Heather Graham: Bristol, Avon
Teachers in county: Avon Bedfordshire Berkshire Cambridgeshire Cheshire Devon Hampshire Lancashire Lothian Middlesex Northamptonshire Somerset Stirlingshire Suffolk Surrey Sussex Warwickshire Wiltshire Worcestershire
Qualifications MA (Advanced Musicology, Bristol), PGCE (Early Years, UWE), MA Music Therapy (RWCMD), ABRSM Grade VIII 'cello, piano, voice
Locale Central Bristol, Kingsdown, Redland, Clifton, Montpelier, St Pauls, Stokes Croft
Heather works as a Music Therapist at ‘Catchpoint’ (catchpoint.org) both in Bristol and Wales. CATCH-point (Creative Attachment Therapy for Children) is an adoption support agency working with children and families affected by trauma and attachment difficulties. Parents are involved in therapy and the aim is to bring together a cohesive care team with a common understanding of trauma and secondary trauma.
Heather is delighted to have more time this year to take on extra groups and individuals, expanding her Cellobabies work.
Cellobabies and Heather
It was whilst leading a Music Activity Course for ‘Musicale’ holidays that I first heard about the delightful ‘cellobabies’. It was great to find an introduction to both instrumental playing and also musical notation that helps children with sight-reading skills and includes composition.
‘Cellobabies’ has, in short, been very well thought out. It is lovely to see really young children enjoying brightly coloured notes in different shapes and yet in the context of music theory: the method is very visual and interactive, yet manages to use the musical stave - or at least 3 lines of it – from the beginning. However, youngsters are only introduced to what they need to know. Sessions go at whatever speed of progress suits each individual. It works because their interest is maintained with a variety of silly musical songs and games that involve singing and playing; children of 3-5yrs easily become involved.
As an Early Years practitioner for many years I have seen that the way into learning experiences is all about capturing young imaginations and finding ways to tap into these very formative and exciting stages of development – ‘cellobabies’ does this.
My thoughts on teaching music
I’m passionate about music: both the great pleasure it can bring and also the many ways it can help equip a child for a whole host of life experiences. Learning an instrument gives great confidence during the process as much as what can be achieved by the end results.
I usually bound around with enthusiasm when working with children and get as excited as they do when each new little step is encountered! I love singing and this is a big part of all my sessions - it’s about all ‘round musical experience and musicianship. These skills will stay with you for life and will be transferable to any instrument – it just so happened that I was given a ‘cello aged 7 and never looked back!
Having begun her musical explorations in a big barn in the middle of the Gloucestershire countryside with Caroline Lumsden at Beauchamp Music Group (now Gloucester Academy of Music and Performing Arts) - at times surrounded by a selection of animals! - she realises the importance of youngsters’ first forays into music and how much they stay with you. She learned ‘cello here, as well as all manner of musical skills! Heather continued playing ‘cello in her local youth orchestra and then in university ensembles whilst reading music at Bristol. Heather returned to Beauchamp Music Group to teach ‘cello early in her career whilst studying for a Masters in Advanced Musicology. She also taught general musicianship at this same Saturday music group where she had first begun.
She now plays both in quartets (originally with the Amati quartet) and also for the New Bristol Sinfonia conducted by James Lowe.
Heather is always up for new musical experiences. She began her first work in inner-city schools as a vocal tutor for Multi-A arts charity. She continued her love of singing personally, with vocal jazz lessons at Bristol’s Centre for Voice with Andrew Hambly-Smith until she took up an advisory post overseas to train teachers on a small Maldivian island for two years! Eager to indulge in more music, on return to the UK she applied to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to undertake a Masters training course in Music Therapy.
She greatly enjoyed working as a Music Therapist at St Christopher’s school, but is now enjoying using music therapy in a different therapeutic setting at CATCH-point, working with children and their families. CATCH-point works in the field of early childhood trauma using Creative Attachment Therapy and a team of therapists, much of the work being co-therapy work which is a great pleasure.
all tutors - other tutors: Kay Tucker, Sara Stagg, Audrey Gullick, Kirsty Hugill, Simon Trentham, Allyxa Ruby, Sally Riddex, Linda Horne, Rebecca Whettam, Hilary Trotter, Melanie Wells, Alison Wrenn, Ruth Howell, Xenia Kaspar, Rebecca Green, Sheraine Lynsdale-Nock, Christel Stevens, Sheena Ferguson, Judith Rae, Anita Felton, Monica Das, Karen Hubbard, Tom Woolsgrove, Nina Pakenham, Orla Smith, Ann Beresford