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New guest curators for Sound Connections

We are delighted to announce the appointment of two guest curators – Brenda Rattray for our workforce development programme and Vanessa Stansall for the London Early Years Music Network.

As part of our commitment to inclusion and diversity, we are bringing in new voices and perspectives to provide expert artistic direction around the content and the format of our training and networking events.

Voice Expressions founder Brenda Rattray is an inspirational facilitator who has toured and worked internationally in over 40 countries. She graduated from Goldsmiths University where she has been an Associate Lecturer since 2003. She has taught expressive voice in all areas of the community from nurseries to high profile psychiatric hospitals and prisons and is an external examiner for Kingston University.

Brenda says: “My aim in my role for the Sound Connections workforce development programme is to add to the rich soil foundation that I feel that I walked on to in my first engagement with the organisation. I felt a deep sense of belonging and had the feeling that within this carefully reflective empathic structure, I could be honest and be myself. My goal is to continue to grow and to encourage others not just to look at themselves and the fruit that they bring to life but also look deeper at their organisations or the organisations that they work for and with. Beginning with myself, I want to constantly strive to do better for and within myself first and then extend that desire to others too! To know that I want to do my best – plus, begins with honouring and respecting myself, being ever reflective, knowing and accepting that I will make mistakes and knowing that that is just par for the course, I will strive to treat others in the way that they wish to be treated if it’s with kindness and respect and, if not I will treat them in the way I wish to be treated, doing my best to demonstrate the values and spirituality that allows me to live with inner peace. (As much as is possible).”

Vanessa Stansall is an early years music practitioner, researcher and Creative Producer at Creative Futures. She works with children and adults in early years settings and teaches early years piano. She has an MA in Education (Early Childhood Music) from the Centre for Research in Early Childhood and a PGCE in Music from the Institute of Education.  Having started her career as a secondary school music teacher, she has subsequently worked as both a music and general teacher/practitioner in a number of primary schools and early years settings. She has also worked at schools in Spain where she led multi-arts projects with young children and as Education Assistant at the New London Orchestra, working on education and community projects.

Vanessa says: “Having been involved in the work of LEYMN and the Music and Social Justice Network, I’m delighted to be joining the team at Sound Connections. It’s a time of challenge but also great opportunity for early years music and I’m excited to help LEYMN continue to support the workforce to develop meaningful, equitable and inclusive musical provision for very young children.”

Please complete our workforce development survey to help inform our guest curators’ work HERE.


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Support our work with London's young music makers. Donate Now