Tiny Tunes in Worcester5 Mar 2018 By Sam Setchell
St Martin's, London Road, Worcester is bringing classical music to young families.
Tiny Tunes runs at St Martin’s Church, London Road, Worcester on the fourth Monday of each month. The partnership with the Elgar School of Music brings classical music to babies and toddlers along with their carers. Each month it attracts around 30-40 adults, with as many 'tinies', who come to listen to a variety of professional musicians. In recent months this has included a lute, pipes, drums, violin, harp and a soprano soloist.
Janine Parsons is Head of School at the Elgar School of Music and helped to set up the initiative with St Martin's. She said: “We had seen the idea elsewhere and thought it would be a great thing to offer in Worcester. Listening to music develops imagination and creativity and is great for the emotional development of young children. It’s also really hard to get out to concerts when you’re a parent so the idea was to provide something for the mums, dads and grandparents too!”
“For St Martin's, it’s all about welcoming people into the church,” said Shirley Scott, Concerts Administrator at the church. “We’d thought about doing something similar and then heard that the Elgar School was looking for someone to partner with. We’ve got a great church for music here with excellent acoustics and facilities, and this fits well with our other concerts and our mission to the community. It enables a different group of people to come into church and feel comfortable and it’s great to be able to help nurture young children.”
Adults are charged £5 to come to the concert with all children attending for free. There is also reasonably priced tea, coffee and home-made cakes for people to enjoy.
Kate Stephenson-Pugh has been to Tiny Tunes for the past three months with her two year old and baby. She said: “It’s great that there are different types of music. My son is quite cautious, but each time we come, he’s paid attention to the music and has started to have a dance. It’s a really good experience for the children and I enjoy it too!”
Beryl Owen came to Tiny Tunes for the first time with her grandson who is 20 months. She said: “I really love music and was encouraged to come along by my daughter. We’ve had a warm welcome and it’s been really relaxed, it’s great that the children are able to roam around freely.”
Hannah Grove is a vocal coach at the Elgar School of Music and books the musicians who perform at Tiny Tunes. She said: “It’s great to see the babies and toddlers so engaged with the music. We live in such a visual society, it’s wonderful to expose the children to music and see them sit and listen – even the tiniest baby will respond and parents often comment on how still they sit. The aim is to offer a relaxed environment for the children and their carers. Children can often get hands-on with the instruments and the grown-ups have the chance to listen to professional music in an environment where they don’t have to worry about their kids. It’s heart-warming to experience!”