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Q&A with singing coaches,TV presenters and children's book authors Carrie and David Grant. Post a question about getting children involved in music.- ANSWERS BACK

(66 Posts)
LaraMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Jun-13 11:01:18

There's still time to apply for one of 50 copies of Carrie and David Grant's Lion's Speedy Sauce. Apply before 10am on Wednesday 12th June.

We're delighted that Carrie and David are joining us this week for a Q&A about children and music. Carrie and David are two of the best known pop vocal coaches in the UK (having coached Take That and The Spice Girls amongst others) and many will recognise them from the likes of Fame Academy, The One Show and Cbeebies  Carrie and Davids Popshop!  Parents to four children, they are passionate about getting all children to sing.  They are ambassadors for Sing Up, a singing programme going to every school in England, and they believe that children of every age should be given the tools to enjoy and feel confident about music. Their new picture book series, Jump Up and Join In, is a fun and interactive way of introducing pre-schoolers to music.

Post a question to Carrie and David before the end of Monday 17th June and we'll be linking to their answers on 24th June.
More about Jump Up and Join In
Anyone with a baby or toddler will have noticed how positively they respond to music and how engaged they can be listening to songs, even from the earliest of ages.  The six book series features a colourful cast of characters including Lion, Elephant and Meerkat and each story focuses on a different aspect of music. For example,Lions Speedy Sauce is all about rhythm and other areas of music covered include loud and soft, breathing and confidence.   Each book comes with a CD that includes an introduction to the book, the story, an original song, two music activities and a karaoke track.  Get your pretend microphone at the ready  and your dancing shoes on! 

CarrieandDavidGrant Mon 24-Jun-13 15:24:21


My DD is a dreadful singer - really tone-deaf and she can't hear that she sounds so out of tune. She thinks she's a brilliant signer and I don't like to burst her bubble sad Would singing lessons be able to teach someone to sing in tune or is this ability something you are born with or not? Thanks!

See our answer to Coppernob. If this doesn't work, try rap!

CarrieandDavidGrant Mon 24-Jun-13 15:25:48


My son sings in a church choir. He is a very keen choister and doing well with the Royal School of Church music training scheme. Should he carry on singing when his voice starts to change?

There are conflicting opinions about this. Personally we believe that boys should be able to continue to sing throughout the voice-breaking period. The muscles that are the vocal cords begin to thicken but there is no evidence to say that training cannot take place whilst this is happening. The hardest thing for boys is overcoming the sense of identity loss especially vocal identity loss so we would probably focus more on this area in our coaching during this period.

CarrieandDavidGrant Mon 24-Jun-13 15:26:44


DD is 8 and a half. She did quite a bit of choral singing at school up until this year (Y4), when she opted out of Singing Club because it clashed with her Music Theory class, which was not an option when she took up weekly piano lessons.

Her previous singing teacher always used to say to me "You should do something with that voice" and it is true that she has a pretty singing voice. She will have weekly choral singing again, as part of the school curriculum, in Y5 and Y6. Should I leave it at that for now, or would one-to-one singing lessons be of any value? When she practices piano I sing along and she loves the idea of playing and singing together one day (à la Regina Spector).

You cannot hold a good singer down and if she is as good as you say she is then singing will surface at some point. She can take one to one vocal training at a later date unless, of course, her choir leader wants to push her towards solo chorister opportunities.

CarrieandDavidGrant Mon 24-Jun-13 15:30:04


Oh sorry! My question: aside from moving, do you have any ideas of what I can do to broaden her musical experience?

We believe all children should be given a broad variety of music to listen to and sing. You would never consider insisting a child only read books by one author so why should it be any different with music. There are now many choirs out there. National Youth Choirs would definitely be worth looking at, click on this link youth music.

Also may be worth looking at the fusion music that is available. One of our very favourite pieces to teach is Handel's Messiah as produced by Quincy Jones on the album "A Soulful Celebration”. There are so many good songs to choose from on this album. This version of Handel's Messiah hits all the contemporary marks whilst being a beautiful classical piece and it is fantastically complex.

CarrieandDavidGrant Mon 24-Jun-13 15:32:40


Questions for Carrie and Grant.
Firstly my children love 'Popshop', are there any plans to make any more shows in the future?
Secondly what is the best age for a child to start learning a musical instrument at primary school?
Thank you

No more Popshop boo hoo! It costs too much to make. Our books (Jump Up and Join In series of 6) cover the same area musically though. Learning a musical instrument can begin at any time. We leave musical instruments lying around the house in the hope that our children will be tempted to pick them up and play, which thankfully they seem to want to do! Formal training for instruments, we aren't the experts in this area but about aged 6, year two, when the learning at school becomes a little more formal would seem right.

Jux Mon 24-Jun-13 21:10:11

Thank you for answering my question. We are clearly badly impoverished musically here sad

NoWomanNoCry Tue 25-Jun-13 13:04:26

Thank you Carrie and Grant for answering my questions smile.

gazzalw Tue 25-Jun-13 17:09:00

Thanks David and Carrie....I totally agree with you FWIW!

peasandchips Tue 25-Jun-13 19:08:25

Our copy arrived just too late to join in the above, but DD certainly a fan of the marching!

fuzzfoster Wed 26-Jun-13 23:18:40

Thanks very much for the book and CD.

I found it an excellent introduction to music/rhythm. My DS (4) made us read and listen through it several times in a row in the first sitting and the song is so catchy we both regularly find ourselves singing along to it out of nowhere!

We really enjoyed the exercises after the story and I think they are very well judged.
My only slight criticism would be that the story is quite short and feels even shorter because of the pace at which it is read on the CD. Most kids like to linger over the pages and pictures and point out various things but the cue to turn the pages (the lions roar) is very quick.

I think the books are an excellent idea though as I am very keen on my children to be brought up with a love and appreciation of music, and I think this approach is just the ticket. I look forward to seeing what else comes from Carrie and David.

Thanks again.

mummylovescakes Thu 27-Jun-13 11:47:12

Thank you very much for the book. We loved the lion roaring a lot. This is the first audio book we have used and it was definitely a thumbs up. We thought the illustrations were excellent and the music was very entertaining. A fab way of getting children to learn about music and rhythm. I would most definitely recommend this book to my friends.

pupsysmum Fri 28-Jun-13 20:55:00

Thank you for the copy of Lions Speedy Sauce. My 6 yr old and 3 yr old have both enjoyed reading and listening to it, for different reasons: my 6 yr old son because he likes to dance to the music and my 3 yr old daughter because she likes the music and particularly the sections after the story that are interactive. She enjoyed the illustrations and the pace of the story is fast, but I agree that the story line could have been a bit more developed.
thanks again

BigGapMum Mon 01-Jul-13 20:20:20

I was really pleased to receive this book but my nearly 5yo DS seemed to take a bit of dislike to it. Admittedly he's never really enjoyed music as much as other children and has always refused to dance.
However my 3yo DGD absolutely loves the book, so I would definitely recommend the book for the right child.

verap Thu 04-Jul-13 10:59:24

My daughter loves the book - the sound quality of the CD is poor though - I hope it's just mine.

amapola Sat 20-Jul-13 17:11:49

Thank you for the book. Illustrations are excellent - and the story at the start is good - but a little short, and could have been a little more interesting (my DS's don't have experience of extra hot chili sauce !)
The song matches the music well, and does encourage the children to march. The verses are reasonably fast paced, so younger children may struggle to read and sing at the same time - which is the only issue I had.
I felt the "clever clapping on the beat" was a good introduction to Rhythm, but could have been developed further
"Super Scales on the Stairs" was a great visual representation of musical scales -and the children loved this.
It was all brought together nicely with a chance at the end to sing along Karaoke style - with the words helpfully marked in bold for the children to sing.

Overall a good experience, 4/5

DuchessOfPodd Sat 20-Jul-13 18:20:15

Hi and thanks very much for the book. I read it with my year1 DD. I think the story was a bit too simple for her (she gave it a "15/20" mark) but the song she liked and sang along happily with (it got 17/20) but the clapping game (19/20) and the super scales (20/20) were her definite favourites. I will buy more of this series and use it with my baby when he is a bit older.

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