A Primary School music teacher for over twenty years, Sue has directed many school choirs and bands. She started Choirs4Kids after seeing her daughter’s delight when singing and realising that many children are either too young to join their school choir, or the school does not have a choir.
Sue runs two music teaching businesses, MusicalRoo and Choirs4Kids, both programs have its distinctive offering in comparison to other providers by providing holistic development for kids, not only teaching musical skills.
Let’s start with a motivational story from your experience leading Choirs4Kids. Do you have a story when a child has came out of their shell as a result of taking Choirs4Kids program?
Absolutely! I had one child who had been asked to leave the school choir as they struggled with standing still and focusing during rehearsals. The child had various learning and behavioural difficulties so found some situations tricky to focus. They came to choirs4kids and changed dramatically from a child who did find it hard to focus and always searched for reassurance to a child who performed in every concert at the end of the year confidently and without any fear of what others would think.
How does Choir4Kids begin? Do you have any educational background in music?
I started my music life age around 2 but more seriously aged 5 on piano, followed by violin and flute at primary school. I then studied music education at university with a Bachelor of Education and music degree. I taught for 10 years in the UK and 10 years in Australia in educational establishments mainly being head of music and leading performing arts whole school events. Choirs4kids began when I left the school environments last year and realized there was more that I could give. My four year old sang constantly and it was at a party for a friend of hers that Choirs4kids was dreamt of. It started about two weeks later and in only six months we have 80 students enrolled in the three different centres.
Could you share what motivates you in running Choirs4Kids?
My motivation comes from seeing how children are when they come into the session and how they are when they leave. Hearing how they feel after singing makes me want to do so much more. Many children struggle with school restraint issues where they have to follow guidelines/rules etc so they enter the singing room a little quiet and sad. After singing only one song I see a huge difference in them socially and behaviourally. I am also motivated by how many of the four year olds were so much more confident than they would have been at their end of year school concerts. This included our own daughter who refused to perform previously but did this time because of the work I do with stage confidence in the lessons.
How does Choirs4Kids differentiate itself with other singing lesson providers?
Choirs4kids teaches singing but also confidence, team work, blending with other voices, listening to others, helping each other to perform and overcoming any fears and differences that we may have. Choirs4kids caters for all children whether they can sing or not and caters for children who can’t join a school choir yet whether that be because of their age or school situation. Singing in a group is much more rewarding for many.