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“He felt part of a community of people who loved to sing and dance…”

We are a family of performers!  My hubby and I met way back at College when we studied Performing Arts.  I love to sing and he’s the musician. We would never force our passions onto our children but it’s only natural that they have fallen in love with music, singing, dancing, role playing, THE WORKS being raised by us.

So let me tell you about my gorgeous boy Oliver, aged 9.  Behind closed doors he is star!  When no one is watching he lets himself go and rocks out. But, until very recently he has held on to a memory of performing at a school concert where cried all the way through (I get welled up thinking about it).  And the next performance he cried and so on and so on all the way through infant school.

Now fast forward a couple of years and we discovered Sound Pop Academy.  I had already been a member of Sing Now Choir and I knew this would be right up Oliver’s street.  He attended the Summer Workshop last year and LOVED it.  He wanted to become a member but he made it very clear to me “I’M NOT DOING ANY SHOWS”.

It’s hard to explain to a young child that if he just kept performing he would learn a new memory where he doesn’t cry any more, he has fun and the adrenalin and that nervous feeling is a good thing.  But he is stubborn (not sure where he get’s it from) and I just let him get on with it.  If he could get enjoyment from the weekly sessions then great.

The Sound Pop Academy leaders didn’t put any pressure on him to perform and he didn’t feel weird or left out for not performing which was so awesome.  But as he attended more sessions, and we practised at home with the Sound Pop backing tracks (because I love them just as much as him) his confidence started to grow.  He felt part of a community of people who loved to sing and dance. He didn’t care that he was the only boy to start with and he would be so excited for his weekly session.

And because of all this, HE decided with some support from us to do his first gig! OMG! Stop the press, do a little dance round the living room, jaw on the floor AMAZING MOMENT.

There were no tears. In fact I remember looking at him during the performance and he winked at me to let me know he was OK.  Heart breaker.

He’s since performed front row at the Music in the City gig and he’s counting down the days to the huge Mayflower Theatre performance in March 2020.

I can’t even cope with how proud we are of him and how incredibly grateful we are that Sound Pop Academy exists.  Because of Dan and Mike and their incredible leaders so many children can enjoy singing every week and having fun.  It’s totally affordable but it doesn’t compromise on quality.

Thank you Sound Pop!

Selina Shrimpton
Parent of Oliver – Southampton 

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