singing young . dancing free . being me
"Marcella obviously works hard to plan structured and yet relaxed sessions
with a really varied and creative programme of music.
The atmosphere is
wonderfully warm and welcoming and provides the space for me to relax and
have fun with my child in a safe and happy environment. It's the highlight of our
week!" - Jude
Music Shakers classes are led by teachers who are committed to helping families discover the joy of making music together, and who have training in early childhood education, music and dance.
Marcella Erskine founded Music Shakers in 2006. She obtained a Master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College, New York, where she specialized in group and community work. She trained in dance at Colorado State University while obtaining a B. Sc. in Psychology, and sang in choirs in Denver, where she grew up. Before moving to the UK in 2003, she taught music at Denver Cooperative Preschool. Since then she has provided music workshops to adoption services, playgroups and schools across Birmingham. Marcella participated in early childhood music workshops including Music Leader Musicality Matters and the Early Ears 4 program. Most importantly, however, she has learned the pleasure of making music from her parents and children’s joy of making music.
Contact Marcella at 0121 449 5120 or by email.
Fiona Howe joined Music Shakers as a Teacher in 2010, and earned a BMus Hons from the Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied piano performance, Kodąly, Orff and Dalcroze. She has been involved with various educational projects throughout Birmingham including the CBSO “notelets” workshops and Early Years Cluster Programme as well as projects for Sound Futures. Alongside her work in early years music Fiona teaches piano and violin privately and for the Aston Performing Arts Academy and Academy West Midlands.
Contact Fiona by email.
Sarah Baker trained at the Birmingham Conservatoire and is an accomplished musician and music teacher with a specialization in singing and making music with children. In 2012 she became the Vocal Composer in Residence at Birmingham Music Services. Sarah joined Music Shakers as a Teacher in 2010 and produces, arranges and sings in all our CD. She runs bakertunes, where her songs are released.
Contact Sarah by email.
Emma Watson has a BA Hons in Drama and English from the University of East Anglia and a PGCE in Drama from Middlesex University. She spent 5 years as a drama teacher working with 11 – 16 year olds before stopping to bring up her three children. She attended Music Shakers with her son until he went to school and is excited to be able to be involved in facilitating the classes as they brought such joy and fun to her own family over several years.
Contact Emma by email.
Cathryn Thomas began her career over 20 years ago as an actress working in Theatre in Education. After developing a passion for working with young children she went on to train in Primary Education. She had a long and successful career as a Primary School teacher and took on roles including SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) and EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) leader. Singing and music has been a cornerstone of her teaching style and she has enjoyed leading choirs and other musical ventures in schools she has worked in. Since the birth of her three children, Cathryn now works on a freelance basis in schools in a variety of creative roles. She loves Music Shakers and how it enables her to build her own repertoire of songs to sing with her children but also how it enables her to spend uninterrupted, quality time with her child.