When you first meet Zoe from Blooming Tunes you will immediately feel her warmth, energy and friendly personality. She will draw you and your little ones into an amazing musical world with her family music classes. It is hard not to enjoy, bop and sing along with your little one.
I caught up recently with Zoe and chatted about everything Blooming Tunes from the early beginnings to the benefits of Music for children. If you have not been along and had a trial class read on to see how you and your children can get involved and start enjoying Blooming tunes today.
A bit more about Blooming Tunes
I’ve been working in many different roles in Early Childhood for the last 19 years, so I have been singing, playing and making music with children for some time… but facilitating music classes with families as Blooming Tunes didn’t officially start in Darwin until November 2012 just after I had returned from my teacher training in Tokyo. Classes opened to the public in 2013 at a small dance studio in Coconut Grove with just two sessions on Thursday mornings and quickly grew.
When did you start and what do you love most about it?
When I saw a Music Together class in 2012 for the first time I must admit I cried a little! It was so joyful with many magical music moments.
So many music programs have a strong focus on everyone doing the activity in the same way. I have been to several music classes in the past and felt like the main aim was for the children to conform. But when I saw that Music Together class, it was very different.
Some children were moving around the room, others engaged with their families, some participating with gusto, others watched from the safety of an adults lap. Children were free to explore the space, the music and input their own suggestions and ideas. Children and their need to move and to play was really supported.
The ethos behind the teaching really echoed my own philosophy. I felt like teaching music together was the perfect combination of my passion for music, early childhood knowledge and my love for working with children and families.
I feel really blessed to work with the beautiful families that come together to sing and play each week!
There are so many things I love about Blooming Tunes.
I love watching children grow in musical and social confidence.
I love knowing that the gift of music keeps giving, once you have music – it is always yours.
I love supporting families to see all the different ways children learn in play and supporting parents and carers in their early parenting journey.
And mostly, I love that we have created a community where everyone is welcome. Music is for everyone.
How has Blooming Tunes changed over the years?
For me I have grown as a teacher, musician and small business owner. We have started to create our own resources and in the last 6 months we have seen the Music Together’s resources change drastically, including a brand new songbook which is much loved by families.
The introduction of our fantastic Hello Everybody app helps families connect and share the music in new ways. (You can download it free for iPhones or Androids to check out 8 Music Together songs).
The music and collections have been changing too. This term I have the joy of introducing a new and truly Australian song, a Yorta Yorta song called Inanay.
This has been a joint consult between the Music Together Mothership in USA and the Australian Directors. We are so happy with how it has turned out, I can’t wait to share this song with our families. So even though the Music Together curriculum has been running for more than 30 years (now in over 40 countries around the world) these changes help to keep it fresh and relevant.
What is the best memory from a class?
Let me just say that whilst we always encourage suggestions in class, not all of them are safe for work!
I have many hilarious and touching memories from the last 6 years of making music with families, where do I start?
Like the darling little girl who comes in to class each week and kisses my guitar and gives it a pat, to the tiny 10 week old babies cooing back to the class in perfect pitch, to sharing the first steps, first claps and first moments with families. Speaking of memories, did you know that musical memories are often are most long lasting, because they are held in a different part of our brain to language? So every day is a chance to make a new memory!
What are the Blooming Tunes all about (what can someone expect when they come along)
Well firstly, you have the chance to trial a free class to see for yourself! You can book a trial class online here
Blooming Tunes is a mixed age, family music experience. We believe that everyone is musical. Getting together to make music each week is good for development, good for connection and good for our soul! Families and children sing, dance, play, laugh and make music, together each week.
We play with a variety of different instruments and props, keeping music accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
Each term we cover a new collection of music from Music Together to continue the music play at home.
We are currently running classes in Anula on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Places are limited and each class runs for 45 minutes.
Educational and other benefits to participating in Music?
There is some new research coming out recently that shows how valuable it is for young children to participate (not just listen passively but active participation) in music. We know that playing with music changes the shape of young brains in a way that no other activity does because it activates many different zones in the brain simultaneously.
Music supports all development. It can improve language development, pro-social skills such as empathy, foundational mathematics, literacy skills and executive functions such as focus and memory.
There are strongly supported links showing that music education in early childhood can increase literacy levels between 1 and 3 years.
But for me, as much as I know that music supports all learning. I also think that learning music is important – for music sake.
Music is a universal language. One which everyone has the capacity to participate in. But so many people are convinced that they are no good at. When we sing and play with others, our stress levels decrease and our feel good endorphins rise. It improves our connection to other humans. To our own children and to our community, and for me, those reasons are the most important.
On a final note
If you would like to experience the joy of Blooming Tunes, you can book a free trial online here
All trialling families receive a Welcome CD. Families are welcome to download our Hello Everybody App which is available for iPhones and Andriods.