Rachel Pollard DipHE, BA Hons, PGCE (Music) QTS
Hi, I'm Rachel Pollard, and I'm the founder of Kiddibops. I have had a passion for all things music since I was a very young child. I come from a family of musicians and my Grandad, a talented violinist, taught me how to play the violin when I was 7. I've always sung and played instruments, furthering my love of choral singing under the fabulous tutelage of Jeffrey Skidmore of Ex Cathedra. Throughout my adult life I continued to practice music by performing with choirs and orchestras, then studying music at Degree and Post Graduate level, gaining my PGCE in Music at the University of Huddersfield in 1991. I went on to teach music in secondary schools for over 20 years, and held the position of Head of Music at schools in Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. I left secondary teaching to have my children and moved back to my hometown of Sutton Coldfield.
After having my 2 boys I tried a few large commercial franchise "music" groups on offer to new parents in my local area. I was disappointed to realise that the many experiences being sold to parents of young children lacked any real understanding of music practice or early childhood development. The groups I attended were led by class leaders with no musical training or qualifications in early years education. There was little interaction and the activities were delivered without any focus or engagement.
Songs were all sung along to stylised vocal recordings with no understanding of the importance of singing and a young child's developmental need for quality aural input. The use of instruments was limited giving children no freedom to explore creatively and experiment with sound using spontaneous music-play. Sessions were crammed with high energy, fast-paced content that gave children no space to engage or respond musically or develop and extend learning. Unfortunately these dopamine filled classes are still being lauded as 'educational' today.
I wanted to change this and offer classes that really make a difference. A class where babies, young children and their care-givers can express themselves and explore music through experimenting and playing together.
Communicative musicality is a way we all connect naturally through a shared language, with music we can have our first conversations without words, share something beautiful and enhance social and emotional relationships. It's about allowing those moments to happen and knowing how to recognise them. Parents and carers just need a little confidence in how to do this, and I hope I can help bring some of that joy into their home.
Growing brains of the very young, deserve the highest quality experiences, and this is what I strive to give families and Early Years Settings.
This is how my journey into early years music started and now I am dedicated to improving the quality of early years music experiences for families and early years practitioners, and sharing the joy and benefits that music-play brings to the lives of young children.
Rachel is a mother to 2 children with SEND, Early Years Music practitioner and teacher of music.
She also delivers private tuition in violin, voice and music theory and music qualifications up to A Level and BTEC level 3. She is currently studying an MA in Early Years Music Education at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood at Birmingham City University.