ponderings and passions

A set of occasional notes about Stringbabies, music festival adjudication and other things that I’m interested in:

Oct 10, 2018 Music Teacher magazine

[author: ChiefGeek - categories: Violin Cello Viola Strings ]

I see that I tend to tweet a lot more than I blog!

However, here in a recent Music Teacher magazine, there is a very interesting article on Stringbabies and Victoria College Examinations.

Here is the first page [in pdf format] and here is the second page - do have a look!

May 09, 2017 A new Chapter begins

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

It has been a hectic start to the year - a bumper one for festivals to adjudicate, taking me from the Isle of Wight to the Isle of Man, Inverness to Haverfordwest and quite a few in between!
However, this week something special happened…

Oct 13, 2016 Coming up for breath!

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

It has been a delightfully busy start to the new term! Besides my own new cohort of Stringbabies students I have been hearing of new Stringbabies students popping up everywhere - in Surrey, Cornwall and the USA to just name a few locations.

Jul 14, 2016 Victoria College of Music and Drama

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

I am absolutely delighted to announce a departure for Stringbabies in association with Victoria College of Music and Drama.

Jan 27, 2016 A few dates for the diary

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

2016 has got off to a cracking start here. The diary is filling up with plenty of new challenges and opportunities to take Stringbabies to new audiences!
At the end of this month I will be at the Royal Northern College of Music for and ESTA/RNCM Young strings day, giving a total of 3 workshops for pupils and teachers packed full of Stringbabies related activities.

Dec 27, 2015 2015!

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

It has been a truly better year in Stringbabies land. In February I travelled up to the Manchester area to lead a Stringbabies training day and we had 3 more throughout the year led by my colleagues, Yvette, Simon and Audrey, in Somerset, Kent and London.

Jan 01, 2015 Review of 2014

[author: kay tucker - categories: ]

I was slightly horrified to realise that I hadn’t posted an entry for months - 6 to be precise. As some of you will know, the latter half off 2014 was immensely difficult as we struggled with parents being ill and then the sudden death of my 14 year old niece in September.
looking back, 2014 is a year that I would like to forget for those reasons but at least where Stringbabies is concerned, it has been a pretty good year. So I will reflect a little on the good things that happened in the second half of 2014.

Jun 04, 2014 Stringbabies and some very special students

[author: kay tucker - categories: ]

I cannot believe how long it has been since I last wrote a blog entry! I am ashamed..
As you can imagine I have been busy. February and March is a very busy time for music festivals and I had my fair share of adjudicating to do, in venues as far apart as Norfolk, Northern Ireland and Edinburgh!
So there are a number of things to catch up on but I am going to start by quoting a lovely email I received from Conni Rogers, who has been using Stringbabies with some of her Down syndrome students in East Sussex. Read on…

Jan 09, 2014 Hitting the deck in 2014

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

Happy New Year to you all! I tried to have a break and do ‘Plenty of nuttin’ over the Christmas holiday, as I suspected that New Year would get off to a bang.

I have just returned from leading a Stringbabies Training day in Cornwall.
You can read a review and see some photos and a film clip by following the link


Nov 21, 2013 Music Teachers Awards 2014

[author: ChiefGeek - categories: Violinbabies Cellobabies Violababies ]

We were delighted to be short-listed for the Best Musical Initiative in the inaugural Music Teacher Awards in 2013.

Making it to the short-lists in the category of “excellence in early years and primary music” for the 2014 Awards is wonderful. Thank you to all who have supported us!

Oct 21, 2013 The sounds before the symbol

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

One of the very first ‘sound bites’ I heard as a student in principles of teaching was that the sounds always come before the symbols.
This is in itself, an enormous area to talk about so I will just focus on a couple of issues around it which have reshaped the way I teach today.
Here is just the first one for starters, concerning rhythm.

Oct 18, 2013 A great new addition for the cello world

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

As i have mentioned previously, I was sent some music and books to review over the summer.
The last of my reviews is of a super set of pieces for the grade 6 to 8 standard cellist entitled ‘One Chair in a Room’ by Mark Sinclair.
It was sent to me by my good friend Catherine Black, who runs the most amazing cello courses a few miles away in Lewes. Do visit her website: http://www.cellocourses.com and www.vaultedskymusic.com

Oct 11, 2013 Practice time!

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

I was asked to look over a little booklet written by a Scottish Mum regarding the thorny topic of parents supporting their children in practicing their musical instruments.
We all know what a hot potato that can be and as a music teacher, I hear about the battles that can go on regarding the discipline of encouraging one’s child to practice without too much shedding of tears.

Oct 10, 2013 Musicbabies Update

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

Things have been hotting up with work on Stringbabies for Double Bass and Musicbabies for recorder and Flute.

Oct 01, 2013 Something a little different…..

[author: KayTheEd - categories: ]

Over the summer, I was sent three publications to review. I was a reviewer of music for nearly two decades before Stringbabies commitments led me to drop this particular aspect of work.
The review below is of an excellent new book written by my colleague, Melanie Spanswick. I’ll post the other two over the next week or so.

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