Home North East Musical Dots engage Primary Teesside children over healthy eating

Musical Dots engage Primary Teesside children over healthy eating

Musical Dots’ Anna Gilthorpe (back left) and Meg Gallagher (back right) with children from St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Thornaby

Primary school pupils from Teesside have been experiencing inspirational music workshops from children’s music initiative, Musical Dots.

The children from Tilery School in Stockton and St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School in Thornaby learnt about the importance of eating fruit and vegetables using Musical Dots original, quality music, which bridges the gap between nursery rhymes and pop songs.

The London-based company was founded by Anna Gilthorpe, who is originally from the North East, and Meg Gallagher. Both professionally trained performers with ten years’ experience in the music and entertainment industry, they also teach music in schools so fully understand how positively young children engage with music.

Anna Gilthorpe said: “Working in schools we realised there was a gap in the market for quality children’s music. We combined our ability to compose, perform and teach to write our own music and create supporting workshops for Early Years Foundation and Key Stage One pupils. Our songs tie in with the curriculum and support the physical, social and emotional development of children.

“We chose to base these Teesside workshops on our song about fruit and vegetables, where we turn our musical characters, The Dots, into superheroes by serving them up a Superfood dinner. We know how important it is to encourage children to choose a healthy lifestyle from an early age.”

Meg Gallagher said: “We were delighted to be invited to Teesside by Square One Law. They helped us set up our business and when we heard about its initiative with the charity Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation to work with Primary schools in the area, we jumped at the chance to support.”

Meg continued: “We have seen how music unlocks potential in all young personality types and are deeply concerned that cuts to arts budgets in schools are detrimental, so we decided to create our own quality music, using top musicians, appropriate lyrics, based on themes for children such as healthy eating, sharing and making friends so classroom teachers can weave music education into their everyday.”

Alongside their original music, Anna and Meg have created cartoon characters “The Dots.” Each Dot is named after a music term: Forte, Pianissimo, Legato, Staccato and Harmony, and they all play musical instruments. The Dots are founded on equality, diversity and role modelling and have an enchanting effect on children who identify with the contrasting personality types each Dot represents. Children see the benefit of learning from each other’s differences and working as a team through the eyes of The Dots!

Anna said: “Children from all backgrounds, including children with additional needs, respond overwhelmingly well to the positive power of our music, which has the ability to support and enthuse a broad range of learning. We are passionate our music reaches all children so have made it available via our website on YouTube, iTunes and Spotify. We have created music resources for teachers and parents so they can continue to experience the positive impact quality music with themes for children has on everyone long after our workshops. Musical Dots was carefully created to support adults and inspire children.”

Andy Preston, founder and chairman of Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation, said: “Encouraging our children to exercise and eat healthily is absolutely crucial so our Foundation is thrilled to be helping introduce this important project into Teesside schools.”

Michael Shuker, Teesside office partner of Square One Law added: “We are delighted to support Musical Dots. Having helped Meg and Anna to develop their business and copyright their characters, it’s great to see how they are using music to teach children about the benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle.

“Improving well-being and healthy lifestyles on Teesside will have far reaching benefits, both socially and economically and the best way is to influence at an early age.”