I first met Pip because she runs a thing called Strummy Time, a music and movement class for toddlers. Me and Oscar (and you’ll hear him at the very start of this week’s episode) have been going to Strummy Time most Fridays for the last couple of years. He loves it. And I love that he loves it. Pip’s so good at herding the cats and engaging them, at interacting with the parents and instantly spotting the differences between babies and the bigger kids and that in fact every child is different. She’s able to adapt her approach to suit.
When I found out that she was a music therapist that all made sense. And then I wanted to find out more about what she did and particularly how she arrived at it – it doesn’t feel like the sort of job you inquire about in a monthly meeting with the Job-Search folks…
So we talked about her time in student radio after being raised on a farm. And then some time overseas, some time making music and then the study involved to qualify as a music therapist.
Pip has also supplied some recordings of her working with students. We’ve kept the names of the children anonymous or at least down to first names only in accordance with the parents’ wishes – so my thanks to the families and Pip for allowing and supplying these examples. Towards the end of the episode you’ll hear some of the lessons and exercises with explanations from Pip before or after.
Because we’ve become friends over a couple of years of weekly singing sessions with the kids we also have quite a chat about Oscar and about Wellington’s lacklustre gig-going experiences, poor venues…we covered all sorts of topics actually. But the focus keeps coming back to music therapy, music as therapy, music and movement for kids, the impact and role of teachers and teaching in a young child’s life…
You can contact Pip through her Facebook page, Pip Algie – Registered Music Therapist. And you’ll find information there about the weekly Strummy Time classes (Wellington only) also.
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