Name: Colin Phillimore
Location: United Kingdom
Subject: Trinity's Certificate for Music Educators (CME): Early Childhood
Colin Philimore has had a long career in youth and community work, which he combined with his passion for music, and his experiences as a stay-at-home dad to co-found Babigloo Music for Babies. He talked to us about his varied career and how his experiences with Trinity's Certificate for Music Educators (CME) prompted him to update Babigloo’s repertioire.
“Music has always been in my family and in my home big time! What I do now is a dovetail of my life’s work, my travels, my philosophy, and pedagogy really.”
Colin got a first glimpse of how he might combine his passions in 2015, when he participated in research and training with Professor Paulo Lameiro, who has been working with babies for 25 years, in SAMP music school Portugal.
“Paulo’s techniques are non-verbal - it’s about the music and the babies, based mainly on Dr Edwin Gordon’s techniques of music for the youngest children.”
“My partner and I could see the value straight away. We sang and played guitar together - to stimulate, to pacify, to put to sleep. I’d done singing at pre-schools, likewise with older people I’d seen the value of connecting through songs.”
Back in the UK, along with Jenny Gordon and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, SAMP, Michele O'Brien, Sam Mason, Babigloo was founded.
In 2019, Colin decided to study for The Certificate for Music Educators (CME): Early Childhood at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)
“I like academia - I like the challenge. I’ve always committed to carrying on learning, even though I’ve got quite a lot of experience in youth and community work."
Despite his initial apprehension about his perceived lack of musical expertise, it quickly became clear that there was a mixture of professional backgrounds and levels of experience in the group.
“My imposter syndrome went into the background when I realised that, because of our USP of babies from 0 – 12 months, people were like wow - tell me about it, and that was reassuring.”
Colin relished the opportunity to learn from his fellow trainees on the course.
“Because of my age, my experience, I needed to just listen to people’s experience and not always be sharing my opinion.”
Colin praised the support and creativity of the team in adapting to Covid 19 measures during the course.
“Jane Parker, my tutor was just absolutely brilliant. She really saw me through what was a crazy time because of lockdown, and especially after I survived a Cerebelar Stroke in April 2021. Jane was like 'we’ve got this', 'you can do it' and we were able to complete the course."
“As far as my work at Babigloo and as a co-Director, one of the really positive outcomes of doing the course was connecting in the wider region and nationally as well. That opportunity, and the stimulation it provides, in accessing different methods, experiences and cultures around the world - I just took a dive.”
Colin told us about the impact the reading and research he did for the course had on his practice.
“Task Four is about inclusion and diversity and equality, which has always been my starting point through my youth practice, especially as a white male in the caring profession, which is quite unusual unfortunately.”
“During lockdown I came across Professor Nate Holder, who was providing free workshops online. There was one on the decolonisation of early years music and I loved that. Then I discovered his book ‘Listen and Celebrate’ with pieces and lesson plans, and it was a really, really useful resource.”
Colin went on to find other workshops on Music Mark, with subjects ranging from Music and Islam to Jazz and Steel Pan, all of which inspired him to look at the repertoire Babigloo was using with fresh eyes.
“It struck me that the repertoire was mainly euro centric. Hearing Fela Sowande’s African Suite performed by Chineke Orchestra at the BBC Proms, I thought - we can use that, it’s short and bouncy, celebratory, and repetitive.”
“It’s been great to challenge our organisation. I was then able to reflect on all of that as part of task four.”
We asked Colin for any words of wisdom for someone considering CME.
“Trust in your experience and the fact that you’re interested, that’s enough because the course will guide, inspire, and provide the support.”
"One of the really positive outcomes of doing the course was connecting in the wider region and nationally as well."
"That opportunity, and the stimulation it provides, in accessing different methods, experiences and cultures around the world - I just took a dive!"