Thursdays 9:30 -11:00am
St. John's United Reformed Church
Corner of Somerset and Mowbray Road, New Barnet, EN5 1RH
£3.00 per Family
The team set up in the Sanctuary first thing in the morning, before the mums, dads, grannies, childminders and children arrive. The area by the bookshelves quickly becomes a buggy park, and the children always seem pleased to see us, the familiar surroundings and their small friends. They gather on a large mat, sitting in a circle, children on their carers’ laps. The age range is from maybe six months to three years. At 9:30 Valerie welcomes everyone, and the first song appears on the screen; the songs are a mixture of ones you might recognise (“Row, Row, Row your Boat,” “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”) and ones specific to Mainly Music, such as “Down in the Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep Sea”. There are always a couple of ‘God Songs’; our witness to the families is not hidden, and the introduction of the Prayer Teapot, into which any requests for prayer are quietly put during the session, seems to indicate that the families respond positively to this.
Some of the songs have actions, some have props (such as the five ladybird finger puppets that accompany “Five Little Ladybirds,” the sheet of blue lycra that becomes the sea, or the very popular bubble machine!) Even quite small babies respond to the music, and as they grow they rock and move to the sounds they hear and start to copy the actions.
After half an hour of singing we conclude with our sung Grace and the children’s drinks and snacks (cut up fruit, bread sticks and various ‘baby snacks’) appear. The families stay together so that the carers can supervise the eating and drinking, then we clear away the food and get out the toys. Thanks to our helpers, most of the carers can move across the tables and chairs at this point and have tea, coffee and homemade cake. They are so appreciative of the chance to have a time to talk to each other, and to enjoy that rare luxury for all parents of small children, drinking a coffee while it’s still hot!
The relationships developing during these sessions are such precious ones. Relationships between parents, grandparents and childminders – relaxing, sharing experiences and supporting each other – and between them and the Mainly Music team. The atmosphere is just lovely and we have such a happy time together. We are so grateful to all who have supported us through this first year – you know who you are! – in so many ways. Long may the fun, and the blessings, continue! For more information, email the Leader, Valerie Mills, by clicking HERE
The Mainly Music Team
The aim of mainly music
The aim of mainly music is to provide an environment where preschool children develop skills to enhance their preschool education, through the use of music, rhythm, rhyme, and other music related activities with the participation of a parent or primary caregiver.
A quick overview
Started in 1990, mainly music is a fun music group for parents or primary care givers to enjoy together with their young child. Throughout the session, children develop gross and fine motor skills, language, imagination, mathematical and pre-reading skills as well as socialise with others. Each mainly music is associated with and is run by volunteers from a local church. Children are introduced to music, creativity and more, plus families given a chance to think about the God-part of life.