Celebrating Twenty Five Years of Julie Wylie Music

At 10.am on December 3rd 2015, the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral, New Zealand started to fill up with beautiful children and their families from all cultures and all walks of life. By 10.30 am the Cathedral was full to the back door. Children were singing, dancing, doing all the actions and all I could see was a sea of smiling faces.  My music team worked with me to share the actions of songs, helping children, parents and teachers participate around the six rainbow rings, seven parachutes and dancing round the special Christmas tree.

All the significant people who have been part of my Musical Journey were there. The Cathedral team, my family were taking photos and participating. Louise van Tongeren who has sung on all my CDs since she was 7 years old, was there with her two children. Louise was one of the first children I taught in my Julie Wylie Musical Play classes when I left my HOD teaching position as a high school music teacher.  She inspired me, challenged me to see things from a child’s perspective, delighting in the specific songs when I got them just right.

My music mentor and friend David Sell, adjunct professor of music at University of Canterbury, was standing beside me as we played with the children around one of the 7 parachutes.  Janette Riley and Rose Robinson who helped me believe in my music vision and philosophy and worked with me in the early years were sitting together, smiling, supporting me every step of the way. My music team were at all vantage points of the Cathedral spreading out the rainbow rings, playing with the children, helping the parents and teachers to interact musically with the children as we bounced the rainbow rings, batted balloons to incredible heights and danced around the parachutes in time to Christmas music from my CD “Sing Merry Christmas” CD.

The wonderful trumpeters who played at the end of the interactive play part of the Musical Play programme are both graduates from my musical play classes. Thomas Eves is now Principal trumpeter in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Toby Buckner has been accepted into the 2016 Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra.

Lisa, came with her four teenagers, all former pupils of mine.  She told me that my music classes helped parents and children to feel a part of a very special music community. Today her daughter Holly received her music examination results. She gained Honors with 96% in her Grade 7 singing examination.  She said that Holly still sings from morning until night.  She and her sisters used to go home from the music classes and sing and act out everything they had done in our music class each day. The children enticed their parents into this musical play each night and so musical play became a special part of their family life.  Nine years later Holly is a natural musician. I feel so delighted that musical play is enriching the lives of so many children and as I looked around at the sea of smiling faces of people young and old, I felt so touched and blessed to be doing what I love, building music communities and sharing the gift of music.

Julie Wylie


Testimonials

It is true that you can’t get enough of a good thing. My daughter fell in love with Julie Wylie’s Musical Play classes and at home she would “practise” with great gusto what she learned week to week. Her enjoyment of the songs, the actions that accompany them and the playing of instruments filled much of her time and from her bedroom we could hear her “being Julie”, in full voice!!

So naturally Julie’s DVD’s and CD’s were  a must have for Clara-Jane!!

The Julie Wylie Musical Journeys DVD quickly became the most played DVD in our home. For Clara-Jane to be able to watch, participate and learn, whenever she wanted to, in the comfort of her own home,  just added to her love of Julie’s programme.

The DVD is beautifully put together. Presented by the very tutors that the children already have a warm connection to, and featuring songs that are already familiar makes it highly accessible. The learning is in context and it beautifully complements the learning in class. Even the much-loved Oscar the clown, who opens and closes each class, is present. Clara-Jane just loves watching the children as they, so naturally, and in everyday locations  doing everyday activities, find fun and pleasure in things musical.

I have to admit that I equally enjoy the DVD. It is engaging, encouraging, and undeniably catchy. Neither Clara-Jane nor I have tired of it and we have played it literally hundreds of times.

Perhaps the best testament to just how appealing the DVD is became clear when Clara-Jane was unwell following her immunizations and she took to her bed. The only thing she wanted was to do was watch “Julie on TV”, and even feeling under the weather  she still sang the tunes!!

Julie’s CD’s also enjoy huge “play time” in our home and in our cars. It simply would not be Christmas without the “Sing Merry Christmas” CD which is a wonderful combination of children’s favourites, old and new, and rich traditional carols. To hear our daughter singing songs she had never heard before, adding her own (hilarious) actions and then creating “Christmas concerts” for us to enjoy is priceless. “When Santa Came Down The Chimney” is a favourite and like many of the songs, it captured her imagination. A great feature of Julie’s CD’s is the fact that many songs are sung by children, making them relevant and accessible for young listeners.

The joy Julie’s DVD’s and CD’s have brought into our daughter’s life is matched only by the learning they have fostered. Quite simply they bring Julie’s programme to life for any child, whether they are fortunate enough to attend Julie’s classes or not. They have played a significant role in Clara-Jane’s life and learning and they have given us huge pleasure as we watch her growing appreciation and love of music.

Sarah Long, Parent
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