Music Shakers rainbow

News

2016

Marcella relocates with her family to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and stays closely connected to Music Shakers which contines to grow. Rachel develops our presence on Facebook, and she and Fiona take over Marcella's classes in Kings Heath and Moseley. The summer drop-in classes remain popular and are offered in three locations including a new site in Bearwood. Sarah Baker retires from Music Shakers as she continues to expand her work with Birmingham Music Services.

2015

Rachel Xerri-Brooks joins Music Shakers as a teacher, and has great experience having set up Signs and Sounds in Birmingham as well as taking her daughter to Music Shakers classes.

The seventh and final CD of our 2 year curriculum, Autumn Beat and Dancing Feet, is produced.

Our new website is designed for Music Shakers, and gives people an easier way to hear our songs on Spotify and Amazon.

Research shows that "Music is crucial for babies in every developmental sense: with regards to communication and language; emotional and social well-being; and even motor skills". The authors state that  "a  child  at  birth  already  responds to music", and that "when babies engage in weekly, age-appropriate music lessons, they develop communication skills to a much higher degree than infants of the same age that undertake other activities" (L Henriksson-Macaulay & GF Welch. 2015. The musical key to babies cognitive and social development. Intl J Birth Parent Ed. 2, 21-25).

2014

Music Shakers releases the Songs of Transportation and Exploration in October.

Marcella Erskine leads Music Shakers activities for children at National Playing Out Day in Kings Heath streets on August 6, as reported in the Birmingham Mail.

Music Shakers releases its fifth CD Seaside Songs to Sing Along in June.

Evelyn Eekels agrees to illustrate the Music Shakers books.

2013

Nicola Silk says "the songs are brought to life with action, dance, scarves and finger puppets and there's always an instrument to jam along to" and "its a great place to meet new mums, old mums and the occasional dad or grandparent" in the Moseley Magazine.

Arthur Belben writes "my favorite was 'Music Shakers' involving dancing, singing songs and playing with coloured scarves" in My Moseley & Kings Heath magazine.

Music Shakers releases "Summer Days & Insect Ways" on-line as a 2-part CD set in April, and features thirty one rollicking songs and soothing melodies about Spanish cockroaches, country crawdads, metamorphosing caterpillars and enormous spiders.

Emma Watson joins Music Shakers as a teacher in Cotteridge in April, having spent 5 years as a drama teacher and having participated in Music Classes with her children.

2012

Our CD "Rain or Sun, Singing Fun" is released.

Music Shakers runs its 100th set of classes with over 1000 family enrolments.

2011

A video of Music Shakers participants and teachers by former BBC and MaverickTV producer/director Nicola Silk is released in July.

Our CD Song Birds and Rhyming Words is released.

Babies are predisposed to dance and respond better to music than to speech according to research by Dr Tuomas Eerola.

2010

Our fifth year Anniversary Party on 20 March 2010 was a big success with 120 people showing up to celebrate.

Marcella Erskine and Sarah Baker released the first Music Shakers CD Winter Chimes & Animal Rhymes.

Sarah Baker joins Music Shakers as a teacher and composer, having trained at the Birmingham Conservatoire, and begins producing a series of CDs for Music Shakers as well as for Baker Tunes.

Fiona Howe joins Music Shakers as a teacher, and establishes several new classes in Kings Heath while Marcella Erskine launches a second centre at St Mary's Church in Moseley.

2009

Marcella Erskine presents music workshops and a plenary talk at the Annual Meeting of the Preschool Learning Alliance. Marcella Erskine meets Rt. Hon. Ed Balls, Secretary of State Children, Schools and Families, on February 5 to discuss education policies and plans.

Marcella Erskine led a workshop for Playtrain in Birmingham on inclusive music practice, participants described it as "enthusiastic", "inspiring" and "entertaining".

Music Shakers was reviewed by Amy Watson in the Moseley News.

2008

Marcella Erskine led an exploration of Fairtrade, writing and creating music with children at Chad Vale Primary School in February.

Marcella Erskine led Music Shakers "Slavery and Freedom" workshops to libraries in Perry Common, Yardley Wood, Kings Norton and Aston as part of the series "A Shared History, A Shared Future", celebrating 200 years since the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.

2007

Music Shakers website goes live, and more families join in our classes , coming from across the region.

2006

Music Shakers starts up in Birmingham and starts offering classes in Kings Heath, thanks to the help of friends and families.

2005

Marcella Erskine conceives of Music Shakers two years after arriving in Birmingham and the birth of her third child, recognising the need for building communities by the sharing music from across the world, and by engaging young children through the experiences of singing and dancing with their families and friends.

The government publishes Music Manifesto, an initiative to increase involvement of young children in music, with its two first aims being to:

  1. provide every young person with first access to a range of music experiences,
  2. provide more opportunities for young people to deepen and broaden their musical interests and skills.

and publishes its SureStart: Birth to three matter framework, stating that:

"Children become creative through exploration and discovery as they experiment with sound, media and movement. Creativity, imagination and representation allow children to share their thoughts, feelings, understandings and identities with others, using drawings, words, movement, music, dance and imaginative play."

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