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Mel-o-Dee on the power of classical music and why our kids need it

Kinderling News & Features

Every kid benefits from a little bit of Music Time - and that's why we include some in every single episode of Play & Learn.

In the past, the segment has been presented by the likes of Sam Moran and Lah-Lah and Buzz the Bandleader. However, this season we decided to turn our attention to the world of classical music - with each episode taking listeners on a musical adventure with a different instrument friend from the orchestra, from the flute to French horn.

To lead this adventure, we needed a host that was right for the job.

Enter Mel-o-Dee

Melanie McLoughlin (aka Mel-o-Dee) has loved music for as long as she can remember. She started off with piano lessons, but it was the trumpet that hooked her.

"I remember seeing the shiny trumpet on the table at my Year 3 band audition, and I knew that was for me. I picked it up, blew a huge raspberry and I was hooked."

She's since gone on to become a professional trumpet player, playing for many prestigious groups, from the Australian Youth Orchestra to the Southbank Sinfonia (London), Opera Australia Orchestra to Orchestra Victoria. On top of this she is been a freelance trumpet teacher, and recently took on the role of Education Manager for NSW/VIC/TAS at Musica Viva.

To say she has the skills is a massive understatement.

Teaching kids to MOVE!

Above all, the thing that makes Melanie most suited for this role at Kinderling is her passion for teaching kids to love music.

"I love teaching children," she shares. "They all respond so strongly to all music. To see younger children  immediately respond with movement and a freedom and innocence is so inspiring and delightful."

"Classical music and movement provides so many benefits to preschool-aged children. It develops their rhythm and motor skills. Their listening and language skills will grow - as will their self expression and confidence in social interaction."

It's precisely this type of freedom and movement that Music Time helps kids unlock. 

"It's interactive and encourages the listener to move with the music while also learning about the sound of each instrument. For example, they'll go marching with the trumpet, have a picnic with the flute or play the harp with their sparkle fingers."

Making classical music accessible

The whole aim of Music Time is to make classical music accessible to a younger audience - and with three young kids of her own, Melanie knows how to tap into a young child's curiosity.

"My own sons were integral to my inspiration. They had attended my concerts and heard me practice, but I wanted to expose them to all  instruments, not just the trumpet and for them to experience the classical sound in a non-formal setting - on where they can move, sing, respond and join in the musical adventure."

If you'd love to do the same for your child, be sure to tune in to Music Time with Mel-o-Dee, weekday mornings on Play & Learn from 10am, or listen anytime, anywhere on the free Kinderling app.