These classes lay the foundations for enjoying and sharing music, singing with confidence, moving to music and using simple instruments.
They work well for children between the ages of about 4 months - rising 3. Much of the progression in this age group comes with the child's natural development.
As they become more vocal, co-ordinated and competent, they are able to join in and do more in class.
Even the very young babies are absorbing the sounds and actions around them. One 6 month old, in his 6th class delighted us all by smiling and kicking his feet as he acknowledged us greeting him musically.
Several children have taken their first steps in class in their eagerness to collect an instrument from the middle of the circle.
Many put in requests to sing a song faster or slower, louder or softer, or to use a different voice.
They know that a song can sound and feel very different depending on how we choose to sing it.
If there is space in the class, children may join at any age and at any point in the year.
Rattle Box classes are taught by Noel Rainbird. They run on Friday mornings at North Oxford Association (NOA) Community Centre in Diamond Place in Summertown. Please see the times, dates and venues page for more information.
When children reach the age of about 3, they are ready move to a Level 1 class.
They now follow an integrated syllabus which has been developed by professional musicians over a number of years.
This has been divided into 4 levels. With regular attendance the programme takes about 4 years to complete.
On completion, children will be able to:
- sing in tune over the full range of their voice
- maintain rhythm and pulse regardless of speed
- understand that music is an important means of expression.
They will also have a head start with the written language of music. They will be able to recognise rhythms, and understand the concepts of reading and writing pitch.
They will be well equipped to start learning an instrument and are likely to be eager to do so. Almost most importantly, they will have taken the first important steps to becoming confident musicians who understand how music works, and who enjoy making music.
Parents will be invited to come and watch a class at the end of each term so you can see how your child is progressing. It will also give you a clearer idea of what we teach and how we teach it.
A Tinder Box Level 1 class, taught by Noel Rainbird, runs on Friday mornings at the North Oxford Association (NOA) Community Centre in Diamond Place in Summertown. On Saturday mornings, classes covering Levels 1 – 4 are taught by Noel Rainbird, Emma Lowe and Nancy Gladstone at Cutteslowe Primary School in Wren Road. Please see the times, dates and venues page for more information.
1. Experience has shown that from Level 1 onwards children do better if, once they have settled, they attend classes on their own. We have found that rising 3 is really the youngest age a child is able to manage the class without a parent/carer being present.
We would ask that you make your own judgement as to whether or not your child is confident enough to be part of such a group. You are welcome to join the class to settle your child in. However, it helps us all if parents stay for no more than 2 or 3 classes. There will be an area in all venues for parents to wait.
2. As a general rule, children start at Level 1.
However, older beginners (5 or 6 year olds) prefer being with children of a similar age so we would suggest they start in the level more appropriate to their age. In our experience, children who have done this are able to catch up sufficiently and really benefit from the programme.
3. Each class moves on to the next level together.
4. We try to keep the age range within each class to little more than a year.
5. The ideal group size is 12 - 16 children, maximum 18. The working minimum is 8 children.
6. We would prefer that you contacted us before coming to try out a class. Please use the Contact Us tab or call us on 01865 559649. However, don't worry if you can't, just turn up and we will accommodate you if we can.