Kay Tucker in conversation with Melanie Spanswick

My Music Talk Series continues today ‘Cellist Kay Tucker who is the founder and director of Stringbabies. Stringbabies is a method of teaching stringed instruments to young children. It has twice been shortlisted for the Inaugural Rhinegold Music Teachers Awards for Excellence in music education. I met up with Kay recently at Steinway Hall in London to chat about this increasingly popular method of learning.

Kay was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire and began studies on the cello at the age of 12, continuing studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

She combines teaching with performing in a piano trio & string quartet and is in much demand as an Adjudicator throughout the UK, having worked at well over 100 festivals including the National Festival of Music for Youth.

Her teaching experience has covered all age ranges and abilities and her particular passion for teaching beginners led her to develop an early years cello & general musicianship system, ‘Cellobabies’ which along, with a version for violin and viola, is rapidly attracting support & interest throughout the UK and abroad. ‘Stringbabies’ (the umbrella name for this approach) is now being delivered with great success in Surrey Arts, Music for Bedford Borough, Hackney Music Service and Music Cornwall. This work has led to Kay being invited to give seminars and training to teachers all over the UK and Kay is now working on adaptations for Double Bass, Piano, Recorder and Flute, the latter two with colleagues.

In 2013, Stringbabies was shortlisted for the Inaugural Rhinegold Music Teachers Awards for Excellence in music education and it has also been shortlisted for the same awards in 2014 in the category of excellence in primary and early years music.

Stringbabies is currently involved in four of the new music hubs – Hackney, Surrey West Sussex and Cornwall.

Over recent years, Kay has worked as a consultant to Trinity Guildhall, having selected and co-selected repertoire for graded exams and diplomas.

Kay became an Adjudicator Member of the British and International Federation of Festivals in 1997 and undertook the Post-graduate Certificate in Adjudication in 1999/2000.


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Gail Kirby says:

    Hello . I just listened with interest to the interview with Kay and I am a very interested Violin and Viola teacher in the string babies programme of teaching.

    1. Hi Gail, Thank you for your comments. You can contact Kay via her website: http://www.stringbabies.com/index.php/misc/contact#content
      I’m sure she would be delighted to hear from you. So pleased that you enjoyed the interview 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.