Q. Who’s behind all this hullabaloo?
A. Take a moment to find out by reading this short compelling story about our music guru and the creation of Hullabaloo!
Our music guru’s love of all things music started at the age of five when she really wanted to learn to play the piano. The only problem was, there was no piano in the house!
Her parents saved up and bought a very small piano and sent her for lessons. Turned out, she was pretty good and by the age of six, she was playing in school assemblies.
First performance piece: ‘I have seen the golden sunshine’.
The piano wasn’t enough for our guru so when she was eleven, she took up playing the flute as well. At high school, they spotted that she was certainly gifted and talented, so much so that, in her Year 8 music exam, she got 99% …just don’t ask about her art mark!
Let’s just say it gave her the biggest range in exam marks the school ever had! She also started playing viola and violin around this time, too.
She soon decided to leave the strings section behind and focus on flute and piano as ‘O’ levels started to edge closer (GCSEs these days!) but she had started to be known as ‘the musical person’!
By the end of Year 9, she had changed schools to one that had a more musical focus and had joined the school band and choir where lots of happy memories were made.
Unsurprisingly, our guru was given many opportunities by her hugely influential music teacher, Susan Phillips, such as conducting the band. She had by now achieved a Grade 8 in piano and Grade 7 in flute.
Her main memory, however, was in a school production of ‘Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat’…not for the music but because her best friend, Gill, fell off a bench! Hilarious for our guru…not so funny for Gill!
From an early age, our guru knew she wanted to be a teacher.
She taught her grandad how to play the recorder when she was just six and his party piece was ‘London’s Burning’.
She got her degree with a music specialism attached and soon secured her first job as a primary teacher. No surprise that she became the music subject lead pretty quickly and was soon involved in writing and producing epic school shows, putting on some real Christmas crackers!
The first recognition of her skills in music teaching was when she was awarded a Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Award in the mid-1990s.
Our guru then went on to contribute to music schemes such as Three Rapping Rats, Tom Thumb’s Musical Maths and Recorder Magic.
In 2002, she became an Advanced Skills Teacher for Music for Lancashire and went on to teach music around the county. It was also during this time that an Ofsted inspector recognised her exceptional skills and suggested she used her talent further afield.
She was then asked to support with training teachers in music through the Lancashire Graduate Teacher Programme and worked with Blackburn Council as a Creativity and Arts Consultant.
With persuasion from local headteachers, she took the plunge and left that role to pursue a freelance career. This involved sharing her love of music and all things creative, after which she went on to start her own education company.
Our Music Guru is Elaine Sutton and that company is Dimensions Curriculum! And here we are with a brand-new music curriculum…Hullabaloo!