughter (I know, you can’t have anything to yourself when there are children around ) so impressed her music teacher with her tinkling on the ivories she was allowed to start lessons . Thus proving you are never too young to start.
The fact I place such a high value on music - and singing- may come as no surprise to those who know me best.
From belting out “Tomorrow” in Annie with Westwood Musical Society aged 10, through the formative, golden years of the Key Youth Theatre with Derek Killeen and Michael Cross at the helm, to the West End and theatres around the country, music has played a big part in my life.
And it continues to do so - teaching performing arts to children of all ages and abilities at Tu Danse Studios, working with choirs and giving singing lessons.
And it is still giving. The enthusiasm it stirs and the sense of satisfaction you see when a youngster nails it is a joy to behold.
More importantly is the confidence it gives those involved and the character building it does. The tales of shrinking violets suddenly standing in front of a class of their peers never cease to amaze me - or parents for that matter.
And learning lines, or lyrics or reading music - absorbing imformation - develops skills that will be invaluable throughout their education and later in life.
I don’t want this to sound like an advert for me - there are more than enough ways youngsters can get involved in music, singing, dancing, and performing around Peterborough.
The Music Hub is a great example - offering fantastic opportunities in schools for children to pick up and learn an instrument and get involved in performances. It acknowledges how music is an important part of education sadly dying out in schools because of funding.
And I couldn’t agree more. In fact one of the reasons I chose my daughter’s primary school was because of its belief in the value of music. And it is going well so far!
But for all my musical experience, one thing I hadn’t appreciated - until motherhood - was how much music is used in early learning.
Take for instance the “Alphabet Song” to learn about letters; “Circle, Circle” to learn about shapes,; counting with “Five Little Ducks”; and what about the body with “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”? All simple, catchy, fun songs which have certainly made an impression on my two girls - and me - in their playgroup years and beyond.