Tara Franks tells us how she keeps her London based baby music club going virtually, while the UK is in lockdown. Tot’s Tunes blurb: ‘These interactive, creative parent and baby (0-5s) classes combine learning original tunes and songs from around the world with a few dance moves! Tots Tunes is for local parents who want to connect with other like-minded people in the neighbourhood and have a bit of fun, listen to and sing some quality ‘non-baby’ acoustic music all accompanied by live string instruments and djembe. Classes are led by founder and cellist Tara Franks. Award winning Tots Tunes (Netmums best class in Hackney) is the longest standing of SoundsCreative’s Neighbourhood projects, running since 2011’
When lockdown began and the shock of having to cancel all my workshops and gigs hit me, I was devastated. I couldn’t even vaguely image that it would be possible to create something of the same spirit through an online platform. Not being a techie person or one to spend a lot of time online, in fact the contrary, everything I do is about face to face connections both work and life, its about random lived encounters and experiences.
Tots Tunes my longest standing project is about creating connections between local parents and their little ones. By sharing a musical experience in a room together and learning some great songs together from global folk to original tunes (no wheels on the bus to be heard!), the experience I hope benefits the adults as much as the little ones. Tots Tunes has been a joy to run and develop over the last 8 years, both the myriad of wonderful parents I have met, and also feeling a sense collective energy and positivity through singing and dancing together.
Now online – Weekly Tuesdays and Thursdays – Classes are all run through Zoom to keep a sense of collective joy, dialogue and interaction, as much for me as all those participating! Seeing grandparents join from another household to feel close to their families and do something‘together’along with having old and new participants join who are spread far and wide – nationally and internationally – has been amazing.
Admittedly it is very different from feeling the vibrations of collective sound in a room, however the pure act of singing has been proven to do us no end of good physically and emotionally, something we all need right now.
Still led with cello, djembe and now vocal loop pedal too, packed with part songs, rounds and dance moves, I hope Tots Tunes online provides a welcome solace and positivity for all those who join in.
If you have recently had a baby and would like some new songs to sing at home or have a lively toddler or pre-school child you’d love to sing and dance with…
Grab your shakers and come and join Tots Tunes online!
Written by Tara Franks – cellist, creative leader and founder of SoundsCreative Projects
Tots Tunes online Testimonials:
“so wonderful! thank you. Made our day”
“Thank you so much for tots tunes virtual sessions!! … your creativity is really inspirational”
“so brilliant! Glad you are still putting your music, and joy, out into the world”
Find other (real life) activities on the London Children’s Map at Vegan Family Guide.