Teaching the gift of music
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.”
Sarah Walker and Gabrielle Wrightson with Isabelle (18 months), Katherine Mcnaught with Daisy (3 months) and Natalie Reid with Ari Mckeown (3).