A well-known local singer and Early Years practitioner has launched a series of singing and music sessions aimed at bringing parents together with their children to create a closer vocal bond.
Avril Huntly, who has been singing in and around venues across the area for a number of years, has seen how music and singing can help children grow in confidence and in turn, impact on every aspect of their learning development.
Avril became an Early Years practioner in 1992 and went on to become a qualified childcare NVQ assessor and internal verifier.
It was during this training she realised that singing and child development were vital.
Her Sing With Me workshops are a way for parents to bond with their child.
Avril said: “The most important voices your child will hear are those of their parents. Whether you feel comfortable singing or not, your voice is perfection to them.”
Avril bases her sessions on three key areas.
The first is personal, social and emotional development, the second is communication and language and the third is physical development.
The idea is that the children will learn how to co-operate with others , be encouraged to be helpful and learn to establish new friendships and explore new social situations in a group setting.
Avril said: “It truly is a joy to be part of Sing With Me sessions.
“My main aim is to just build confidence and self- esteem in children. If they have the confidence, it reaches out in all other aspects of their learning.
“The ones who have been with me for longer will just volunteer and that’s great.
“It was bringing across the importances of believing in themselves and their ability which is what I love the most.
“A lot of singing groups will have different age groups but with mine, it’s all ages right up to five years old because the younger ones learn from the older children and I like the way that it just flows up rather than having age-specific sessions.”
It was her work in education which gave Avril the understanding of how children can progress in those crucial early years.
“The sessions are very relaxed and sometimes people think it’s so important to be able to look back and think I had that hour of special time with their child,” she said.
“My sessions are about the parents spending time with their child with no distractions and you’re in the moment with your child.”
At the moment Avril runs three sessions but expansion is always on the horizon.
“I have got the opportunity to expand. It’s aimed to be a drop-in session so you can never know the number. But I’d love to have more sessions throughout the week.”
The Sing With Me sessions currently take place at Ingram Village Hall on Wednesdays, 10am until 11am, the Mechanics’ Institute, in Alnwick, Fridays 10am until 11am, and Shilbottle Community Hall on Fridays, 1.30pm until 2.30pm.
Sessions cost £4 and if you have an additional child it will cost £3 for each.
For further information on the singing, sessions contact Avril on 07772794872 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org