Teach­ing the gift of mu­sic

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Business - By MON­TANA ARDON

TEACH­ING young chil­dren the gift of mu­sic is some­thing Sarah Walker is pas­sion­ate about.

Ms Walker has been teach­ing ba­bies, tod­dlers, pre-school­ers and par­ents around Perth for five years through the world­wide Mu­sic To­gether pro­gram, which was launched in 1987 and is now of­fered in 40 coun­tries.

The mother of two first dis­cov­ered Mu­sic To­gether in San Fran­cisco, where she took her then nine-month-old son to a class.

“I fell in love with it, so I brought the pro­gram back here to Perth,” she said.

“When I started five years ago, there was only one other woman in Aus­tralia do­ing it (in Mel­bourne).

“Now I’ve got 140 fam­i­lies.” To cater for the western sub­urbs’ needs, Ms Walker ex­panded her class lo­ca­tions from Scar­bor­ough and Leed­erville to the Cottes­loe Civic Cen­tre’s Lesser Hall in Fe­bru­ary.

“I am so ex­cited to now of­fer classes in Cottes­loe,” she said.

“Mu­sic To­gether’s suc­cess in our other lo­ca­tions has been fan­tas­tic and we wanted to ex­pand to of­fer fam­i­lies our won­der­ful pro­gram in other com­mu­ni­ties.”

Ms Walker is a former oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pist and said her new­found ca­reer was re­ward­ing.

“Fam­i­lies get so much out of these classes,” she said.

“Many peo­ple are told grow­ing up that they can’t carry a tune or keep a beat.

“But it’s not all about per­for­mance, it’s about ex­pres­sion, cel­e­bra­tion, fun, emo­tional hon­esty and com­mu­nity.”

Ms Walker said a typ­i­cal class, which was avail­able for new­borns to five-year-olds and their par­ents, in­volved singing, danc­ing, mo­tor skills ac­tiv­i­ties and in­stru­ment play.

“All chil­dren can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat and par­tic­i­pate with con­fi­dence in the mu­sic of our cul­ture, pro­vided that their early en­vi­ron­ment sup­ports such learn­ing,” she said.

“We weren’t all born mu­sic per­form­ers, but we’re all born mu­sic-mak­ers; it’s like a nat­u­ral birthright.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d469360

Sarah Walker and Gabrielle Wright­son with Is­abelle (18 months), Kather­ine Mcnaught with Daisy (3 months) and Natalie Reid with Ari Mcke­own (3).

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