Beyond the obvious joy that singing can provide, it also brings with it many other benefits one of which is the confidence to perform.  This confidence can help you in so many ways, such as when you have to speak in public, meet new people, or in an interview. I have always loved singing, ever since I can remember and I am very lucky that my parents encouraged me to enjoy making music and express myself through the arts. From the age of six I was able to attend dance lessons, stagecoach (a Saturday school for group teaching of drama, singing, and dancing), paint, draw, and I especially loved my singing lessons.

This week I was able to pass on my love for singing to my new students, as I began my job as a 1-2-1 Singing teacher at a Primary School, following all the protocols put in place during the pandemic. At the moment I visit the school one day a week and teach a few pupils, aged between 6-11 (So Tiny!). This is wonderful as I can stay on top of my own practise and work as a professional singer alongside my aim to establish a love for singing and to improve the self-confidence of my students.

During my preparations over the summer, I have really enjoyed reading “Teaching Singing to Children and Young Adults” by Jenevora Williams. This book really appealed to me as the scientific studies and Williams’ personal experiences of teaching are accompanied by witty illustrations to illuminate the main points. As a visual learner, this really helped me to lock into the information about the abilities and limitations of young singers. Williams splits the chapters to follow the various stages of young people’s lives. This built on the experience that I gained from the teaching modules that I completed at the RCS, Glasgow, and the RCM, London.  Enabling me to make lesson plans and plan personalised 10-week courses that reflect each individual student’s abilities based on their age and gender. I hope that I can live up to great teachers that have inspired me and pass on my passion for singing.

I am currently exploring sheet music anthologies for young voices and I would love to hear from you what songs you remember singing when you were younger? Nursery Rhymes, folk songs, musical theatre, choral hymns. You name it! Or if you have favourite songs you sang to your children. I want to grow my repertoire list and it would be amazing to include songs from all over the world and different cultures.

I am so sad that the garden concert that I was booked to sing in with George yesterday was canceled last week due to the new COVID restrictions. Fingers crossed the infection rate will start to come down again soon.

I thought you might like to see a small clip of me singing for my Aunty Marjorie when I was six. ( Thanks Dad 🙂 )

84 thoughts on “Passing On My Passion For Singing

  1. If passion and thoughtful study – not to mention a half-decent voice (!) – are all it takes, I’m sure you’ll make a go of this stop-gap, Charlotte. And I’m sure the kids will love you.

    1. I’ve taught older children and adults before and a couple of younger children during my studies and I’ve always loved school, I was always one of those children first back at the gate after the holidays :).

      I had a lovely day at school and after a miserable week it really cheered me up no end.
      Thanks Martin,
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. There was one take of the video before this one where my big brother shouted gazing not glazing then I went and did it again lol. My lovely great Aunty Marjorie who is sadly no longer with us used to encourage us to dance and sing for her every time we visited.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  2. Song we were taught in music class in school: “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),” by Simon and Garfunkel. I have continued to sing the song for the last 50 years, including singing it to my mother-in-law in the final hours of her life.

    1. I love Feelin’Groovy I was taught that at Stagecoach And Bridge Over Troubled Water. What a heartwarming memory singing to your mother-in-law, the power of music in a moment like that makes me well up.
      All my best wishes Bryan,
      Charlotte

  3. I would loved to have had you for a music teacher when I was young. Any child you teach is a very lucky individual to have you!

    That is very sweet video of you singing for your grandmother. I can see your love of music there. Performances will come again. I’ve lived long enough to have seen a lot of change in my time. Things may be a bit different, but opportunities will come again.

    1. Thank you Lavinia, I think it is so important that in this new digital age when children are doing so much online learning it is good for them to have practice and skills to learn that aren’t watching a screen. I hope to keep them busy with fun home learning to do to bring to each lesson. I’m optimistic but at the same time dealing with a cancelled diary so trying not to get my hopes up too high.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  4. Well done, that’s great !!!
    When I was little, I sang nursery rhymes at school, songs from cartoons, those from television commercials.
    Otherwise, the variety, and even a few pieces (20 seconds) of opera: -) ….) In fact, it was mainly to see if I managed to sing right … I am not a musician, but I hear the wrong notes because they are like a task on an image, they break the harmony ….. And also, training to sing allows to better “modulate” our spoken voice and give intensity to the words.
    Best thoughts my friend.

    1. All good points Pascal, my younger brother Tom really improved his pronouncement of words and dialogues with his performing arts training. He also got much more confident public speaking because he got used to performing in front of audiences from six. He is also a very good singer but he prefers dance.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  5. Charlotte: I think it is so wonderful that you are teaching! And love, the adorable video of you at six. I do love kids that age—they are so much fun! I especially liked you statements about the things you learn from singing. This is exactly the same thing I tell parents about giving their kids Suzuki violin lesson, or any other music lesson: it helps develop the mind, it gives confidence, it gives kids perspectives on life and music that will enrich their entire lives. I’m sure you will be a wonderful teacher! 🙂

    1. Thank you very much, Peter. I’m keeping as busy as ever and that’s another thing music gives you something good to occupy your mind and to create happy feelings.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  6. Oh, such great news. Teaching music ‘appreciation” to the little ones. That’s a great follow up to your opera for infants.
    In the one-room schoolhouse, 3 times a week we sang for 1/2 hour. Songs were folk and a lot of Steven Foster. So many of them have been recorded by Burl Ives.
    Shame your balcony concert was called off.
    Stay Safe out there on the First Line.
    The photo of you is so beautiful

    1. Thank you, Don, I’ve always enjoyed working with children. It makes me happy that you used to do so much singing I think it is sadly missing in a lot of schools now especially when schools stopped doing the assembly. I will have a search for Burl Ives.

      It was more of a paid garden concert for George and me together I’d spent a month learning a couple of new songs for it but they won’t go to waste, we are a social bubble of our own and can practice regularly which is a blessing. I have always taken safety seriously since March, I was one of the first to wear a mask on public transport even when that was frowned on – it makes me feel better.

      George took the photo, he’s practising.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Thank you Darlene 😊. I had a lovely first day and a head full of plans and more books to read.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I hadn’t seen the video before, my Dad has been slowly digitising all of his old video tapes, I’m so glad he did.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Aww little Charlotte, it only seems 5 minutes since you were all small. What a lovely video with Auntie Marjorie ☺️
        Big job for Dad to do all those video tapes though 🤣 xx

      2. I miss visiting with Marjorie she would have loved to see what we are all doing now. Dad must have a couple of a hundred videos to digitise, he’s only a fraction of the way into it 😀. Hope you’re keeping safe and well Jo.
        All my best wishes
        Charlotte

  7. Sorry about the garden concert. Hopefully you will be able to get back to performance soon. Glad you can share your joy of singing with kids. Seeing some of your videos, I’m sure your enthusiasm will be infectious (in a good way! – hate to use that word in the time of Covid…). Thinking of video, love the video of you at six.

    1. Lol we won’t let covid steal the duo meaning of infectious 😊. I hadn’t seen the video before I just asked my Dad if he had anything from when I first started performing, it made me happy seeing my Great Aunty Marjorie again too she always wanted to hear our new songs.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  8. Teaching singing classes sounds like so much fun. That clip of you is adorable. Is the lead portrait another one by George? It’s fantastic. That’s sad you had to cancel your garden party.

    1. I’m just doing one to one teaching for now Timothy. Yes the photo was taken by George on his phone he wanted to try to get some shots that aren’t my usual grin hehe. Yeah, I’d got very excited about it and we had a second semi-lockdown announced just a week before, such a shame because it really was a fabulous weekend for an outside gathering.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. One on one is good, I think. George has a great sense of portraiture. Might be good sideline work doing portraits outdoors. It’s really too bad about the outdoor concert. If people stay a little apart and don’t cough and sneeze all over each other there’s litte chance of getting covid cooties outdoors.

      2. I had a little sing outside today, it felt so good to actually sing out to people but I am keeping busy, my little legs are paddling madly.
        Best wishes
        Charlotte

  9. What a gorgeous video. You were so cute with your missing teeth. Your post gave me an earwig as I did the housework today: “Summer is a coming in, Loudly sing, Cuckoo.” These and other such English folk songs were the mainstay of our weekly singing classes in primary school. The girls in the songs always seemed to have or want hair ribbons, or go collecting cockles on the shore, etc. When I was eleven I had to pair up with one of the boys to sing Puff the Magic Dragon. But we also had Australian songs such as “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree”, and those rooted in the convict or colonial experience. Here’s a lovely example – Botany Bay.
    https://youtu.be/aEYseM_R6Hk

    1. I’ve got several books of English folk songs and thought I’d use them as they are so good for diction. Thanks for the video share. I did think about teaching some foreign Country and foreign language children’s folk songs later on.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  10. That is adorable. Performing at such a young age. Congratulations on the teaching classes. I still sing children’s songs completely out of the blue. Mainly songs I heard on Sesame Street including the theme song and “Everybody Sleeps.” Or when Ernie sings about Rubber Ducky or Cookie Monster sings “C is for Cookie.” ..and when you’re at work and don’t realize you’re singing these songs out loud it can be embarrassing. 🙂

    1. I took ballet and tap lessons from about the age of 3 and worked my way through all the grades but we never got an opportunity to perform to anyone other than your Mum or Dad so I found another outlet at Aunty Marjories, she loved it when we added in singing too.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. I had a lovely first teaching day. Super school and colleagues. I loved watching the video too I hadn’t seen it before my Dads been digitising his old video films.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Thank you very much I’ve enjoyed my first two weeks of lessons very much.
        Best wishes
        Charlotte

    1. If you’d have asked me at six I’d have told you I was going to be a ballerina. I wonder how they are all going on with covid – we need more ballet on BBC2 tv.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  11. How cute you were as a kid, hope your aunty enjoyed your performance? I remember performing Victorian songs at a concert my school held. Songs like Any Old Iron, Don’t Bring Lulu and Roll out the Barrel, perhaps you could incorporate something like them to your class? Good luck xx

    1. My Aunty loved watching us all hehe. We’d trial run all of our routines with her. Those songs sound like fun its good to hear what stuck in people’s memories.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  12. Dear Charlotte,
    I am happy that you are teaching young students your love for music. My favorite song as a child I loved to play on the piano ” You are My Sunshine” I know that you will be a great success and I pray the Lord will bless you richly as you mentor the children.

    1. Thank you Rev Tim, I love to sing ‘You are my Sunshine’ too. I’m happy to put a smile on your face with such a happy memory.

      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  13. Teaching is wonderful; it both takes and gives energy. I taught AutoCAD at a design college in Los Angeles for a year. I love acting, though, and hope to get some opportunities when things settle down.

    1. I had a super first day and am looking forward to Thursday, I’ve been planning and preparing ready. I hope you get some acting opportunities too. A world without the arts and performances can be a very dull place.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  14. Lovely blog Charlotte.
    How exciting to be teaching small children,it sounds lovely
    You were so cute at that age. the video was amazing.
    It’s sad your afternoon concert was cancelled.

    1. It was a lovely starting day, you know how much I enjoy working with children they have even more energy than me. It was lovely to see Aunty Marjorie again and did you spot Mum diving around at the back of the room 😊. Yeah I actually felt quite sad about it, we were looking forward to it and it was a beautiful day weather-wise so it would have been perfect for that sort of event. Never mind I’m keeping busy.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  15. One word…adorable. You had love for performing even then. I love the scene from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang that includes the song as a counterpoint to “Truly Scrumptious.” I think you will excel at teaching. Congratulations.

    1. In the actual Stage show, I had a little costume and was stood on a box I think my Dads trying to find the performance video. I always wanted to be Truly Scrumptious. Thank you for your confidence John.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  16. Doll on a Music Box brought a big smile to my face on the first day of autumn…I see you so clearly now not just singing but Performing. Your dad should get extra credit for saving for you!
    Thanks for sharing and good luck with your teaching – I had a host of music teachers in my musical life, but oh how I wish I had been your student. Enjoy!!

    1. Thank you Sheila, for your lovely message, I hope you and all your family are well and keeping safe. Mum asked my Dad to digitise all her old tapes because she couldn’t watch the videos of us when he got rid of the VCR player, I’m so glad he did now because he can find things better on computer than he used to from the tapes.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

    1. Inch Worm I don’t know it but I will look it up. Do you know the song ‘There is a worm at the bottom of the Garden’? I’m thinking theme here ‘Garden creatures’ hehe.

      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  17. A lovely post Charlotte and what memories it brings back seeing you singing for Marjorie🥰 congratulations on your teaching post, I know you’ll do well. 😘😘😘

    1. Thank you Gill very happy memories. I’ve prepared a whole 10 week program for each of my students in advance, Doll on a Music Box is actually in the ABRSM syllabus and I’m going to teach the underpinning theory right from the start just a little bit each week whilst trying to make the lesson as much fun as possible.
      All my best wishes
      Charlotte

  18. You are a born performer, Charlotte! What a wonderful video clip, and what is also very special is you can tell/feel how supportive and excited your family is to see you do the things you love. Nothing better ~ wishing you a great weekend, and best to you and your family.

    1. Thank you Randall, all of my family is very supportive we’re really quite close even though we live miles apart now.
      Hope you have a super weekend.
      Best wishes
      Charlotte

  19. I am sorry you had to cancel the garden concert; a disappointment after all the work and planning, I am sure. I am so pleased you are enjoying your teaching! I hope it is still going well?
    Oh, how cute and clever you were, Charlotte! You haven’t really changed much, have you! xx

    1. I’ve been keeping busy Clare trying to get the cd legalities finished and I’ve written up 10 week lesson plans for each student because I like to be organised and I want them to learn the proper music theory right from the start just a little each week so that it is natural to them.

      I’ve seen some more of the video now my little brother Tom joins in, he was about four and so cute he was trying to steal my thunder lol. I just wish I still had a pink velvet dress! 😄. I hope you have a lovely week ahead Clare,
      My best wishes to all your family.
      Charlotte

    1. Sorry to hear of your loss at such a young age Partho, I do appreciate my blessings and I hope that life brings you to strength, love and joy.
      My very best wishes
      Charlotte

  20. Your video touched my heart ❤️ it made me tear up watching you and seeing your Grandma’s? precious attentiveness! Music has been such a pivotal piece of my existence. And I always loved working with music teachers as a Principal and as a teacher, I always collaborated with them. And use music to this day to fulfill my soul and with my own family! God bless you and your gift and passion. 💚

    1. My Great Auntie Marjorie was like another extra Grandma, I was blessed to have her in my life, she didn’t have children sadly it wasn’t in gods plan for her but thankfully she enjoyed being part of lots of my cousins and a significant part of our lives. She lived near the seaside so we loved visiting and walking along the promenade with her and my Uncle Jim, going on the trams and trampolines so many happy memories. I sang at her funeral Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again I can hardly sing this song without a tear now as you say music is so pivotal in my life.
      Thank you for stopping by and your lovely message, best wishes
      Charlotte

      1. Your Great Auntie Marjorie and Uncle Jim sound just as my family. What a beautiful song you sang for her too. I’m glad to have found you! Be blessed as you continue using your gifts to inspire and teach. ❣️🤗

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