Rhythm Rumble Article

Julie recently presented at the Victorian Orff -Schulwerk Conference in Melbourne where she was invited to present three music workshops. This is written by Lola one of the participants who interviewed her after one of the workshops.

Julie Wylie made me feel 3 years old again.

I travelled back in time to my childhood,  through a Julie Wylie workshop at the VOSA (Victorian Orff Schulwerk Assoc) annual conference.  And I loved it!

Through my endeavours to find quality music for my music classes I had come across Julie Wylie on iTunes.  The songs were always soft and instructional and perfect for teaching music for music purposes.  So I was super excited to be involved in a Workshop Julie was conducting.  As soon as the session started this fairy like lady wafted around the room singing a little tune to gather all the adults into a circle.  We all abided her gentle ways and it seemed initially as though she was singing for herself.  But I was wrong, there was a plan, and a very deliberate plan and we were all transported back to being 3 years old and participating in a Julie Wylie music class.

Julie is an Interntaional Childrens Award winner for her album “Bop it in a Rocket” and graciously agreed to be interviewed and she shared her inspiration for teaching music.  As a child Julie was influenced by a cousin who was a Concert Pianist and a musical Kinder teacher who instilled musical confidence.  She has had music in her life forever.

She tells a story of when she was a Highschool teacher and noticed so many children couldn’t keep a steady beat or sing in tune and taught a program with a group of troubled teens.   she would listen to their music (Heavy Metal) and analyse it with them. A student admitted that listening to their style of music made him feel anxious.  Being a great teacher she made a trade off by asking them to listen to her music such as Beethoven Pastoral Symphony and the children were encouraged to listen and analyse.  The result was the “most musical and moving things she has every seen.” The boys made their own instruments and performed music and re-enacted Beethovens character and turned their attitude and life around.

Julie is equally passionate about her work with The Champion Centre in Christchurch, which is an early intervention program for infants and young children with disabilities,  which Julie was asked to set up 23 years ago.  As a Highschool teacher she had to unlearn and relearn and with her Music therapy background with Nordoff Robbins has become a leader in this field. You can read more about it here The Champion Centre

Julie’s approaches her music classes with an overall plan to teach music elements, but not with a structured lesson plan as she allows and encourages the children to direct the music lesson.  Althoug every class involves Nursery rhymes around the rainbow ring and a Hello song based on the 5 note scale.  But, the magic happens in the last 15 minutes of the class where they have access to organza, drums, chime bars and their imagination.  Children are encouraged to improvise and compose their own music after being immersed in a musical playground.

So inspired by children’s musical ability, she played me a song she recorded that was composed by a young child in her music class and played on the Chime bars and was truly beautiful.

Julie’s style is a blend of music education and music therapy, as she wants music to reach and touch and build relationships. She is coming from the world of the child, listening and watching the children to effectively communicate through music.  The most important element to this approach is that children feel her love and at the end of the session they come and give her cuddles.

I learnt so much from meeting Julie Wylie, and being in her presence.  It was evident she truly loves her work and loves children.  If you haven’t experienced Julie Wylie’s music you must check out her website.Julie Wylie and do yourself and your children a BIG BIG Favour!

Big Love

Lola

julie-melbourne


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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