Updated: Mar 24
Is there still the passion?
It's a joy to hear the voices of children. That beautiful and sweet angelic sound they produce.
There something about hearing a childrens' choir. For me it's Christmas time when I love to hear them singing all the carols. Perhaps this is because this was where my intruduction to singing was made. We had a Music Teacher who really impressed me, because she was passionate about music. Mrs Wayne she was called and I wanted to grow up to be like her. I saw myself as a Music Teacher, but I also knew I wanted to perform first just like Sandy Shaw, I must have been 5 years old.
I was a very shy and quiet child, but I could have walked on that stage to sing a solo at any given moment because my passion was so much stronger that my fear. I think that there is something about children who can at times present as fearless.
Mrs Wayne got the Choir out and about. We went out on cold winter nights carol singing for the older people in the community. We'd sing and give them a gift. It was so meaningful and helped to shape my world of music. I started to see that music and singing was a giving thing! We also went to a Church another night of that winter week and I remember the Church was full. I remember catching sight of my family who had come to see me sing in the Choir. Preceious memories. We also were out singing and handing out harvest baskets to the elderly, we did shows and concerts. Music was the heart of the school.
When I returned home from school there was more music to be had. Just about every memeber of our household was musical. We would perform songs and do musical theatre in the garden and children would arrive from areas near by to watch.
Do these amazing things still happen in our primary school? The insperation, the incentive, Are they still there? I'm sure, we know that there is something musical taking place here and there, but I don't know that the passion is still the center of it. Schools seem to be snowed under with all sorts of pressures, their curriculums expect way too much and not necessarily of the most important areas. Primary School Teachers are expected to cover all of the subjects themselves, but if they haven't had the opportunity to study or perform music, due to no fault of their own, their students are not going to experience music or at least live music. When I was at school, we had one teacher and music was all she ever taught and each class would go to her for a lesson a couple of times a week. It gave us incentive as we had something to look forward to.
The sad part of this, is that every child can sing. They turn up everyday at school with their voice. Yes there's different ability and levels of singing, but lets face it we can all sing. The beauty of singing is that it releases endorphins and so the activity of singing makes us happy. Singing with others, helps us to develop our social skills and gives us a sense of belonging, doing it together. It builds confidence, unites us, it has its own set of rules, such as we all starting singing together at the beginning and we all stop at the end. We follow the instructions, such as louder or softer from the Teacher/Conductor so in many ways, it teaches self discipline, structure and how to following guidance, keeping us focussed on the here and now. This to me is nothing short of 'Mindfulness".
It would be wonderful to have music return to our schools like it was when I was a child. Here I am after all of these years, and after my experience of school followed by 35 years of a music career, I still have the passion. I still write, I still perform, I still feel happy and I am still enthusiastic. My passion just like in my childhood, makes me still want to share and give in exactly the same way that Mrs Wayne showed us.
I don't know if Mrs Wayne is still alive, but one thing I am certain of, is that she would be very pleasantly shocked that I went on to be a professional Singer/Songwriter and Actress of Musical Theatre. I'm sure out of everyone at my school, the quiet and shy girl is the last person she would have expected to have a had 35 years in a music career and still counting!
I just hope that schools will be as enthusiastic about having us visit them, as much as I have about taking music back into schools where it truely should belong, in the hearts and minds of young people.