A bit like Star Wars, Martin Thorpe jokes his passion for music started ‘a long time ago’, although rather than a galaxy far away, in his case it was in London.
It’s a passion which benefits children today at High Bank thanks to Martin’s role as ‘The Music Man’.
Martin, 65, comes to the nursery each week to sing songs with our pre-school children, as part of the extra-curricular activities we offer at no extra costs.
But Martin’s story begins when he was also a child.
Whether it was entertaining his classmates at playtime, singing in a choir, or taking inspiration from his music-loving father, he says he was always destined to do music in a professional capacity.
He has done this in various guises, whether it was during his time working as a qualified early years primary school teacher, working for a local authority in an educational capacity or in more recent years at early settings like High Bank.
Martin, who is also a puppeteer and artist specialising in painting and drawing, says: “I inherited my love of music from my dad. Although he never played an instrument, he was so passionate about it and for his age had very advanced tastes, whether it was The Beatles or the progressive music of the 1970s.”
Unlike his dad, married-father-of-two Martin did learn to play an instrument, in his case the acoustic guitar which has been at his side for the best of 47 years.
He uses the guitar as the focal point of his sessions at High Bank where he tends to focus on nursery rhymes and children’s songs, with audience participation very much being key.
Martin explains: “I try to keep to traditional songs that the children know because you need to keep their attention and it also helps to build their confidence if something is more familiar to them.
“One of the many great things about what I do in a nursery like High Bank is bringing children out of their shells.
“You will always get the confident ones who naturally tend to dominate, so whilst encouraging their creativity, I also focus on the shy ones and its lovely to see when they find their mojo and begin to participate.
“Music is such a joyous experience so being able to share my passion with the younger generation and seeing them become so engaged is wonderful.”Activities, high bank day nursery, Martin the music man