BRIT Trust grant boosts musical education for Teesside children

July 26th, 2022

A BRIT Trust grant has enabled Musical Dots to continue outreach work for children in Teesside, through the Teesside Charity and one of its patrons, Square One Law.

Musical Dots, founded by Anna Gilthorpe and Meg Gallagher, create original music with relatable lyrics for children.

Labelled a ‘lockdown lifesaver’, Musical Dots provides teachers and caregivers with unique, multi genre songs that bridge the gap between nursery rhymes and pop songs.

Anna said, “Before the pandemic, we came and delivered workshops for several primary schools in Teesside and were delighted to see how much the Early Years and Key Stage One children loved the music and related to our educational characters ‘The Dots’.

“We have now been awarded a grant from The BRIT Trust, in conjunction with The Teesside Charity, which was kindly matched by Square One Law, enabling us to continue our ‘Wellbeing Through Music’ outreach programme and reach even more children in the region.

“The pandemic put a halt to us visiting the schools in person, but that didn’t stop us! We continued to support the schools via our online workshops and are delighted to now be able to be back in person with the children at Brougham Primary School in Hartlepool. It has been amazing to see their development and how excited they were to see us return to their schools.”

Meg said: “Musical Dots aims to raise the smallest voices, nurture resilient behaviour and a lifelong passion for music at the earliest age and is fronted by animated characters called ‘The Dots’.

“We founded Musical Dots after becoming frustrated that the quality of music written for young children did not match the quality of commercial music surrounding them.

“With pop lyrics becoming increasingly inappropriate for little ears we decided to write our own unique songs to bridge the gap between nursery rhymes and pop songs. The children were amazing, totally engaged by the music and characters. One of the teacher’s mums had even crocheted each of the characters which was fabulous!”

Helen Moore, Music Lead, Brougham Primary School said: “I can’t speak highly enough about the Musical Dots, they are absolutely incredible! At Brougham Primary School, they are part of our daily routine in Early Years particularly, whether it be singing the wonderful songs throughout the day or relating to the Dot characters in our learning.

“The children absolutely love singing the songs and using them as a prompt to start conversations. All the workshops we have had from the Musical Dots, whether it be virtual or in person, have made such an impact on our children. All children were completely engaged throughout the whole session, and it was an absolute joy to watch. We can’t wait to get them back into school again!”

Michael Shuker, a partner from Square One Law, visited the school to see for himself how well the funding is being used.

Michael said: “It is incredibly uplifting to witness first-hand the difference a targeted programme can make. I was blown away by the level of excitement and engagement from the children created by Anna and Meg via their music and characters. It really did showcase the power of fun in learning. At Square One Law, we are dedicated to making a difference in the local community and there is no better way to do that than by supporting the development of our local children through fun, educational programmes such as those delivered by Musical Dots.”

Sign up to our monthly E-News