3 Babies and a Business: Why I Needed to Start Fanfare Music
Harry is four and a half and for the past four and a half years I have enjoyed the highs (and lows) of being a mummy. My hobby is music – I sing in a choral society and I play the piano. I must admit, my piano playing tailed off a little after having Harry mainly through fear of waking the sleeping baby. But after only a couple of weeks off having given birth I got right back to my choir rehearsals. Why? Because music made me feel good and it was some time to be me.
When baby Harry cried I sang nursery rhymes and children’s songs to him and when he was inconsolable I danced with him to songs on the radio or YouTube. And music soothed him. As he grew we learnt together that babies like to clap their hands, bash pans and shake shakers and as he grew more he developed an incredible sense of rhythm for a two-year old.
Now Harry is four and a half, Emily is nearly three and Oliver is thirteen months. Harry sings constantly, making up his own words to tunes he knows or tunes he’s made up himself, Emily loves to dance to music and Oliver can’t stop himself clapping or ‘dancing’ whenever he hears any kind of music, the louder the better.
Knowing how much Harry loved music, I wanted to share our joint passion with other mummies and babies I knew so I started a baby music group where we sang to the babies, bashed a selection of pans and boxes, made our own instruments, played with baby instruments and as they grew we started to learn basic music theory. The group is small but continues to this day and we now learn about rhythms, reading music and dynamics. Since I am a full-time mummy with no desire to miss out on my children growing up (which they do so very fast), I haven’t the time to expand this group or offer it to the public, so I wanted something more to do in the evenings while my little ones slept.
The philosophy behind Fanfare Music is that everyone has the right to have music in their lives, whatever their age or ability. I wanted to offer affordable instruments for people to buy for themselves and their families and supplement these instruments with free downloadable resources and lots of seasonal musical activities and ideas for people to try with their children. It has also been a dream of mine for a number of years to start a choir which accepts everyone (no auditions or need to read music). So in September 2017, I started Fanfare Music.
I now offer a choir for all abilities in my town, Ossett, West Yorkshire, which regularly performs at local events, sell ukuleles on my ebay store (the perfect beginner instrument), teach piano to beginners, send a monthly newsletter to subscribers and create a lot of musical content, intended to inspire families and individuals alike into making more music, which I share on both Facebook and my website. I plan to expand my store over the coming months and years and offer more varied online content and downloads.
I believe that music is the ultimate in ‘creativity’ and a great way to inspire kids and get them interested in learning, not only about music but about other topics too. I hope that my enthusiasm and passion will inspire other parents to sing and play with their children more and encourage them to get into music, in whatever form they choose.