Keeping the Beat – a new musical resource

22 February 2006

Keeping The Beat Productions was founded by Steve Scott, a full time father, in 2004. Steve was disappointed at the range of children’s music available on CD, and decided to do something about it himself.

“I bought lots of children’s CDs, to help me learn some songs and rhymes to sing with my young daughter. But I couldn’t bear to listen to most of them more than once – they were so twee, and of such poor musical quality, with tunes which kids these days just don’t relate to.

Being a guitarist, I started to play around with the songs myself, and soon realised how much my daughter loved my own ‘funked up’ versions of nursery rhymes!”

Steve enlisted the help of his friend Greg Bone, an accomplished musician, whose credits include session work for Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Steps, Sting, Simply Red and Girls Aloud as well as music for the film Batman Forever and the latest Coca-Cola advert.

Together they developed Keeping The Beat’s first CD, of the same name, taking well known children’s nursery rhymes and songs, and setting them to funky, upbeat arrangements.

A rap version of ‘Humpty Dumpty’, a garage version of ‘Down in the Jungle’ and a funk version of ‘Five Little Monkeys’ can all be found on the debut CD!

Keeping The Beat place a particular emphasis on engaging fathers in children’s learning, hence the songs are of the highest musical quality, so that dads as well as children can bear to listen to them over and over again! This shared time between parents and their children is hugely important, most particularly in promoting healthy emotional development, but also in terms of language development. Both of these have a massive impact on a child’s ability to learn.

Research has highlighted the fact that children with lots of experience of songs, rhymes and rhythm are better placed to succeed at school. In addition, linking music with movements such as actions helps young children to make the connections between the left and right side of their brains which they need in order to progress to more formal learning.

All of these key research findings have influenced Keeping The Beat’s music and feedback from the growing network of customers has shown the impact it is having:

“My kids will not let me out in the car without this CD being on, so thank god it has some good guitar riffs! It’s helped me to learn the words to all these songs, so that when they come home from nursery and school singing them I can join in with them. I’ve even started getting my guitar out myself to play along which the kids love! I would never have thought this would really help their learning, but my youngest one’s speech has moved on loads since we started doing this, and songs like the Bear Hunt have got her into books too.”

Paul Weight, working father of two, Croydon

“When I first became a stay at home dad, one of the things I found really hard was singing with the children. It seemed to come naturally to my wife, but I’m not musical and I felt really self conscious singing the daft songs they love, like ‘Miss Polly had a Dolly’. But the CD somehow made the whole experience a bit more masculine and cool, and it gave me the confidence to go for it! I hear there’s a really ‘street’ version of Miss Polly coming out on the next CD too, so can’t wait for that!”

Ben Cox, full time father of three, Sutton

You can purchase copies of Keeping The Beat’s debut CD individually for £10 plus postage and packing. Some projects may wish to order multiple copies of the CD to put into packs, and discounts are available for this.

Alternatively, projects can opt to have a customised CD created especially for their area or initiative, as SureStart Downham in South London chose to do, involving families in selecting the songs they wished to have on the CD, which gave them an immediate sense of ownership over it.

The second Keeping The Beat CD is due to be released later in the Spring, followed by a number rhyme CD and possibly a CD aimed particularly at fathers and small babies, if demand is great enough.

“There is a ton of learning potential from one of our CDs” says Steve “But most of all Keeping The Beat is about fun. It’s fun to make the CDs and fun for children and adults to listen to them. And having fun with your child is one of the most important things you will ever do with them.”

For further information about Keeping The Beat, and to hear samples of their music, visit their website at www.keepingthebeat.co.uk
Alternatively, contact Steve at steve@keepingthebeat.co.uk or by phoning 07761 769733.

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