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.
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.